President Donald Trump just called on one of the largest companies in the world to step up and do the right thing.
On Tuesday night, Trump ordered Apple to do a better job of helping authorities access information locked on iPhones used by the perpetrators of a recent shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, according to Fox Business.
We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements. They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2020
For years now, there has been a battle going on between the tech industry and our government when it comes to handing over information pertinent to criminal investigations. For its part, Apple has created one of the best encryption networks on the planet, making it virtually impossible for law enforcement to obtain information from their products.
When cell phones related to the parties involved in the December Naval Air Station shooting were seized, the government asked for Apple’s help to access the data they contained.
Attorney General William Barr has since declared the attack an “act of terrorism,” basically giving law enforcement carte blanche to use any method necessary to obtain the information it seeks from these devices.
However, Barr has been frustrated by Apple in terms of its cooperation. “We have asked Apple for their help in unlocking the shooter’s phones. So far, Apple has not given any substantive assistance,” the attorney general stated.
He went on: “This situation perfectly illustrates why it is critical that the public be able to get access to digital evidence once it has obtained a court order based on probable cause. We call on Apple on other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of American people and prevent future attacks.”
Apple pushes back
Apple CEO Tim Cook has not taken this criticism lightly, as Apple is being seen by many as an enemy of the people for not helping law enforcement investigate terrorists.
On Monday, Apple issued a significant statement outlining the lengths to which it has gone to try to help law enforcement on this specific issue.
According to Apple, one of the phones was only recovered within the last 10 days, and they are currently working with law enforcement to provide whatever data they can in this case. However, Apple still stands by its privacy policies, stating: “We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.”