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Trump slams Apple resistance to creating iPhone back door

By
Ann Marie Awad
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed Apple's refusal to comply a federal court order demanding that the tech company break encryption on the iPhone used by the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino attack two months ago. Photo by Ryan McBride/UPI
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed Apple's refusal to comply a federal court order demanding that the tech company break encryption on the iPhone used by the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino attack two months ago. Photo by Ryan McBride/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Donald Trump weighed in on Apple's refusal to build the FBI a backdoor into the iPhone following the San Bernardino terrorist attack, saying "who do they think they are?"

The investigation into the terrorist attack, which occurred two months ago, has come to a standstill as a result of Apple's refusal to comply. Apple CEO Tim Cook released a statement on Tuesday saying the company has "no sympathy for terrorists," and that it has fully cooperated with the FBI up until this point.

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However, when it comes to building a means for federal investigators to access the iPhone: "In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession."

The statement comes shortly after Cook refused to comply with a federal court order to break encryption codes on a phone owned by Syed Rizwan Farook, who, along with his wife Tashfeen Malik, perpetrated the attack.

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"While we believe the FBI's intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products," Cook's statement concluded. "And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect."

In a Wednesday morning interview with Fox News, Trump slammed Apple's decision.

"Apple, this is one case, this is a case that certainly we should be able to get into the phone," he said. "And we should find out what happened, why it happened, and maybe there's other people involved and we have to do that."

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He continued: "To think that Apple won't allow us to get into [Malik's] cell phone. Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it up."

Two years ago, Apple and Google announced they had bolstered encryption on their operating systems, meaning they could no longer unlock their own devices to access customer data. The New York Times reported Apple is likely to appeal the court order. The issue could eventually reach the Supreme Court.

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