While the tech world and Washington, D.C. await a ruling on whether Apple must assist the FBI in accessing the content of an iPhone used by a terrorist in the San Bernardino massacre, a federal magistrate in the Eastern District of New York stole a march on his West Coast colleague by forcefully rejecting the government’s request for Apple’s assistance in a different case.  Notably, the Brooklyn case involves an older version of iOS and would have entailed far less of a burden on Apple than the assistance sought in the San Bernardino case; indeed, Apple was prepared to assist until the judge stepped in and said “Whoa, Nelly!”  The 50-page opinion issued by Judge James Orenstein, in In re Order Requiring Apple, Inc. to Assist in the Execution of a Search Warrant Issued by this Court, is a sweeping rejection of the government’s use of the All Writs Act to force tech companies to assist in executing search warrants.  It is so sweeping, in fact, that it may be more vulnerable on appeal and less persuasive to other courts than Orenstein plainly hopes.  The government has already appealed Judge Orenstein’s decision.