Apple isn’t on the best terms with Uncle Sam right now!
The tech company said it would oppose and challenge a federal court order to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the terrorists behind the San Bernardino mass shooting last December.
On Tuesday, Federal District Court Judge Sheri Pym ordered Apple to bypass the security on an iPhone 5 operated by Syed Rizwan Farook — who was killed by the police with his wife after murdering 14 of his co-workers at a holiday party.
In hopes of obtaining more evidence in the investigation, the Judge ordered the company to create special software that would basically act as a skeleton key to unlock the phone — but Apple refused!
Hours later, Apple exec Tim Cook released a statement saying that the company would not comply with the order because the technology would be “too dangerous to create.”
The FBI says its experts have failed to access the data on Farook’s iPhone, and are at risk of losing the data forever after repeated unsuccessful attempts to enter the password — which means that only Apple is able to get around its security features.
But according to Cook, what the government is asking the company to do “has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.” He wrote:
“The F.B.I. may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a back door. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”
Back in 2014, Apple and Google announced they tightened up their software with “full disk” encryption — which means their security was so beefed up, they could no longer unlock their own products!
But this re-engineering created a problem for law enforcement authorities, who say the new encryption hinders them from preventing and solving crime.
While police and prosecutors believe that creating a master key will be extremely useful when investigating crimes, Cook says that creating a “back door” to bypass their security is:
“Something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”
The tech company’s next step will likely be to file an appeal — and since the legal issues here are complicated, this case could go all the way up to the Supreme Court.
[Image via WENN.]