At an Apple event on Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook, double-downed on Apple’s fight against the U.S. Department of Justice’s demands to unlock the iPhone of a terrorist.
“We did not expect to be in this position and at odds with our own government,” said Cook. “We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy.”
In the aftermath of the December 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack, which left 14 dead and 22 injured, the FBI has placed pressure on Apple to allow its agency backdoor access into the now-deceased terrorist’s iPhone.
Apple has steadfastly refused. At today’s event Cook reiterated Cupertino’s stance.
“We believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your privacy. We owe it to our customers and we owe it to the country,” said Cook during the event, in which he also announced several new products including a smaller iPhone.
Earlier this month in Austin, Texas, during his keynote address at South by Southwest (SXSW)– the annual music, film, and etch festival–President Obama made, arguably, an equally impassioned plea about why the Department of Justice needed this backdoor access into this particular phone.
“Fetishizing our phone above every other value . . . can’t be the right answer,” said President Obama on the necessity of unlocking that phone in the interest of national security.
The president said the challenge was balancing privacy with keeping Americans safe.
“I suspect the answer is going to come down to how do we create a system where the encryption is as strong as possible; the key is secure as possible and is accessible by the smallest number of people possible.”
Since the terrorist attack, Apple and the government have locked horns over the unlocking of the encrypted iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter.
Despite the government’s protestations, many other Silicon Valley companies including Facebook, Twitter, and Google, have backed Apple’s position on the matter.
“I’ve been humbled and deeply grateful for the outpouring of support that we received from Americans across the country from all walks of life,” said Cook, adding that Apple was resolute on this issue because, “We owe it to our customers and we owe it to our country. This is an issue that impacts all of us, and we will not shrink…”