It probably won’t come as any surprise that Apple is still vehemently opposed to assisting the FBI in decrypting the iPhone that belonged to one of the accused in the California shooting last year. After initially being ordered by a federal judge to assist law enforcement agencies with their enquiries, the Cupertino-based company has since opted against compliance on the grounds that what it is being asked to do could have serious ongoing repercussions for all iPhone owners. Now, in an effort to shed some clarity on the situation, Tim Cook’s company has published a FAQ that goes into additional detail as to why compliance is a very bad idea in this instance.
The FAQ, which leads with the title “Answers to your questions about Apple and security”, lists a number of questions that Apple presumably believes is important to answer and to get out into the public domain. It’s abundantly clear from the new page that Apple believes that assisting law enforcement agencies in the manner that has been requested in this instance would not only compromise the security of iOS, but would also introduce “a dangerous legal precedent” going forward that could essentially persuade the government to expand its surveillance tactics beyond this individual case.
One of the most important aspects of this public release of clarity is the fact that Apple is explicitly specifying why it feels the need to object to the government’s demand. Apple states that the government has requested the company to essentially create a new custom version of iOS firmware that could bypass all the security and encryption restrictions on any installed iPhone. Apple believes that this would not only be entirely detrimental to the strong security precautions that it has developed into iOS, but that it would also “intentionally weaken” its products, as well as potentially prove harmful to the millions of law abiding iOS users around the world.
You can take a look at the full Q&A that Apple has published below.
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