Apple Refuses to Comply With FBI Request to Unlock iPhone of San Bernardino Killer

CEO Tim Cook says a back door would be “too dangerous to create.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook. Image via Flickr user Mike Deerkoski.

Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a message to the company’s site this morning, publicly refusing an FBI order to unlock the phone of Syed Rizwan Farook, who took the lives of 14 people last December in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. The FBI has been unable to gain access to Farook’s iPhone without the passcode and asked Apple to create an iPhone operating system that would override the security features of the current one (there is, for example, a privacy option that wipes all data from the phone after 10 failed passcode attempts).

In his letter to customers, Cook said that a “backdoor” like that would be “too dangerous to create.”

“In the wrong hands, this software—which does not exist today—would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession,” he wrote on Wednesday. “Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.“

Apple is lodging this protest of the FBI’s order on the basis that it would be a violation of its customers’ privacy, and that it would set a dangerous precedent, allowing the government to use the same software in any number of cases, not just Farook’s.

This isn’t the first time that Apple has gone head-to-head with the FBI. When it first introduced iOS 8 in 2014, Apple “threw away” the master key that would allow them to unlock any iPhone and implemented the “wipe” feature.

Apple isn’t necessarily opposed to sharing data with government intelligence agencies. They can pretty much hand over anything a customer has stored on their iCloud to the government, given a warrant. And, anyway, surveillance agencies still have access to your metadata through your cellphone carrier. FBI director James Comey threw a tantrum about the software update, saying it allowed people “to place themselves beyond the law.”

via Jason S Campbell / Twitter

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager defended his use of the word "ki*e," on his show Thursday by insisting that people should be able to use the word ni**er as well.

It all started when a caller asked why he felt comfortable using the term "ki*e" while discussing bigotry while using the term "N-word" when referring to a slur against African-Americans.

Prager used the discussion to make the point that people are allowed to use anti-Jewish slurs but cannot use the N-word because "the Left" controls American culture.

Keep Reading

Step by step. 8 million steps actually. That is how recent college graduate and 22-year-old Sam Bencheghib approached his historic run across the United States. That is also how he believes we can all individually and together make a big impact on ridding the world of plastic waste.

Keep Reading
The Planet

According to the FBI, the number of sexual assaults reported during commercial flights have increased "at an alarming rate." There was a 66% increase in sexual assault on airplanes between 2014 and 2017. During that period, the number of opened FBI investigations into sexual assault on airplanes jumped from 38 to 63. And flight attendants have it worse. A survey conducted by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA found that 70% of flight attendants had been sexually harassed while on the job, while only 7% reported it.

Keep Reading