Apple Gets 3 Extra Days Before It Has To Reply To FBI’s iPhone-Cracking Order
Earlier this week, a federal judge had ordered Apple to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by unlocking a certain iPhone device linked to the terrorist attacked that happened in December of last year in the city of San Bernardino in the state of California. The court order originally had Apple reply to the order in five days, which means that the deadline for the response would be Tuesday of next week. But as reported by Bloomberg News, the deadline has since been postponed to Friday, February 26th of this year, basically giving the iPhone maker an additional three days to answer.
However, the Justice Department has recently filed a motion that would seek to have the court issue another new order that would have Apple comply with the original deadline, for the purpose of expediting the process of federal agents searching for that certain iPhone device.
Regarding the recent turn of events, Tim Cook, the chief executive officer of Apple, has openly expressed that the company has no intention of complying with the court order. Cook explained that Apple simply does not have a backdoor to the iPhone devices it produces, and creating such a backdoor would be considered a very dangerous course of action.
Many observe that the real issue here is not Apple’s defiance against the government. What is really at stake here is how we can ensure national security at the same time respect the privacy of individuals. Last year’s San Bernardino terrorist attack left more than a dozen people killed and 22 injured. A certain iPhone 5c unit was used by one of the perpetrators, and the FBI wants Apple to create a new version of its iOS mobile operating system that would bypass that device’s security measures. Cook argued that such a course of action would potentially put every iPhone in harm’s way, becoming vulnerable to hackers everywhere.
In its latest filing, the Justice Department argues that the real reason Apple is defying the court order is because it does not want to ruin its current business model and its public brand marketing strategy. Moreover, the Justice Department believes creating a backdoor for iPhone devices is technically feasible, Apple just does not want to do it.
The court order has generated mixed reactions from various parties. Leaders of other global brands such as Google and Twitter and advocacy groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have expressed their support for Apple. Meanwhile, political figures such as Donald Trump are urging the iPhone maker to cooperate, even calling for a boycott of Apple until it decides to unlock the said iPhone, as reported by Reuters.