From the section Technology
Apple boss Tim Cook has hit back at the FBI
over the handling of a court order to help
unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino killer
Syed Rizwan Farook.
Mr Cook told ABC his company first learned of
the controversial request when it was reported
in the news media.
“I don’t think that’s the way the railroad
should be run,” he said.
“I don’t think that something so important to
this country should be handled in this way.”
However, a source close to the investigation
told the BBC Mr Cook’s claim was “simply not
true”, and that Apple’s legal team was “the
first to know”.
A spokeswoman for the FBI said she did not
wish to comment on Mr Cook’s remarks.
Elsewhere, the New York Times reported that
Apple had begun working on an upgrade to its
devices which would make it impossible to
break into an iPhone using the method
proposed by the FBI in this case.
Mr Cook was defending the company’s refusal
to comply with the FBI’s order that it remove
security blocks on Farook’s device so data on
it could be accessed.
He said the FBI was asking the company to
make “the software equivalent of cancer”.
Farook, along with his wife Tashfeen Malik,
killed 14 people in the attack in December last
“I think safety of the public is incredibly
important,” Mr Cook told ABC.
“The protection of people’s data is incredibly
important. And so the trade-off here is we
know that doing this could expose people to
When asked if he was concerned Apple may
hinder investigations that could prevent a
future attack, Mr Cook said: “Some things are
hard and some things are right. And some
things are both. This is one of those things.”
The FBI has argued that Apple is overstating
the security risk to its devices. FBI Director
James Comey said Apple had the technical
know-how to break into Farook’s device only in
a way that did not create a so-called
“backdoor” into every Apple device.
Conflicting polls suggest the American public is
divided. One poll, by the Pew Research Center,
suggested the majority of those polled sided
with the FBI – although the researchers noted
support for Apple grew among people who
owned smart phones.
A Reuters poll, conducted by Ipsos, said 55%
of respondents worried that the FBI would
seek to use the backdoor to “spy on iPhone