‘I’m Going To Go Lock The CEO Of Apple Up’: Florida Sheriff Says Tim Cook Is Not ‘Above The Law,’ Must Unlock iPhones For FBI

A Florida sheriff says that he is making it a personal goal to put the Apple CEO, Tim Cook, behind bars for refusing a court order to create a backdoor into the iPhones of the San Bernardino terrorists. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says that “the first time” he has trouble getting into a cell phone he is going to seek a court order from a judge against Apple and when Tim Cook defies the order he is going to put him in jail. Judd says that Cook thinks he is “above the law” for denying the order and says that he will “lock the rascal up” when he gets the chance.

The Daily Mail reports that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is making bold claims in response to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s defiance of a court order to create a backdoor into the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone. Judd says that not only will be lock up Tim Cook, he seems to just be waiting for a reason to file a court order against the technology company. During a press conference regarding the arrest of three brothers accused of murder, Judd detoured off course to decry Apple CEO Tim Cook for his inaction regarding the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist that FBI agents are demanding the company hack.

Judd says that Cook must comply with the order and that he isn’t “above the law.” The Florida sheriff says that the first time he has an issue getting into a cell phone he is going to get a court order for Apple to hack into the device and if they refuse he is going to arrest Cook for failure to comply with the order.

“I can tell you, the first time we do have trouble getting into a cell phone, we’re going to seek a court order from Apple. And when they deny us, I’m going to go lock the CEO of Apple up. I’ll lock the rascal up.”

The sheriff says that he would lock him up to prove that no one is above the law and that if a judge makes a ruling you must comply. Interestingly, the case Judd was discussing, the arrest of three brothers for murder, did not involve an iPhone and the sheriff’s department did not have difficulty getting into the phones. However, Judd said it was relevant because information used to charge the three brothers was found on a phone. Therefore, he says he will have no issue requesting Apple to unlock a phone for him in the future and would also have no problem arresting Tim Cook if he refused to comply.

Though Judd is making these bold claims, it is unclear if the sheriff knows exactly what Apple has been asked to do by the FBI and the implications that ruling would have on the privacy of millions. Apple notes that they did everything in their power to help hack into the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone. In fact, they say they have gone above and beyond in this case.

“When the FBI has requested data that’s in our possession, we have provided it. Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants, as we have in the San Bernardino case. We have also made Apple engineers available to advise the FBI, and we’ve offered our best ideas on a number of investigative options at their disposal.”

Now, Tim Cook explains that the FBI wants him to create a backdoor into the iPhone, something the company doesn’t currently have because it is “too dangerous.” He says that this would give the FBI (or anyone in possession of the backdoor) the ability to hack into any iPhone users data. While Judd is saying Apple isn’t “above the law” he seems to have neglected to note that the FBI and judge are using the All Writs Act of 1789 in a way it has never been used before to bypass Congress, meaning the legality of the case is still in question.

“Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.”

Meanwhile, Edward Snowden is claiming that the FBI doesn’t even need Apple’s help in hacking the iPhone but rather they are attempting to compel Apple to unlock the phone out of convenience.

“The FBI is attempting to compel Apple to help unlock the iPhone out of convenience, not necessity, because it would take a long time for the agency to develop the tools and expertise to crack the phone itself.”

Cybersecurity expert John McAfee says that instead of having Apple create a backdoor for the FBI to use, he would hack into the phone free of charge to keep the American public free from the potential privacy invasion.

“So here is my offer to the FBI. I will, free of charge, decrypt the information on the San Bernardino phone, with my team. We will primarily use social engineering, and it will take us three weeks. If you accept my offer, then you will not need to ask Apple to place a back door in its product, which will be the beginning of the end of America.”

Despite the offer from one of the most well-known names in cybersecurity, the FBI is still pursuing Apple which has resulted in the tech company filing an appeal in the case. Apple is currently in a heated battle with the FBI over the San Bernardino iPhone hack and will likely remain in the battle until the FBI hacks the phone on their own or the Supreme Court gets involved.

Do you think the Polk County Sheriff knows enough about federal statutes to comment on the case and to claim he would arrest Apple CEO Tim Cook for refusing to hack into any phone he deemed vital to a case? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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