After December's terrorist attack in San Bernardino, law enforcement officers have been struggling to access the encrypted data on the iPhone of one of the shooters. In hopes of moving the investigation further along, the Justice Department issued a court order for Apple to disable the feature that wipes data from the phone after 10 incorrect entries of the password. But, Apple CEO Tim Cook has responded with a strongly worded letter that essentially says, "No."
According to authorities, the order was issued so that critical evidence for the case would not be destroyed by the phone's own security features. The shooters involved in the December 2nd attacks are believed to be tied to ISIS, and data from their phones could potentially link them directly to known terrorists. It could also help authorities to confirm key details regarding the shooters' whereabouts on the day of the shooting, and better understand the event's timeline.
Although Cook understands the intentions behind the request, his primary concern is to protect the rights of all Apple customers. And, he feels that what the government is now asking falls outside of that scope.
"We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good," Cook said. "Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone."