The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion Friday to force Apple to follow a judge’s order to unlock the iPhone of one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, California, terror attacks late last year, CNBC reported Friday.
The device in question is encrypted, and the FBI has tried to get Apple to help access information on the phone. Apple CEO Tim Cook hasn’t given in to the order yet, and the tech giant was given three more days to respond to the judge. Some have feared cracking the device could lead down the road to the government having more access to people’s information through their phones.
— The Verge (@verge) February 19, 2016
Prosecutors have said the phone of Syed Farook, who with his wife Tashfeen Malik killed 14 of his coworkers in December, could contain information about the terror attacks that might be hidden crucial evidence in the case. The Justice Department said Apple has the means to assist the government in breaking the encrypted phone, ABC News reported.
Justice Department prosecutors wrote in the Friday filing that “rather than assist the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack by obeying this court’s [previous order], Apple has responded by publicly repudiating that order,” ABC News reported.
Cook has said the FBI’s demands go beyond this single case, and the software the FBI wants developed could lead to any phone being able to be unlocked, if the technology got in the wrong hands. He said what is being sought is a threat to cybersecurity.
“While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products,” Cook wrote in a letter to Apple customers. “And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”