Tim Cook Asks the DOJ to Withdraw iPhone Unlock Court Order

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In addition to suggesting that the U.S. government should form a commission to resolve the ongoing problems caused by use of encryption in iPhones, Apple CEO Tim Cook has also called on the Department of Justice to withdraw the court order that would force Apple to unlock the San Bernardino gunman’s iPhone, in a recent memo to all employees and a public Q&A (via BuzzFeed). Saying that Apple has already done everything within its power and the law to help in the case, Cook reiterated the company’s stance on the federal court order.

“We feel the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and, as some in Congress have proposed, form a commission or other panel of experts on intelligence, technology and civil liberties to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms.

“This case is about much more than a single phone or a single investigation. At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties.”

On the other hand, FBI Director James Comey wrote in a recent blog post, “We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land”, adding that crucial decisions about public safety and privacy shouldn’t be left to “corporations that sell stuff for a living”.

Without a doubt, Cook’s letter, the Q&A that accompanies it, and the speed with which Apple is working to rebut the government’s arguments, shows the tech giant’s unwavering position in a battle that it believes would set a dangerous precedent otherwise.