Apple CEO Tim Cook has posted a public letter in response to a California judge's order to help the Justice Department unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters. Cook said that Apple would not comply with the order, stating that it was an "unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers."
The government is asking Apple to bypass the auto-erase function when the passcode is entered more than ten times, giving investigators the ability to submit an unlimited number of passcodes as they try to unlock an iPhone 5c that belonged to Syed Farook.
Cook said that while Apple is willing to assist the FBI in its inquiries by providing "data that's in our possession," it would not participate in creating a backdoor that circumvents the security capabilities of iOS:
Cook said that the FBI's use of the All Writs Act to demand the data sets a "dangerous precedent:"
Cook has been a long-term proponent of privacy and encryption, often stating that customer data should not be exploited for commercial gain. Speaking at last year's Champions of Freedom Awards Dinner, Cook said:
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