We Would Rather Quit Than Help The FBI – Apple Engineers


Apple Engineers still maintain their stand on refusing to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters who killed about 20 people in December 2015. Recent reports suggests that even if the company loses its court fight and is legally compelled to produce security breaking software, the engineers tasked with creating the software may quit their job rather than perform the task.

On December 2, 2015, Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik carried out an attack at the Inland Regional Centre in San Bernardino, California, in the United States in which 14 people were killed and 22 seriously injured. The FBI during their investigation found an iPhone belonging to Farook, one of the killers. The FBI now wants Apple to provide a passcode to unlock the iPhone to aid their investigations.

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However, Apple fears that if it opens up the locked iPhone, it could avail a back door which allows hackers free access to smartphones owned by millions of people. A lawsuit filed by FBI to compel Apple to create ‘GovtOs’ to enable them gain access into the phone is still ongoing at the moment.

Tim Cook, Apple's CEO
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO

In view of this, some Apple engineers say that they’d rather quit than help the government break security measures that Apple has placed on iPhones and iPads even if Apple as a company decides to cooperate with authorities.

Reports from Guardian said that security engineers would be ashamed to break their own encryption, and that engineers who specialize in the type of cryptography that this issue involves are frequently more motivated by values than money.

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The San Bernardino saga has really  gained much attention in the media with the discovery of Farook’s iPhone. But it has not been a pleasant fight for Apple, as they are on a hot seat of choosing between protecting the privacy of their customers and helping government to fight crimes.

Anti virus creator McAfee who was formerly campaigning for presidential candidacy from the libertarian party, had asserted he could break into the iPhone with his team of experts in 3 weeks. Though nothing further has been heard on this, the FBI still hopes to win this case against Apple in order to nail the San Bernardino perpetrators.