Apple against order to hack San Bernardino shooters’ phone


On Tuesday, a California judge ordered Apple to help the FBI hack into Syed Farook’s iPhone.

That same day, the powerful tech giant responded with a letter saying that they oppose the instructions and labeled it, “an overreach by the U.S. government. The letter was signed by Apple CEO, Tim Cook.

Syed and his wife were the shooters involved in the San Bernardino case. In December, they killed fourteen people before being killed by the police later on. Although it may seem like a reasonable thing for Apple to do, they have their reasons to resist.

They are taking this stance because they believe if they comply with the judge’s order, they would have to, “build a backdoor to the iPhone” which would be “something we consider to dangerous too create.”

The letter reads, “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 cybercriminals.” This would leave millions of phones at risk of cybercriminals and hackers. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.”

The company’s letter called for a nationwide discussion on the FBI saying, “(We’re) Challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.”

The FBI gained permission to search the device but investigators have been unable to search it because of the user-generated numeric password.

Apple’s operating system has a feature where after ten failed attempts at opening the phone, it will auto-erase everything.

Eileen Decker, U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, said in a statement, “We have made a solemn commitment to the victims and their families that we will leave no stone unturned as we gather as much information and evidence as possible. These victims and families deserve nothing less. The application filed today in federal court is another step — a potentially important step — in the process of learning everything we possibly can about the attack in San Bernardino.”

The U.S. Justice department released their own statement saying, “It is unfortunate that Apple continues to refuse to assist the department in obtaining access to the phone of one of the terrorists involved in a major terror attack on U.S. soil.”

It also read, “The judge’s order and our request in this case do not require Apple to redesign its products, to disable encryption or to open content on the phone. In addition, the judge’s order and our request were narrowly tailored to this particular phone.”

This “backdoor” the FBI wants could pose a threat to United States citizens as it would be able to unlock any iPhone if in the wrong hands. However, Apple has confirmed that it does not exist and it seems like there will be any of the sort anytime soon.