White House and Trump round on Apple in iOS security row

Both officials speaking for the White House and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump have lashed out at Apple over its refusal to comply with FBI security requests.

Apple boss Tim Cook yesterday said in an open letter that authorities had asked him to create a new version of iOS that contained a security loophole designed to allow authorities to access devices to obtain encrypted data.

In this instance the request was made as part of the investigation into December’s San Bernardino shootings.

Reuters reports that White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that the government is not asking for a product redesign or, as Cook insisted, for the creation of a back door. Specifically, her argued that the request relates only to this one particular case, adding that the president certainly believes that is an important national priority”.

Unsurprisingly Trump was less measured in his response, with MSNBC reporting that the presidential hopeful told Fox News that Apple should be forced to comply.

Donald Trump blasted Apple for its rejection of a court order to cede encrypted data to the FBI from the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

I agree 100 per cent with the courts,” Trump said. We should open it up. I think security overall. We have to open it up and we have to use our heads. We have to use common sense.

Our country has got so many problems… We have to be very careful. We have to be very vigilant. But to think that Apple won’t allow us to get into her cell phone – who do they think they are? No, we have to open it up.”

On the other side of the coin, Edward Snowden defended Apple’s decision, lamenting the role being played by the state.

"The FBI is creating a world where citizens rely on Apple to defend their rights, rather than the other way around," Snowden said on Twitter. This is the most important tech case in a decade. Silence means Google picked a side, but it’s not the public’s.”

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