Apple San Bernardino FBI Victims
Apple's challenge of a court order to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers opens up a new front in the long-running battle between technology companies and the government over encryption. Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Some of the victims of the San Bernardino shootings are expected to file a legal brief in support for the U.S. government’s attempts to force Apple Inc. to unlock the iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the killers, according to Reuters.

Stephen Larson, an attorney representing several of the victims of the shooting, said his clients are interested in the contents of the phone. “They were targeted by terrorists,” he told Reuters. “And they need to know why, how this could happen.”

Fourteen people were killed in the attacks and 22 were wounded. But it’s not clear how many victims Larson represents. He is expected to file the amicus brief to the court in early March.

While some victims of the San Bernardino shooting have sided with the U.S.government, one victim’s mother said she supports Apple. “This is what separates us from communism, isn’t it? The fact we have the right to privacy,” Carole Adams, mother of Robert Adams, 40, who was gunned down in the attacks, told the New York Post. “I think Apple is definitely within their rights to protect the privacy of all Americans.”

Apple and the FBI have dug in on their positions. On one side, FBI Director James Comey argues that its request is “quite narrow” and doesn’t want to “break anyone’s encryption.” On the other side, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday in a letter to employees acknowledged that while the company has no sympathy for terrorists, it doesn’t want to set a “dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties” by creating a backdoor into the smartphone.

The Department of Justice on Friday filed a motion with the central California U.S. district court to compel Apple to comply with the order.