UN human rights chief warns of implications of Apple-FBI row

GENEVA -- The UN human rights chief says U.S. authorities "risk unlocking a Pandora's Box" in their efforts to force Apple to create software to crack the security features on its phones, and is urging them to proceed with caution.

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Zeid Raad al-Hussein warned in a statement Friday about the potential for "extremely damaging implications" on human rights, journalists, whistle-blowers, political dissidents and others. He said the case is "potentially a gift to authoritarian regimes" and criminal hackers.

Through the courts, the FBI is trying to force Apple to help crack an encrypted iPhone used by a gunman behind a December shooting spree in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people.

Zeid said the case centres on where the "key red line" should be set to protect people "from criminals and repression."



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