By Katie Bo Williams - 02/18/16 11:41 AM EST
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck is siding with Apple in the legal fight over its security software.
“This is insanity,” Beck wrote in a Facebook post Thursday. “The government CANNOT bully private companies.
The FBI is trying to compel the tech giant to disable a critical security feature that would allow the agency to break into the iPhone 5c of one of the attackers in last year's mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. The company is opposing the court order.
In an open letter published Wednesday morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was “shocked and outraged” by the December attacks that killed 14, but that “the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”
“They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone,” Cook wrote.
Citing Apple’s security concerns — that if the company complies, it will “put ALL iphones at risk” — Beck cast Apple as “on the right side of history” in a fight against government overreach.
“I do not believe that the ‘bad guys’ will always only be out side of our government. [sic] Our founders had a healthy fear of abusive government. We need to have some of that,” Beck wrote.
“We have given up far more Liberty than we ever should have. Do you feel one bit safer today than in 2001? I don't,” he continued.
Some onlookers have been shocked that the government is trying to force a company to proactively create a software vulnerable to hackers.
Critics say it's not only a security risk but runs afoul of basic free-enterprise principles.
“We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack,” Cook said.
“If a private company would be required to capitulate to a government demand like this, we’re living in George Orwell’s 1984,” said Matthew Adams, a partner at Fox Rothschild who works on cases involving digital forensics.
Supporters of the government’s stance insist that the court order impacts only a single phone and is critical to national security.
The case has divided conservatives, with GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals Trump: Illegal immigrants treated better than veterans WATCH LIVE: Trump speaks at Rolling Thunder MORE supporting the government’s side immediately.
"Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it up," Trump said on "Fox and Friends" Wednesday morning.