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Here’s who’s supporting Apple against the FBI—and who’s not

The battle is shaping up.


William Turton


Posted on Feb 19, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 4:52 am CDT

Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., are taking sides in the legal battle for the future of privacy and security.

A U.S. magistrate judge this week issued a court order compelling Apple to create specialized software made to bypass security features on the iPhone 5c used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of two shooters in the deadly December 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California.

Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly rejected this order in a statement released late Tuesday evening. “Opposing this order is not something we take lightly,” Cook wrote. “We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.”

Apple, privacy advocates, and a growing list of technology companies and U.S. lawmakers fear the specialized software that Apple would be forced to create could be abused by law enforcement—and if it fell into the wrong hands, it could put the security of every iPhone user at risk.

Here is where prominent lawmakers, technology experts, and Internet companies currently stand on the issue:

Explicitly supports Apple:




Rep. Ted Leiu (D-Calif.)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

Edward Snowden

Steve Wozniak

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.)

Hasn’t taken a side:

Bernie Sanders

Hillary Clinton

Wants the issue to be resolved by Congress:

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)

Supports FBI and the court:

Donald Trump

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.)

Ted Cruz

Ben Carson

John Kasich

San Bernardino attack victims

We will update this list as more parties take a stand on the case—or refuse to do so.

Update 9:48am CT, Feb. 22: Added Ron Wyden.

Update 12:34pm CT, Feb. 22: Added Richard Burr and San Bernardino victims.

Update 11:00am CT, Feb. 25: Added Rep. Jim Himes.

Illustration via Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Feb 19, 2016, 11:27 am CST