Rumor: Apple retains high profile, free speech lawyers in its brush-up with the U.S. government

As everyone doubtless knows, Apple CEO Tim Cook has posted “A Message to Our Customers” saying the company will oppose an order from the U.S. government to unlock a shooter’s iPhone. Now Reuters reports that the company will “likely” seek to invoke the United States' protections of free speech as one of its key legal arguments in trying to block an order to help unlock the encrypted smartphone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Yesterday the company was granted three additional days by the court to file a response to the order. Apple will now have until Feb. 26 to send a reply.

Quoting unnamed “lawyers with expertise in the matter,” Reuters says Apple has retained two prominent, free-speech lawyers to do battle with the government: Theodore Olson, who won the political-speech case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010, and Theodore Boutrous, who frequently represents media organizations.