Apple CEO Opposes Court Order to Help FBI Unlock Terrorist’s Phone

(Reuters) -
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook poses for a portrait during a event for students to learn to write computer code at the Apple store in the Manhattan borough of New York in this December 9, 2015, file photo. Apple is expected to report Q1 earnings January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/FILES GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD PACKAGE - SEARCH 'BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD JANUARY 25' FOR ALL IMAGES
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook. (Reuters/Carlo Allegri/FILES)

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook said his company opposed a demand from a U.S. judge to help the FBI break into an iPhone recovered from one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

Cook said that the demand threatened the security of Apple’s customers and had “implications far beyond the legal case at hand.”

Judge Sheri Pym of U.S. District Court in Los Angeles said on Tuesday that Apple must provide “reasonable technical assistance” to investigators seeking to unlock data on the iPhone that had been owned by Syed Rizwan Farook.

In a letter to Apple’s customers, Cook said the FBI had asked the company to build “a backdoor to the iPhone.”

“The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers – including tens of millions of American citizens – from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals,” he said.

“We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack.”