Apple Stock News
Last week, Apple rejected a court order asking them to assist U.S investigators to unlock the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook, the individual responsible for the death of 14 people during a December 2nd shooting at the San Bernardino Department of Public Health. Officials know that Farook used an iPhone 5c. The FBI claims that it wants to learn information about who Farook had contacted prior to the shooting, as well as any other details that could help them connect the shooter to other groups.
On Tuesday, February 16th, U.S Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym ordered Apple to give the FBI “reasonable technical assistance” that could help them recover information from the shooters phone, and giving them five business days to file court papers opposing the order.
On February 16th, Apple CEO, Tim Cook responded to the courts by posting a letter to customers on the Apple website. The letter claimed that the FBI was seeking to circumvent Apple security features in order to gain access to customer’s private data. Cook’s letter was a warning that the government could “demand that Apple builds surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.”
One government official told Bloomberg that they aren’t “pursuing a case to seek precedent that grants permanent access to encrypted smartphone information.” What the Justice Department wants is for Apple to create a customized software that will stop the data on the phone from being deleted if 10 incorrect passcodes are entered.
On Friday, February 19th, the Department of Justice has escalated the battle with Apple by asking a California judge to compel Apple to help the investigators to unlock the phone. Prosecutors filed a motion in court that alleged that Apple was refusing to cooperate for marketing purposes, and as a move to help improve the brand’s image. The Justice Department’s motion explains, “Rather than assist the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack…Apple has responded by publicly repudiating that order.”
There is now a hearing set for March 22nd, where Apple will have the opportunity to argue their case on why they do not have to obey the court order.
According to a poll of 1,000 adults conducted by SurveyMonkey, about 51% of people believe that Apple should assist the FBI while 41% agree with Apple.