Manhattan DA slams Apple
© Getty
New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. slammed Apple on Sunday for refusing to create backdoor software to allow the FBI to search a cellphone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters.
In a radio interview with John Catsimatidis, Vance said that the company is making an argument based on "a right to privacy that has never been [legally] recognized before."
"Nobody wants to have government snooping in their phone, everybody wants privacy," he said. "But when there is proof that someone committed a crime, and evidence of that crime is on the phone, I don't think people using common sense would say that judges shouldn't be able to get that information."
Vance added that it's irresponsible of Apple to produce a "warrant-proof device" that shields rapists and murderers from law enforcement.
"But when you're that big, when you control that many devices, when you know that criminals use the device, they have a responsibility to act as corporate citizens and help the government do its job."
Apple has argued that creating such a backdoor would make their devices vulnerable to "hackers and criminals" and not just searchable by law enforcement.
"The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.
"The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe."
Earlier this week, Vance said that his office currently has 175 seized iPhones that it cannot access despite warrants authorizing them to do so. He also lashed out at tech companies for not complying with court orders.
"This is the Wild West of technology," Vance said at a press conference. "Apple and Google are their own sheriffs. There are no rules."