Cook warns of exposing people to ‘incredible vulnerabilities’ if Apple follows FBI order

Apple CEO Tim Cook fighting back against the FBI and Department of Justice, and taking the company’s encryption battle with the government straight to the American people.

Cook sat down with ABC News in an interview due to air at 3:30pm PT/6:30pm ET today, but a few clips were posted early.

In one, Cook is asked whether Apple should make an exception to unlocking terrorist attacker Syed Farook’s iPhone.

“I think safety of the public is incredibly important,” Cook said. “Safety of our kids, safety of our families is very important. The protection of people’s data is incredibly important.

“The tradeoff here is we know that doing this could expose people to incredible vulnerabilities. This is not something that we would create. This would be bad for America. It would also set a precedent that I believe many people in America would be offended by.

“When you think about those, which are knowns, compared to something that might be there. I believe we are making the right choice,” he concluded.

Apple has maintained that the FBI hasn’t shown that it is certain what information is on Farook’s device, and whether it has any value to its investigation. For its part, the FBI has said it wants to gather as much information from the phone as possible, and needs Apple’s help to do so.

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Interviewer David Muir asked Cook whether, in his quiet moments, he thinks about whether another terrorist attack might be prevented by breaking into the phone.

“David, somethings are hard. And somethings are right. And somethings are both. And this is one of those things,” Cook responded.

The final clip ABC released before the interview airs dealt with communication between Apple and the government – or lack thereof.

Muir asked Cook, who has discussed privacy and security with President Barack Obama before, whether he was disappointed there wasn’t more dialogue with the administration before the Department of Justice issued a motion late last week.

Cook simply replied: “Yes.”

He elaborated that he thinks there should have been more dialogue, and that Apple didn’t find out about the DOJ’s move from the government.

“This filing – we found out about this filing from the press, and I don’t think that’s the way the railway should be rod. And I don’t think that’s the way something so important to this country should be handled in this way.”

Lead image credit: Valery Marchive (LeMagIT)/Wikimedia Commons

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