Apple is facing increasing pressure from the government to help it hack into the iPhone obtained from one of the San Bernardino terrorists. The company’s CEO, Tim Cook, who took a strong stand against it, has found support from Google CEO Sundar Pichai and WhatsApp founder and Facebook board member Jan Koum.
A bad precedent to set
Pichai took to Twitter to express his support for Apple and made a series of tweets saying that users’ privacy will be compromised if companies are forced to enable hacking. In subsequent tweets, Pichai said Google, which is the core unit of Alphabet, gives “law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders but requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data could be a troubling precedent.”
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On Tuesday, Apple was ordered by a federal judge to provide reasonable technical assistance to the FBI to unlock the iPhone that belonged to one of the killers involved in the San Bernardino shooting incident. Cook does not think it a good idea and believes if the company creates an iPhone backdoor, it would give rise to more government demands, and create an opportunity for hackers and criminals.
In a Facebook post, Koum expressed his support towards Cook’s stance on privacy, saying, “I have always admired Tim Cook for his stance on privacy and Apple’s efforts to protect user data and couldn’t agree more with everything said in their Customer Letter today.”
Koum added that it is a dangerous precedent that should not be set. The ruling has put their “freedom and liberty at stake,” he said.
Trump wants Apple to comply
Another person standing firm against the ruling is Edward Snowden, the ex-NSA contractor who made the revelation about widespread government surveillance programs. Snowden took to Twitter and said, “The @FBI is creating a world where citizens rely on #Apple to defend their rights, rather than the other way around.”
Despite the support, there was one person who wants Apple to comply with the court orders.
Donald Trump, speaking on Fox and Friends on Wednesday, said, “I agree 100% with the courts. In that case, we should open it up. I think security over all — we have to open it up, and we have to use our heads. We have to use common sense.”