Apple CEO stays firm on iPhone stance
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated yesterday in an article appearing in Newsweek that he intends to take the San Bernardino iPhone issue to the U.S. Supreme Court, if he needs to.
Much has happened since the FBI requested Apple’s assistance in unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s phones last week. It has divided the company with Washington as privacy rights and national security comes into question.
A federal judge ordered Apple to create a "back door" that would help FBI agents access data stored on the iPhone of Syed Farook, a suspect in the December terror attack in San Bernardino. Apple refused to comply with the order on the grounds that creating software to unlock Farook's phone could make iPhones everywhere less secure. Allowing anyone to hack through the device.
In an interview with ABC News, Cook described the FBI’s request to re-engineer its operating system to give the agency access to data as “the software equivalent to cancer.”
"Some things are hard, and some things are right, and some things are both - this is one of those things," Cook told ABC News. He added that he planned to talk to President Barack Obama directly about getting the dispute "on a better path."
Later when asked whether Apple would be prepared to fight this case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, Cook said, “We would be prepared to take this issue all the way.”
The FBI and the White House have said the fix they are asking for would only be used on the San Bernardino shooter’s phone, a claim Cook and other experts disagree with.
“This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates, said in an interview with the Financial Times. “They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case.”
According to an article appearing in the New York Times, Apple engineers have already begun developing new security measures that would make it impossible for the government to break into a locked iPhone using methods similar to those now at the center of a court fight in California.
Apple's decision to fight the FBI's court order one enabled by a law over two centuries old has been supported by a number of other high profile tech companies that include Twitter, Google and Facebook.
It would take Apple Inc. two to four weeks and up to 10 employees to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of Farook, an Apple official said in the company’s court filing Thursday.
According to a Pew Research study, most Americans are siding with the government on the issue. 51 percent say Apple should unlock the iPhone to assist the ongoing FBI investigation. Fewer Americans, 38 percent, say Apple should not unlock the phone to ensure the security of its other users’ information; 11 percent do not offer an opinion on the question.
Apple has a follow up hearing on March 22.