A judge has ordered technology giant Apple to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of deceased San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook is fighting the order, saying the he will not unlock the terrorist’s phone for the FBI, and that they will not break into the encrypted device. Cook notes that the technology needed to break into their encrypted iPhone is not currently available and that the company does not plan to make such technology because it could potentially be used for nefarious purposes. Cook notes that if Apple is forced to break into the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone, it would have “implications far beyond the case at hand” and that if the “masterkey” needed to unlock the iPhone is created, it could place the millions of Apple users at risk of hacking by any government or individual that got their hands on the technology.
The Daily Mail reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook is resisting orders by federal Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym of California after she ordered the technology firm to help the FBI hack into the iPhone of known terrorist Syed Farook, who was responsible for the San Bernardino terrorist attack. The order came after the deadly attack in San Bernardino that left 15 people dead in December of 2015. The terrorists were determined as Tashfeen Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook. The pair escaped the scene of the attack, but later died in a gun battle with police. The iPhone that the judge has ordered Apple to hack was recovered from their vehicle in the aftermath of the attack.
According to USA Today, the Obama Administration and the FBI have requested Apple’s help in hacking into the iPhone as they have been unable to identify Farook’s passcode. The FBI is unable to run a series of passcode attempts due to Apple’s technology, which is designed to ensure the phone “self destructs” after too many passcode attempts. Therefore, if the agency attempts too many incorrect passcodes, the data inside the phone is destroyed. Therefore, they are requesting that Apple turn off this self-destruct feature to allow them the ability to try as many passcodes as necessary to get into the device. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook claims that the company will not help in the efforts to bypass these much-needed security features, as it would put millions of iPhone users at risk.
— shopall (@Shopall3) February 17, 2016
Cook notes that the ruling has “implications far beyond the case at hand,” and that no company should be forced to hack into their own technology. The Apple CEO notes that they currently do not have the technology to do what the FBI is requesting, and that creating such technology would mean that millions of Apple users are at risk, should the tech get into the “wrong hands.” Therefore, Cook is informing customers that he is going to do all in his power to fight the court order. In a statement posted to the Apple website, Cook notes that “this moment calls for public discussion” and that he is not going to comply with this government order out of concerns for his customers’ safety and privacy.
“The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand. This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.”
In fact, Cook claims that they have went above and beyond in a bid to help the FBI in this case. They claim that any information that they have available they provide, they have complied with all requests to date. However, Cook says that the FBI is now asking them to provide something they simply don’t have and that the company feels is “too dangerous to create.”
Court order: Apple must assist in enabling Feds to unlock iPhone used by Syed Farook pic.twitter.com/yBDsGn4pC6
— Andrew Blankstein (@anblanx) February 17, 2016
“We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.”
What do you think about the court order that is requiring Apple to create a piece of technology that is currently not in existence and that could potentially put millions of cellphones at risk of security breach?
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