Explaining why he’s fighting an FBI order to help crack an iPhone, Apple CEO Tim Cook said going along with the order would set a dangerous precedent, the Los Angeles Times reports. Cook indicated that helping to unencrypt the phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook would create a “backdoor” to Apple’s security systems that could compromise the security of billions of customers.
Legal experts, meanwhile, characterized the clash over the terrorist’s iPhone as the defining case in a bigger struggle between the federal government and Silicon Valley. Robert Cattanach, a cybersecurity attorney and former Department of Justice special counsel, is quoted in the report saying: “The FBI’s request … represents the next step in the journey to find the Holy Grail of backdoor unencryption, and the next salvo in the ever-escalating battle between law enforcement and tech companies.”
The standoff follows a ruling Tuesday by a judge in San Bernardino County ordering Apple to help federal authorities pull information from the shooter’s iPhone, as we reported Wednesday.