A Boston Globe staff editorial posted yesterday, addressing the legal battle between the FBI and Apple to unlock an iPhone belonging to a San Bernardino terrorist suspect, quotes our Legal Director, Ron Fein. Fein discusses corporate free speech claims and how Apple has taken a similar approach to past “compelled speech” cases. The Boston Globe sums this up:

Unfortunately, that’s not such a far-fetched outcome. Ron Fein, the Newton-based legal director for Free Speech for People, points out that the Clean Water Act requires polluters to “install, use, and maintain” monitoring equipment and use the data to “make reports” about what they find. That process would almost inevitably require those companies to use software to implement an environmental policy with which they might disagree, and then to publish reports whose underlying premises they may reject. If courts let them characterize the software and reports as speech entitled to constitutional protection, does that mean they get to ignore the law?

The privacy advocates who have rushed to Apple’s side in the San Bernardino case ought to be careful about what they’re endorsing. Apple has some good reasons to resist the government’s demands. But what it does not have — and what it would a bad precedent to recognize — is any corporate First Amendment claim. Respect for real free speech demands that its defenders call out those who would distort the First Amendment into a shield against reasonable commercial regulation.

Despite news the FBI broke the encryption seal of the iPhone with the help of a third party, Apple still is claiming several constitutional rights, asserting that it should have access to these protections to ensure the privacy of its consumers. And while the Department of Justice has dropped its case against Apple, the argument surround corporate constitutional rights goes on.

To read the full staff editorial on The Boston Globe, click here.