President Trump Asks Apple To “Step Up To The Plate” And Unlock Shooter’s iPhone
United States President Donald Trump has had his say on the current situation regarding two iPhones that the FBI wants Apple to crack wide open. Apple has said it will do no such thing, and Trump isn’t happy with that.
Instead, he wants it to “step up to the plate” and “help our great country.”
This is all in relation to Florida shooter Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani and two iPhones that the FBI has been working with Apple on.
While Apple says it’s been helping as far as it can, the FBI, US Attorney General William Barr, and now Donald Trump all disagree. And he wants Apple to pay him back for “helping Apple all the time.”
Apple is still very much of the belief that it has done all it can and that it continues to work with law enforcement where possible. Trump’s tweet (which can be seen below) was in response to Apple’s statement in which it outlined its position and said, once again, that it will not build back doors into iOS.
We were devastated to learn of the tragic terrorist attack on members of the US armed services at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida on December 6th. We have the greatest respect for law enforcement and routinely work with police across the country on their investigations. When law enforcement requests our assistance, our teams work around the clock to provide them with the information we have.
We reject the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation. Our responses to their many requests since the attack have been timely, thorough and are ongoing.
Within hours of the FBI’s first request on December 6th, we produced a wide variety of information associated with the investigation. From December 7th through the 14th, we received six additional legal requests and in response provided information including iCloud backups, account information and transactional data for multiple accounts.
We responded to each request promptly, often within hours, sharing information with FBI offices in Jacksonville, Pensacola and New York. The queries resulted in many gigabytes of information that we turned over to investigators. In every instance, we responded with all of the information that we had.
The FBI only notified us on January 6th that they needed additional assistance — a month after the attack occurred. Only then did we learn about the existence of a second iPhone associated with the investigation and the FBI’s inability to access either iPhone. It was not until January 8th that we received a subpoena for information related to the second iPhone, which we responded to within hours. Early outreach is critical to accessing information and finding additional options.
We are continuing to work with the FBI, and our engineering teams recently had a call to provide additional technical assistance. Apple has great respect for the Bureau’s work, and we will work tirelessly to help them investigate this tragic attack on our nation.
We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys. Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations. We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.
This will obviously rumble on but we don’t see a world where Apple backs down here. It would destroy its claim of being privacy-focused and that just isn’t something Apple is likely to do.