Apple is continuing to stand strong in opposition to the FBI’s demands that they build a “backdoor” into the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. Last Tuesday, a judge ordered that Apple essentially build a new version of iOS that lacks key security features to enable the FBI to gain physical access to Farook’s phone.
The FBI’s demands, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, “has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” and the case could possibly set a dangerous precedent that would “undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.” Several luminaries in the tech industry, as well as Apple users and digital rights groups have come out in support of Apple and the company’s dedication to their users’ privacy.
Just this morning, Tim Cook sent a memo to Apple’s employees reaffirming the company’s stance against the FBI, as well as thanking the employees and customers for their support. The memo, which was obtained and made public by Buzzfeed, then goes on to explain their reasons for standing in opposition to the court order, and finally calling for the government to withdraw their demands and form a commission to discuss the issue and come to a better solution.
“Apple is a uniquely American company. It does not feel right to be on the opposite side of the government in a case centering on the freedoms and liberties that government is meant to protect.
Our country has always been strongest when we come together. We feel the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and, as some in Congress have proposed, form a commission or other panel of experts on intelligence, technology and civil liberties to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms. Apple would gladly participate in such an effort.”
After the memo was sent out, Apple posted a public FAQ of sorts on their website, titled “Answers to your questions about Apple and Security.” The FAQ outlines exactly what the FBI is requesting of Apple, and why the company is objecting to the court order, even going into detail as to the lengths that Apple has gone to so far in cooperation with the FBI. The FAQ ends with the same sentiment as the memo to Apple’s employees, urging the government to withdraw its demands and join a discussion to seek out a possible solution that works for all sides.
If the Justice Department does not withdraw their demands, Apple has until Friday to to file a formal protest of the ruling in court.