New York Daily News

IStonewall­ed

Apple memo zaps FBI over unlock demand

- BY ALEJANDRO ALBA and NICOLE HENSLEY

TIM COOK is refusing to back down to the FBI.

Mere hours after FBI Director James Comey’s open letter demanding access to the San Bernardino shooter’s locked phone, Apple’s CEO sent an internal memo thanking employees for their support and explaining the company’s reasons for challengin­g the FBI’s court order.

The memo, first reported by Buzz-Feed News, said Apple won’t back down in its resistance because doing so would set a “dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties.”

Cook also wants the problem to be debated by a panel of experts.

“We feel the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and, as some in Congress have proposed, form a commission or other panel of experts on intelligen­ce, technology and civil liberties to discuss the implicatio­ns for law enforcemen­t, national security, privacy and personal freedoms,” Cook wrote.

Comey insisted Apple should comply with its demand to access a locked iPhone. Otherwise, he said, in- vestigator­s will fail survivors of last year’s deadly terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.

Apple says it doesn’t have the ability to unlock Syed Farook’s locked iPhone 5C, and coming up with a way to hack into it could open the door for others to do the same.

It's unclear if any evidence exists on Farook’s work phone left behind after the San Bernardino County food inspector orchestrat­ed an ISIS-inspired attack with his wife, Tasheen Malik, on Dec. 2.

The couple’s mass attack killed 14 people and wounded 22 others, some of whom are filing a legal brief supporting the FBI’s effort against Apple.

“We owe them a thorough and profession­al investigat­ion under law,” wrote Comey, defending the FBI’s request in an open letter posted to the Lawfare blog Sunday night.

 ??  ?? FBI Director James Comey pushed for probe “under law” in demanding Apple unlock iPhone used by San Bernardino killer.
FBI Director James Comey pushed for probe “under law” in demanding Apple unlock iPhone used by San Bernardino killer.

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