Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with ABC New anchor David Muir to discuss Apple’s decision to fight the court order that would require it to help the FBI break into the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. The interview was broadcast on ABC last night.
During the interview, Cook again covered much of what he wrote about in an open letter published last week where the Apple CEO announced the company’s plans to oppose the court order that would force it to create a backdoor into iOS devices.
“The only way to get information — at least currently, the only way we know — would be to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the software equivalent of cancer. We think it’s bad news to write. We would never write it. We have never written it. And that is what is at stake here.”
Cook also noted that if the company did fulfill the FBI’s request, it could set a precedent, which would lead to weaker smartphone encryption. “If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write,” said Cook.
Cook says he wishes the FBI has contacted Apple before changing the Apple ID password on the iPhone in question, which made it impossible to access the latest iCloud backup of the device.
“We gave everything we had. We don’t know that there’s any information on the phone. We don’t know whether there is or there isn’t. And the FBI doesn’t know. What we do know is we passed all of the information that we have on the phone and to get additional information on it or at least what the FBI would like us to do now would expose hundreds of millions of people to issues.”
Cook stressed that the argument isn’t just about privacy, it’s also about safety. He noted that information on a device not only includes banking information, logins, and other personal info, but also the location of family members.
The entire interview is available for viewing above.