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More rallies against the FBI planned outside Apple stores this week

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Mikhail (Vokabre) Shcherbakov/Flickr
Digital rights group Fight for the Future is continuing to organize rallies around the country to support Apple in its face-to-face with the FBI over encryption backdoors.

The next round of rallies will take place this Tuesday in more than 30 cities nationwide outside Apple stores. Last week the group staged its first protests in San Francisco. Fight for the Future opted for gathering outside Apple stores rather than FBI or government buildings in order to maximize visibility, according to Evan Greer, campaign director.

Fight for the Future
Fight for the Future

“People are rallying at Apple stores because what the FBI is demanding here will make all of us less safe, not more safe. Their unconstitutional attack on our digital security could put millions of people in danger, so we’re giving those people a way to get their voices heard,” Greer told Digital Trends.

The FBI wants Apple to install a software update on the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook, as part of its investigation. This would effectively create a backdoor in the software that could be abused, said Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has stood firmly against the order from the authorities. Many technologists agree with Cook, including Berin Szoka, president of TechFreedom, a a nonprofit think tank.

“The FBI is trying to hit the ultimate reset button on privacy, turning the clock back to a time even before the Fourth Amendment’s warrant protections,” Szoka said.

Rallies are scheduled for Apple’s HQ in Silicon Valley as well as stores in large markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago right down to smaller cities like Anchorage. Supporters are also gathering in Munich and Hong Kong.

Apple has garnered a lot of support from organizations committed to privacy and security and even rival companies like Google. But the company has been criticized by the families of the victims of the shooting, who are unhappy with Apple’s stance on the investigation. Stephen Larson, a former federal judge, is now representing the families in their legal action to support the FBI. “They were targeted by terrorists, and they need to know why, how this could happen,” said Larson.

His comments follow similar remarks made last week by the father of Lee Rigby, a U.K. soldier that was murdered by extremists. He accused Apple of “protecting a murderer’s privacy at the cost of public safety.”

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