Apple's Cook: Complying with FBI demand 'bad for America'

2016-02-25 11:24
Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Jeff Chiu, AP)

Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Jeff Chiu, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

San Francisco- Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Wednesday that it would be "bad for America" if his company complied with the FBI's demand for help unlocking an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Cook said he's prepared to take the dispute to the US Supreme Court. He also said he would try to make his case directly to President Barack Obama, although he did not say when or where they would meet.

In his first interview since the controversy erupted last week, Cook told ABC News that it was a difficult decision to resist a court order directing Apple to override security features on an iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of two extremists who killed 14 people in the Southern California city in December.

"Some things are hard and some things are right, and some things are both. This is one of those things," Cook said. The interview came as both sides in the dispute are courting public support, through interviews and published statements, while also mustering legal arguments in the case.

Federal officials have said they're only asking for narrow assistance in bypassing some security features on the iPhone, which they believe may contain information related to the mass murders. Apple has argued that doing so would make other iPhones more susceptible to hacking by authorities or criminals in the future.

The Apple chief expressed sympathy for the shooting victims' families, and said his company provided engineers and technical advice to authorities investigating the case. But he said authorities are now asking the company "to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the equivalent of cancer."

The software could "expose people to incredible vulnerabilities," Cook added, arguing that smartphones contain private information about users and even their families.

"This would be bad for America," he said. "It would also set a precedent that I believe many people in America would be offended by."

Cook disputed FBI Director James Comey's argument that the court order applies to only one phone.

"If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write," Cook said. "Maybe it's an operating system for surveillance. Maybe it's the ability for law enforcement to turn on the camera. I mean I don't know where this stops."

A Department of Justice spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple is expected to file its legal response to the judge's order by Friday.

Read more on:    apple  |  tim cook  |  us  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.