Tim Cook: The FBI wants us to write the software equivalent of cancer

The Apple chief made his case against helping the FBI in a TV interview

Tim Cook has said the U.S. government is requiring Apple to write "the software equivalent of cancer" by demanding that it help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

“What’s at stake here is, can the government compel Apple to write software that we believe would make hundreds of millions of customers vulnerable around the world -- including the U.S. -- and also trample civil liberties,” Cook said.

He made his remarks in a 30-minute interview that aired on ABC News Wednesday evening. The CEO was pressed repeatedly on why Apple shouldn't make an exception for a single iPhone that was used by a terrorist.

“This is not about one phone, this is about the future,” Cook said.

Besides compromising people's security, Cook said complying with the FBI would set Apple on a slippery slope that could lead to more invasive requests in future.

"Think about what else they could ask us to write. Maybe it’s an operating system for surveillance, maybe it’s the ability for law enforcement to turn on the camera," he said.

"I don’t know where this stops, but I do know this is not what should be happening in this country."

The FBI wants Apple to write software that would allow investigators to circumvent protections on the iPhone lock screen and access information stored on a phone used by one of the perpetrators of the December mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

A magistrate judge last week ordered Apple to comply with the request, but Apple has refused and is due to file an appeal by Friday.

Such decisions shouldn't be made in courtrooms on a case by case basis, Cook said, and urged Congress to pass laws after a public debate.

"At the end of the day, we have to follow the law like everybody else," he said, suggesting Apple will go along with what legislators decide.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags applefbi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?