Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said the following the court order requiring the company to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to unlock the iPhone 5C owned by one of the shooters in San Bernardino would be “bad for America.”
In an interview with ABC News, Cook explained that the only way for the company to help the FBI unlock the iPhone 5C owned by Syed Rizwan Farook is to create a new software.
Farook and his wife Tashfee Malik killed 14 people and injured 22 others in a mass shooting and attempted bombing at a training session and holiday party in San Bernardino, California in December.
Apple will never write software to unlock the iPhone
“The only way to get information — at least currently, the only way we know — would be to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the equivalent of cancer. We think it is bad news to write. We would never write it. We have never written it — and that is what is at stake here. We believe that is a very dangerous operating system,” said Cook.
He reiterated that Apple cooperated fully with the FBI in its investigation and gave all information in its possession about the iPhone. He emphasized that the company is refusing to comply with the court order because the “case is not about one phone” but it is “about the future.”
According to Cook, what is at stake is bigger since the case could set a legal precedent that could put hundreds of millions of customers at risk and “trample” civil liberties, the basic foundation of the United States.
“If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write — maybe it’s an operating system for surveillance, maybe the ability for the law enforcement to turn on the camera. I don’t know where this stops. But I do know that this is not what should be happening in this country,” said Cook.
Cook said the case is not just privacy but also public safety
The Apple CEO also pointed out that the case is not just about privacy but also public safety. Cook said explained that users probably have more information about them in their smartphones than in their house. According to him, the smartphones contain people’s intimate conversations, financial data, health records, and even the location of their kids in most cases.
Cook said, “Some things are hard, and some things are right, and some things are both – this is one of those things.” He also stated that Apple will stand tall on its principle.
It was recently reported that Apple will likely use the First Amendment as its primary legal argument to fight the court order with the help of well-known free-speech lawyers, Theodore Olson and Theodore Boutrous.
On Monday, Apple urged the U.S. government to withdraw its demand under the All Writs and to form a Commission or a panel of experts on intelligence, technology and civil liberties to discuss the issue.
One Thought to “Apple CEO: Unlocking the iPhone in San Bernardino Case Would Be “Bad for America””
At last! Something clear I can understand. Thanks!