Apple opposes order to hack iPhone

Staff Writer

Apple is opposing a judge's order to help the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters, calling the directive "an overreach by the U.S. government." A public letter, signed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and published Tuesday, warns that complying with the order would entail building "a backdoor to the iPhone" -- "something we consider too dangerous to create." "The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers -- including tens of millions of American citizens -- from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals," the letter said. Such a move would be an "unprecedented step," threatening the security of Apple's customers, it said. "No reasonable person would find that acceptable." The letter called for a public discussion on the order, saying the company was "challenging the FBI's demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country." "We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications," the letter said. The standoff is the latest flashpoint in an intensifying debate between law enforcement and the tech industry over encryption. A judge in California ordered Apple on Tuesday to help the FBI break into the phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people in the December shooting. The couple, radical Islamists who supported ISIS, later died in a shootout with police.