PrivacySource: Rene Ritchie/iMore

What you need to know

  • Reports suggest Apple is privately preparing for a legal fight with the Justice Department over encryption.
  • The New York Times says that Tim cook has marshaled a handful of top advisers.
  • Apple execs are reportedly surprised at how quickly the case has escalated.

A New York Times report claims that Apple is privately preparing for a legal battle with the Justice department over iPhone encryption.

According to the report:

Apple is privately preparing for a legal fight with the Justice Department to defend encryption on its iPhones while publicly trying to defuse the dispute, as the technology giant navigates an increasingly tricky line between its customers and the Trump administration.

Timothy D. Cook, Apple's chief executive, has marshaled a handful of top advisers, while Attorney General William P. Barr has taken aim at the company and asked it to help penetrate two phones used by a gunman in a deadly shooting last month at a naval air station in Pensacola, Fla.

The report further states that executives at Apple "have been surprised by the case's quick escalation", that's according to people familiar with the company who were not authorized to speak publicly. The New York Times also reports that there is "frustration and skepticism" within Apple:

And there is frustration and skepticism among some on the Apple team working on the issue that the Justice Department hasn't spent enough time trying to get into the iPhones with third-party tools, said one person with knowledge of the matter.

In the last 24 hours, President Trump has called on Apple to "step up to the plate" and unlock criminal's iPhones, however, reports are also circulating that the FBI shouldn't need Apple's assistance to unlock the two phones belonging to the Pensacola shooter after it emerged that the iPhones in question are older models vulnerable to third-party exploits.