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Tim Cook Refuses FBI Demand to ‘Unlock’ Terrorist’s iPhone Marchive

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an employee email on Monday that the US government should stop demanding the company to hack an iPhone used by a terrorist in the San Bernardino shooting. He defended the position of his company, saying it has no sympathy for terrorists as tensions escalated between Apple, the FBI and the Department of Justice.

“Over the past week I’ve received messages from thousands of people in all 50 states, and the overwhelming majority are writing to voice their strong support,” Cook wrote in the mail, as quoted by the NBC News. “One email was from a 13-year-old app developer who thanked us for standing up for ‘all future generations.’ And a 30-year Army veteran told me, ‘Like my freedom, I will always consider my privacy as a treasure.'”

James Comey, the director of the FBI, said on Sunday in a post on the website “Lawfare” that the FBI’s request was only limited to one particular phone. The request to Apple was that it disables the functions of the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook so that different passwords can be tried until they got access.

“As individuals and as a company, we have no tolerance or sympathy for terrorists,” the Apple CEO wrote. “When they commit unspeakable acts like the tragic attacks in San Bernardino, we work to help the authorities pursue justice for the victims. And that’s exactly what we did.”

The CEO also undermined several claims made by the government in Friday’s filing, which said the company was being unprofessional by not agreeing to the request. Apple and its CEO have been involved in a back and forth filing of statements with the Justice Department and the FBI since the former was ordered by the US magistrate to disable its security protocols to assist the FBI to probe the San Bernardino shootings, the News Corp reported.

“Apple is a uniquely American company,” Cook wrote. “It does not feel right to be on the opposite side of the government in a case centering on the freedoms and liberties that government is meant to protect.”

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