Monday 5 December 2016

Apple to resist order to unlock San Bernardino gunman's phone

Published 17/02/2016 | 10:15

Tashfeen Malik and her husband Syed Farook died in a fierce gun battle with authorities hours after their deadly attack in San Bernardino (FBI/California Department of Motor Vehicles/AP)
Tashfeen Malik and her husband Syed Farook died in a fierce gun battle with authorities hours after their deadly attack in San Bernardino (FBI/California Department of Motor Vehicles/AP)
San Bernardino Avenue, the scene of the mass shooting
The remains of a SUV involved in the attack is shown in San Bernardino, California December 3, 2015

Apple chief Tim Cook says his company will resist a federal magistrate's order to hack its own users in connection with the investigation into the San Bernardino shootings.

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In a statement posted on the company's website, Mr Cook said such a move would undermine encryption by creating a back door that could potentially be used on other devices.

San Bernardino Avenue, the scene of the mass shooting
San Bernardino Avenue, the scene of the mass shooting

His letter was a direct response to an order from US Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym for Apple to help the Obama administration break into an encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the shooters in the December attack.

The first-of-its-kind ruling was a significant victory for the Justice Department in a technology policy debate that pits digital privacy against national security interests.

The remains of a SUV involved in the attack is shown in San Bernardino, California December 3, 2015
The remains of a SUV involved in the attack is shown in San Bernardino, California December 3, 2015

Fourteen people were killed on December 2 when a married couple opened fire on the husband's colleagues at an office lunch gathering in San Bernardino, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

American-born Syed Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, from Pakistan, pledged allegiance to a leader of the Islamic State group on Facebook moments before the shooting. Both were later killed in a gun battle with police.

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