Apple CEO Tim Cook appears to have no intention of backing down in the company's dispute with the FBI. Cook addressed the debate before the question-and-answer session at a shareholder meeting Friday, according to CNET.

"We've been in the news a bit about that," he said to laughter. "We do this because these are the right things to do." Cook said the debate between Apple and the FBI is a test of principles. "We are a staunch advocacy of privacy," he said. "Being hard doesn't scare us."

This month, Apple was asked by the FBI for help accessing data stored on a cell phone belonging to one of the shooters involved in the Dec. 5, 2015, terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, which left 14 people dead and 22 seriously injured. Syed Farook’s iPhone 5C was provided by his county employer, but the county had neglected to install special software that could have helped officials get around the password. The FBI is now facing resistance from Apple, which says the agency’s request that the company undermine its own encryption features sets a dangerous precedent.

Cook also hosted the Rev. Jesse Jackson at the board meeting. Jackson said the company is making progress on diversity, while describing Cook as a “man of integrity” in his moves to increase diversity and in his stance against the FBI.


Cook also revealed that Apple had made 19 company acquisitions over the past year. Apple is widely rumored to be planning a press event March 15 where the nature of such acquisitions may become more apparent.