Tim Cook renews opposition to ‘cancerous’ FBI encryption assistance

By John Glenday | Reporter

February 25, 2016 | 2 min read

Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken to US national television to outline his stance against assisting the FBI in their efforts to decrypt an iPhone owned by a suspected terrorist behind the San Bernardino shootings in California, in which 14 people were killed.

Tim Cook, Apple

Speaking to ABC News Cook said that families of the bereaved had ‘our deepest sympathy’ but reiterated his opposition to assisting the FBI in their investigation, warning that it ‘could expose people to incredible vulnerabilities’.

Cook asserted that to comply with a recent court order to break security encryption on its iPhones would require it to write software that he likened to a ‘cancer’, saying: “The only way we know would be to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the software equivalent of cancer. We think it’s bad news to write. We would never write it. We have never written it.”

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The Apple CEO also criticised a reported blunder made by the FBI in resetting the account’s Apple ID password, which rendered accessing the phones last iCloud back-up impossible, saying that investigators had failed to seek assistance in advance and had given it very little notice of the court order.

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