CUPERTINO, Calif., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Apple engineers are working on an iPhone that is hack-proof to anyone, including the U.S. government or even Apple itself.
Sources close to the tech giant said Apple has been hard at work on such a phone since before the San Bernardino, Calif., terror attack on Dec. 2. Apple executives announced the move in a conference call to reporters last week.
Apple's intent is to make the phone's security so superior even Apple engineers couldn't crack it. It would also seemingly remove the possibility of battles like the one the company is fighting with the FBI over unlocking San Bernardino attacker Syed Farook's iPhone.
The FBI recently filed a court order forcing Apple to build a back door to unlock iPhones' security measures. Apple is resisting and has said it's the latest in at least a dozen attempts by the FBI to force the company to go around its phones' security. The company's lawyers have until Friday to file their opposition in court.
Specifically, the company is working to close the one remaining loophole in its security: Current iPhones allow for a software update that can be done without the user entering a password. It was designed to make it easier to fix malfunctioning phones.
CEO Tim Cook backed up the company's latest goal in a recent letter to customers "We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business."
Forcing Apple engineers to come up with ways to help the government break into their products is a precedent Apple does not want to be part of.
"The U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have and something we consider too dangerous to create," Cook said.
Cook and other tech experts want Congress to ultimately provide the solution and prevent any further escalation in the issue.
But even without the threat of court orders, Apple also risks ruining the customer experience with an impenetrable security system that bogs down operation. If people lose their photos and information because they can't remember a password, they might not be buying Apple products.
In an interview with ABC, Cook continued to make this about privacy.
"If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write -- maybe it's an operating system for surveillance, maybe the ability for the law enforcement to turn on the camera," Cook said. "I don't know where this stops. But I do know that this is not what should be happening in this country."