Here is a wonderful explanation of the All Writs Act, a 1789 statute used today to boost government surveillance into the stratosphere. In this vein, Arstechnica does a quick analysis on how Apple will defend their refusal to comply with the FBI regarding a forced creation of a backdoor to the iPhone.
Cook said Apple will fight the Riverside, California, magistrate judge's orders, calling it an "unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority." Depending on where you line up in the cryptowars debate, Cook's characterization of the government's stance may or may not be true. But what is undeniable is that the act has certainly been used to expand the government's surveillance reach. Whether it ultimately will in the iPhone case is an open question likely to be resolved by the Supreme Court.
Watch the video. Interesting to say the least.