All five GOP presidential candidates have stated that they side with the FBI in its ongoing battle with Apple. This comes after Apple has continued to fight against a court request that asked it to unlock an iPhone belonging to a San Bernardino shooter.
In an interview earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook warned that complying with the FBI in this case would set a dangerous precedent for the future. He also revealed that there are hundreds of other iPhones in the possession of law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. waiting to be unlocked.
Cook was also keen to note that this debate isn’t just about this one case, but about the future — and what kind of access the government should have to the data stored on our smartphones. Despite this, the FBI continues to insist that this particular request is specific to one iPhone.
Now the FBI has newfound support from all five Republican presidential candidates. “Each candidate made it clear that he would favor national security over potentially compromising privacy for other iPhone users,” reports Alyssa Bereznak for Yahoo.
Marco Rubio, who previously described the case as “a very complicated issue,” accused Apple of creating a misleading media campaign around this issue. “Apple initially came out saying we’re being ordered to create a backdoor to an encryption device,” he said. “That is not accurate.”
When asked whether he would instruct his Justice Department to force Apple to comply if he was president, Rubio replied, “To comply with an order that says that they have to allow the FBI the opportunity to try to guess the password? Absolutely.”
“Apple doesn’t want to do it because they think it hurts their brand. Well, let me tell you, their brand is not superior to the national security of the United States of America,” Rubio added.
Ted Cruz argued the FBI’s request “is reasonable” under the Fourth Amendment. “In this instance, the order is not to put a backdoor in everyone’s cellphone,” he said.
“I would agree with Apple on that broad policy question. But on the question of unlocking this cellphone of a terrorist, we should enforce the court order and find out everyone that terrorist at San Bernardino talked to on the phone, texted with, emailed.”
John Kasich used the debate to criticize the president for not dealing with the matter “in a back room” with the parties. “You don’t litigate this on the front page of the New York Times, where everyone in the world is reading about their dirty laundry out here,” he added.
Ben Carson, who has previously sided with the FBI on this matter, said “allowing terrorists to get away with things is bad for America. I would expect Apple to comply with that court order. If they don’t comply with that, you’re encouraging chaos in our system.”
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