Apple technology company said that they will resist a federal judge’s order to unlock encrypted iPhone software in order to help the FBI examine a phone used by terrorists who killed fourteen people in an attack in California in December.
Chief executive officer of Apple,Tim Cook, in a letter posted to customers on Wednesday said, “The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers, including tens of millions of American citizens, from sophisticated hackers and cyber criminals,” adding, “The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe”.
Regarding the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino, Cook wrote, “We mourn the loss of life and want justice for all those whose lives were affected. The FBI asked us for help in the days following the attack, and we have worked hard to support the government’s efforts to solve this horrible crime. We have no sympathy for terrorists”.
Cook very specifically explains that if Apple were to build a version of iOS that bypasses security in the manner that the US government is insisting, this would undeniably create a backdoor that would potentially unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.
Once this type of technology is created, it could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. Cook goes on to say that meeting the US government order would “be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable”.
According to Cook, the FBI chose to propose “an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority,” which could essentially be used to compel a telecommunications provider to allow for real-time tracking of a cell phone without a search warrant.
Furthermore, Cook said, “If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge”.