Exclusive: Apple CEO Tim Cook Says iPhone-Cracking Software ‘Equivalent of Cancer’ – ABC News

In an exclusive interview along with ABC News today, Apple CEO Tim Cook told “Globe News Tonight” anchor David Muir that just what the U.S. government was asking of the tech giant — to essentially develop software enabling the FBI to unlock an iPhone used by among the San Bernardino, California, shooters — amounted to the “software equivalent of cancer.”

“The just method to get hold of short article — a minimum of currently, the just method we already know — would certainly be to write a piece of software that we see as sort of the equivalent of cancer. We believe it’s poor news to write. We would certainly never ever write it. We have actually never ever written it — and that is just what is at stake here,” he said. “We believe that is a rather dangerous operating system.”

The interview will certainly additionally air on “Nightline” at 12:35 a.m. and Thursday on “Good Morning America.”

The FBI has actually called on Apple to advice crack in to the iPhone of Syed Farook, that along along with wife Tashfeen Malik killed 14 and injured 22 at a training session and holiday celebration in December. The FBI attempted to crack the pass code yet failed since Apple phone units have actually a function that automatically gets rid of the access essential and renders the phone “for good inaccessible” after 10 failed attempts.

Last week, at the request of the Justice Department, a federal judge told Apple to help law enforcement. However, the tech giant refused and vowed to fight the order, sparking a continuing fight in between federal authorities and Silicon Valley. Cook today called the issue “complex” yet said the creation of such software would certainly place hundreds of millions of customers at risk and “trample” civil liberties.

“If a court can easily ask us to write this piece of software, think of just what else they could ask us to write — maybe it’s an operating system for surveillance, maybe the ability for the law enforcement to transform on the camera,” Cook said. “I don’t already know where this stops. yet I do already know that this is not just what ought to be happening in this country.”

This week, FBI director James Comey urged Apple in an open letter to comply along with its investigation in to the massacre.

Comey wrote that the FBI wanted the opportunity to attempt to guess the pass code devoid of the phone self-destructing and devoid of it taking a decade to guess correctly. The FBI director said he understood the case highlights the severe tension in between privacy and security. And today, CIA Director John Brennan weighed in on the adverse of the FBI, saying that the agency has actually a “legitimate basis to attempt to understand” just what is on the San Bernardino shooter’s cellphone.

In a message to customers last week, Cook said that Apple had helped the FBI, yet would certainly not develop a so-called backdoor that would certainly have actually the potential to unlock any type of iPhone, not Simply the one that belonged to Farook. Apple decision was hailed by several of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai and WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum.

Cook told ABC News today that Apple had cooperated fully along with the FBI.

“We gave every little thing that we had,” he told Muir today. “We don’t already know that there’s any type of short article on the phone. We don’t already know whether there is or there isn’t. And the FBI doesn’t know. … just what we do already know is we passed every one of the short article that we have actually on the phone and to get hold of extra short article on it or a minimum of just what the FBI would certainly adore us to do now would certainly expose hundreds of millions of people to issues.”

Cook said that the issue was not Simply concerning privacy, yet additionally concerning the public’s safety.

“This case is not concerning one phone,” Cook said today. “This case is concerning the future. … If we knew a method to get hold of the short article on the phone — that we haven’t currently offered — if we knew a method to do this, that would certainly not expose hundreds of millions of others people to issues, we would certainly obviously do it. … Our task is to protect our customers.”

ABC News’ Alyssa Newcomb, Julia Jacobo, Kelly Stevenson, Mike Levine and Jim Hill contributed to this report.

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