Apple defies court order to unlock shooter’s phone

Apple’s C-E-O says the company opposes a judge’s order to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation break into one of the San Bernardino, shooter’s phones.

For investigators in the San Bernardino terror attack, getting into the minds of the shooters, means getting into their phone.  More than two months later, they’re still locked out by a simple passcode.iphone

James Comey of the FBI says, “It is a big problem for law enforcement armed with a search warrant. You know in San Bernardino, a very important investigation to us, we still have one of those killer’s phones that we have not been able to open.”

A judge has ordered Apple to help the FBI hack into that phone, an order the company is opposing.  In a public letter, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the order would create a “backdoor to the iPhone” — something “too dangerous to create” — a position he’s made public before.  “If you put a back door in, that back door is for everyone, good guys and bad guys.”

But Apple is up against the FBI and the Justice Department.  Both have the backing of the White House.  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says, “They’re simply asking for something that would have an impact on this one device.” But Cook says that’s not the case writing that “Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices.”  He says that could expose Apple customers to hackers and cyber criminals.

San Diego State University legal analyst Wendy Patrick says, “This is a unique bit of litigation we’re seeing here. Because remember the judge herself is a former prosecutor.  She has given Apple five days to come back and explain why to create this software would be unduly burdensome for them.”

Cook is warning this would create a precedent that could be extended to force Apple to help government spy on its customers.  Apple is calling for a public discussion on the issue.  Some believe this dilemma could end up in the Supreme Court.

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