Apple CEO Tim Cook is affirming his stiff stance against the FBI, drawing a line in the sand over the government’s call for a way around security software.
In an interview with ABC’s “World News Tonight” set to air later on Wednesday, Cook was resolute in his opposition to creating new software to bypass security on an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists.
“The tradeoff here is we know that doing this could expose people to incredible vulnerabilities,” Cook said. “This would be bad for Americans. It would also set a precedent that I believe many people in America would be offended by.
“So when you compare those, which are knowns, compared to something that might be there, I believe we are making the right choice.”
“Some things are hard,” Cook added. “And some things are right. And some things are both.
“This is one of those things.”
Apple has mounted a firm defense against a federal court’s demand that it create new software to shut off security features preventing FBI officials from accessing the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. Current security measures on the phone would cause it to essentially self-destruct after 10 failed passcode attempts, preventing FBI agents from quickly typing an infinite number of combinations to stumble on the correct one.
In facing off against the FBI, the tech giant has laid the groundwork for a bitter battle between one of the world’s most profitable companies and the U.S. government.
Apple is set to file a formal opposition to the court’s order later this week, insisting that the government’s demand amounts to an “undue burden.”
A company lawyer told the Associated Press that its motion will insist that Congress — not a federal court — is best positioned to define the scope of the law allowing judges to compel action from private companies, the more than 200-year-old All Writs Act.