Apple CEO Tim Cook says he'll fight a court order demanding the company must help the FBI break into the San Bernardino mass shooter's phone.
Syed Farook used an iPhone issued by his employer, the San Bernardino County health department. However, federal investigators don't have the passcode. If they try to guess the code, they'll likely hit the maximum tries allowed before the phone automatically erases all its data.
The judge ordered Apple to create software allowing an infinite number of passcodes to be tried on Farook's phone without it erasing.
Tim Cook calls that software the equivalent of a master key that would threaten the security of every iPhone user.
What are the feds hoping to find on Farook's work phone? Once an iPhone turns into a "brick," can the erased information be recovered forensically? Does this precedent make it easier for the government to argue for the software in future cases? And if Apple succeeds in fighting this judge's decision, what's to keep prospective terrorists from using iPhones for all activities, knowing investigators can't get in?
Julian Sanchez, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and studies issues at the busy intersection of technology, privacy, and civil liberties, with a particular focus on national security and intelligence surveillance
Cedric Leighton, founder and president of Cedric Leighton Associates, a risk and leadership management consultancy. He is also a retired colonel in the US Air Force and the former Director for Training of the National Security Agency