A court order issued by a judge in California on Tuesday has demanded that Apple create an alternate version of the iOS software that would allow US law enforcement access to the Iphone. The order came after the FBI was unable to hack into the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, due to fear that they may end up permanently deleting all the phones data.
In an open letter released on the Apple website, CEO Tim Cook described the specific request of the court order and the potential implications that following through would create. He stated that the alternate version of the iOS, which the FBI requested, would allow an individual to guess an Iphone password an infinite amount of times without consequence, while connected to a computer. This would allow them to enter every possible password and break through the encryption with “brute force”.
Mr. Cook argued that, while the US government maintains they would only use the ‘backdoor’ for this particular case, there is no way to guarantee the technology created will be deleted afterwards, and that it will set a dangerous precedent for future cases. Apple’s stance has been endorsed by other tech companies like Google and Mozilla.
The CEO also maintained that the company has complied with government requests up to this point and that it believes the FBI’s intentions are good. However, Cook stressed that if this one case were allowed to go through it would create a precedent for the 1789 “All Writs Act” to potentially access all US citizens data on all phones, and potentially extend it to control Iphone functions.
In an article posted by Truth In Media, John McAfee; founder of the first commercial Anti-Virus software, said he would unlock the phone for free for the FBI. Effectively making the creation of a ‘backdoor’ unnecessary.