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

SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple CEO Tim Cook said 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.

See Full Article

Cook said he's prepared to take the dispute to the U.S. 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.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Driverless hover-taxi makes first 'concept' flight in Dubai

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Dubai has edged closer to its goal of launching a pioneering hover-taxi service, with the authorities announcing a successful "concept" flight was made on Monday without passengers. Safety features for the two-seater air taxi include emergency parachutes and nine independent battery systems, according to Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA). Source
  • 'Fatberg' found in Baltimore sewer system after overflow

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BALTIMORE -- A massive "fatberg" made up of congealed fat, wet wipes and other waste has been named as the culprit in a sewer overflow in Baltimore. The overflow discharged about 1.2 million gallons of sewage into the Jones Fall stream last week. Source
  • Multiple challenges remain to Fukushima nuclear cleanup

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TOKYO -- Japan's government approved a revised road map Tuesday to clean up the radioactive mess left at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after it was damaged beyond repair by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Source
  • 'Critter shelf' project aims to help wildlife cross NY roads

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BOONVILLE, N.Y. -- The New York state Department of Transportation and The Nature Conservancy are testing a new "critter shelf" installed in a highway culvert to help wildlife cross safely. The structure was installed this summer inside a 138-foot-long, 14-foot-tall culvert south of Boonville, in central New York. Source
  • Japan's Fukushima cleanup plan delays removal of fuel rods

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TOKYO -- Japan's government on Tuesday approved a revision of its 30-to-40-year plan to decommission the Fukushima nuclear plant, delaying by three more years the removal of radioactive fuel rods stored at two of the three reactors damaged in the 2011 disaster. Source
  • WhatsApp service disrupted in China as censorship tightens

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BEIJING -- The encrypted messaging service WhatsApp suffered intermittent disruptions in China on Tuesday as communist authorities tightened censorship ahead of a major ruling party meeting. Attempts to set up new WhatsApp accounts on some cellphones were met with network error messages. Source
  • Russia threatens to block Facebook next year

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Russia's communications watchdog has threatened to block the access to Facebook next year if the company does not store its data locally. Alexander Zharov, chief of the Federal Communications Agency, told Russian news agencies on Tuesday that they will work to "make Facebook comply with the law" on personal data, which obliges foreign companies to store it in Russia. Source
  • Russia threatens to block Facebook over data storage

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MOSCOW -- In its latest attempt to wrest control of the Internet, Russia's communications agency on Tuesday threatened to block access to Facebook if the company refuses to store its data locally. Alexander Zharov, chief of the Federal Communications Agency, told Russian news agencies on Tuesday that they will work to "make Facebook comply with the law" on personal data, which obliges foreign companies to store it in Russia. Source
  • Twitter explains why Trump North Korea tweet wasn't removed

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Twitter is citing "newsworthiness" and the public interest as reasons why it didn't remove U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration in a tweet that North Korean leaders may not "be around much longer." Trump tweeted Saturday: "Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. Source
  • Uber to announce it's leaving Quebec due to stricter government rules

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Just days after the company warned it may leave the province, Radio-Canada has confirmed Uber will cease operations in Quebec. Last week, an Uber statement said "new and challenging" provincial regulations "significantly threaten" the company's ability to continue operating. Source