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Donald Trump bashes Apple for refusing to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

'Who do they think they are?'


William Turton


Posted on Feb 17, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 5:07 am CDT

Donald Trump is taking on the most valuable company in the world.

In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday morning, the Republican presidential frontrunner bashed Apple CEO Tim Cook‘s public refusal to abide by a judge’s order requiring the company to assist law enforcement in bypassing security features of the iPhone owned by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

“I agree 100 percent with the courts,” Trump said. “In that case, we should open it up. I think, security overall. We have to to open it up, and we have to use our heads.”

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Apple and privacy advocates fear that if Apple complied with this order to create specialized software to break the iPhone’s security could very easily be abused—and, if it fell into the wrong hands, would put the security of every iPhone user at risk.

In a statement released Tuesday night, Cook argued that the court order is “overreach by the U.S. government.”

“They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone,” Cook wrote. “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. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”

Trump disagrees.

“To think that Apple won’t allow us to get into her cellphone,” Trump said. “Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it up.”

When a Fox News host raised the concern over hackers potentially getting access to the specialized software Apple may be compelled to create, Trump brushed it off as inconsequential. 

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

Photo via Michael Vadon/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 17, 2016, 2:22 pm CST