APPLE HAS told its shiny users that it will not bend and willingly provide the authorities with access to hardware and communications.
Apple has told customers in a letter on its website that the company still has their backs and all that stuff Tim Cook said about privacy and people still stands.
"The US government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand," the letter said.
Apple's move follows a demand to unlock a device that belonged to Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino gunmen killed by police.
"This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake," the firm continued.
Privacy and the use of encryption is at stake, and Apple will stand by previous statements that it will not, or cannot, throw open access to the authorities.
The problem for Apple is that the FBI has demanded a backdoor to the Apple estate, or at least a way of cracking the passcode used on Farook's iPhone.
This would be a step too far, according to the Apple letter. "We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good," the firm said.
"Up to this point, we have done everything that is within our power and within the law to help them. But now the US government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.
"Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation.
"In the wrong hands, this software - which does not exist today - would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession."
Apple CEO Tim Cook once said that Apple doesn't want anything to do with customers' personal information, and thus no part in its undermining. He repeated this in the letter with an attempt to reach some sort of accord with the government.
"We are challenging the FBI's demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications," he said.
"While we believe the FBI's intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect." µ
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