Feds: Apple's Fight With FBI Is a Marketing Stunt

Apple says the US asks for more than China
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2016 9:40 AM CST
Feds: Apple's Fight With FBI Is a Marketing Stunt
Apple's encryption features have been enjoying a lot of publicity lately.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Things are getting pretty heated in Apple's showdown with the federal government. On Friday, the Justice Department suggested that Apple is only refusing to help investigators crack the phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook because it wants to sell more iPhones, the New York Times reports. The stance "appears to be based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy," prosecutors said in a court filing, accusing the company of exaggerating the difficulty of cracking the phone and demanding that a judge order Apple to immediately comply with a court order to help the FBI. "Rather than assist the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack by obeying this court's order, Apple has responded by publicly repudiating that order," they said.

The Guardian reports that an Apple exec hit back by telling reporters that the US is making demands beyond what even the Chinese government has asked for. The exec added that Apple will continue to add security features that will make it even harder to get into its devices. It has also emerged that the iPhone, which was issued to Farook by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, was already with federal investigators when the password was reset by a county IT worker trying to access information, ABC reports. That would have disabled the auto back-up feature, though investigators suspect Farook disabled it himself weeks before the Dec. 2 shooting. (Donald Trump has called for a boycott of Apple until it helps investigators.)

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