Facebook, Twitter and other tech firms support Apple in battle with FBI

Team Apple or Team FBI?

A day after Apple CEO Tim Cook published a lengthy letter about why the tech firm opposes a federal magistrate judge’s order to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino mass shooters, Facebook and Twitter expressed support Thursday for Apple.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t written a post about the topic, but a company spokesperson released the following statement to SiliconBeat:

“We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services. We also appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe. When we receive lawful requests from these authorities we comply. However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.”

As legal affairs reporter Howard Mintz noted Wednesday in his story about the battle, Apple’s vocal opposition set up a showdown between the tech firm and federal government whose “shadowy world of investigating crime and terrorism has for years collided with the tech industry’s embrace of privacy protections.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and several Republican presidential hopefuls on Wednesday urged Apple to comply with the judge’s order and help the FBI access encrypted data on the cell phone of the one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attacks. In December, 14 people were killed and 22 were seriously injured in the mass shootings.

Facebook and Twitter join other tech firms including Google and WhatsApp that sided with Apple. It’s a fight that Cook wrote “has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.”


Photo Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg


Tags: , , ,


Share this Post