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Apple answers some questions about their customer letter

Apple released a follow-up response to CEO Tim Cook’s open letter to customers this week. This release seeks to clarify Apple’s intentions behind their rationale for object the U.S. government’s request (via the FBI) to unlock the phone used by one of the shooters in San Bernadino last December.

Specifically, the government is asking Apple to:

“The government asked a court to order Apple to create a unique version of iOS that would bypass security protections on the iPhone Lock screen. It would also add a completely new capability so that passcode tries could be entered electronically.”

Apple objected to the order due to what it calls “two important and dangerous implications.”

“First, the government would have us write an entirely new operating system for their use. They are asking Apple to remove security features and add a new ability to the operating system to attack iPhone encryption, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.”

“Second, the order would set a legal precedent that would expand the powers of the government and we simply don’t know where that would lead us. Should the government be allowed to order us to create other capabilities for surveillance purposes, such as recording conversations or location tracking? This would set a very dangerous precedent.”

For more information and for a list of the other questions addressed in the press release, check out this link from Apple.