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Apple CEO: FBI wants us to write software 'cancer'

2016-02-25 07:54 by
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Apple chief executive Tim Cook publicly accused the US government of asking the company to engineer the "software equivalent of cancer" to help investigators unlock a terrorist's iPhone. According to Apple's CEO, this is not about one phone, rather handing the government the equivalent of a "master key" to unlock phones.

"This case is about the future. Can the government compel Apple to write software that we believe would make hundreds of millions of customers vulnerable around the world?"

The remarks seem to be a part of Apple's increasingly firm stance against Washington in a battle over consumer privacy. On February 16th a US Federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters by weakening some of the iPhone's security countermeasures. However, the tech giant refused to comply and is fighting the order. This has also prompted discussions on possible ways to make it technically impossible to address such requests in the future. It has also pushed Apple's CEO to vocally defend consumer privacy:

"We need to stand tall, and stand tall on principle. This Should not be happening in America."

"If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write -- maybe it's an operating system for surveillance, maybe the ability for the law enforcement to turn on the camera"

Public opinion seems to be split on the issue, and Apple's Tim Cook is in a difficult position, as the US government argues that the iPhone maker is getting in the way of a terrorism investigation. Tim Cook believes that making the discussion more public will help people not only learn about the issue, but also see Apple's side in defending consumer privacy and civil liberties.


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