Tim Cook Opposed The Court Order Demanding Apple to Bypass iPhone's Security
Apple CEO Tim Cook affirmed that the tech company would not provide assistance to break into an iPhone owned by one of the shooter in the San Bernardino incident. The statement was a response to California's court order that demanded Apple to help the law enforcements unlock the terrorist's device, an iPhone 5C belonged to Syed Farook who carried out a mass shooting with his wife last December.
Apple was asked to make a new version of the iPhone operating system that undermine certain security features. Specifically, Apple was demanded to modify the operating system so that passcodes can be input electronically, making it easier to unlock iPhone by force, trying infinite passcode combinations with the speed of a modern computer. According to TechCrunch, the assistance demanded from Apple also include bypassing an auto-erase feature, which will erase all data on a device if the passcode is entered incorrectly 10 times.
Tim Cook argued that Apple would threaten customers' security if the company create a backdoor for the iPhone's built-in encryption as demanded by the court. "The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand," Cook said in the statement, less than 24 hours after the court issued the order.
According to VentureBeat, Cook also noted that by issuing the court order, the government is asking Apple to hack their own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect customers. "We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack," Cook wrote. "Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data," he added.
TheVerge noted that creating a backdoor for the iPhone's built-in encryption is something the company has refused to do for so many years. "The U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create," Cook emphasized. He also warned that in the wrong hands, this software would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession.
The official statement by Apple CEO Tim Cook clearly asserted the company's outlook in the court order demanding them to break into an iPhone, no matter whose possession that was. Apple expressed mourn regarding the incident, but firmly believe that helping law enforcements creating a backdoor to bypass the device's security would pose a greater danger.