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Internet giants rally behind Apple in FBI iPhone dispute

More than a dozen leading internet companies, including Twitter, Ebay, Linkedin and Airbnb, have taken legal action in support of Apple in its phone encryption battle with the FBI.

A total of 17 companies filed a combined legal brief backing Apple's resistance of demands it should help investigators access an encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers.

Apple has earned more support over its refusal to help the FBI access the mobile phone of a gunman involved in the killings of 14 people in San Bernardino. Credit: Reuters

A separate group led by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and several other Internet and technology companies are also understood to be due to file a joint legal brief asking a judge to support Apple.

Briefs are also expected in support of the US government in the dispute.

Investigators at the FBI want Apple to disable some of its passcode protection to enable them to access gunman Rizwan Farook's phone.

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Apple post 'biggest quarterly profit in history'

Apple has reported a quarterly profit of $18 billion in what is believed to be the biggest ever made by a public company.

Apple said huge sales in iPhones was behind the record profits. Credit: Roman Vondrous/Czech News Agency/PA

The technology giant said the sales of 74.5 million iPhones in the quarter ending 27th December, and a 70% rise in China sales had helped exceed expectations.

The profit of $18 billion was the biggest ever reported by a public company, worldwide, according to S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt.

Revenue increased from $57.6 billion in the same period last year to $74.6 billion.

Apple shares rose around 5% in after-hours trading following the announcement.

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