The US Department of Justice made a bold statement yesterday against Apple, claiming it may compel the California-based company to hand over its iOS source code if it won’t do so voluntarily.
Apple continues to rebel against the government in its refusal to help unlock the iPhone 5C of one of the attackers who carried out a deadly Dec. 2 terrorist act in San Bernardino, Calif. Essentially, the FBI wants Apple to build a “backdoor” to the iPhone.
“Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook on the company’s website.
“In the wrong hands, this software – which does not exist today – would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”
Apple refuses to budge on the matter, and insists that providing help to the FBI would be a burden on the company, stating it would have to allocate a team of six to 10 Apple engineers to work on the task for at least a month.
According to a Boy Genius Report article, the DOJ submitted a 43-page document to the government in which it states Apple’s arguments are just diversions meant to drag out court proceedings.
It’s no secret the multi-billion dollar company wants nothing to do with the FBI as it believes cooperating with it would “set a legal precedent that would expand the powers of the government” when it comes to collecting information from personal devices.
In its report, the DOJ didn’t mince words, clearly stating if Apple doesn’t want to lend a helping hand, it may have to be forced.
“The government did not seek to compel Apple to turn (the source code) over because it believed such a request would be less palatable to Apple,” the report reads. “If Apple would prefer that course, however, that may provide an alternative that requires less labor by Apple programmers.”
Apple’s lawyer says the report is simply a smear campaign filled with “false accusations and innuendo,” according to the Boy Genius Report.
Just last week, more than 25 technology companies including Microsoft, Facebook and Google, sided with Apple in its ongoing fight against the federal bureau, while the families of the victims killed in the San Bernadino attack believe pulling information from the iPhone would aid the investigation against the suspects.