Apple have warned users that if the FBI wins its lawsuit and forces them to unlock the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killer’s – it won’t be long before the U.S. government can also force them into enabling the cameras and microphones remotely on users iPhone’s.
Apple’s head of services, Eddy Cue, said that the FBI’s demands will create a “dangerous precedent” in offering backdoors into users’ smartphones.
The Guardian reports:
Cue said to Univision: “Someday they will want [Apple] to turn on [a user’s] camera or microphone. We can’t do that now, but what if we’re forced to do that?
“Where will this stop? In a divorce case? In an immigration case? In a tax case? Some day, someone will be able to turn on a phone’s microphone. That should not happen in this country.”
The FBI is trying to access the locked iPhone of one of the San Bernardino killers and insists it needs Apple’s due to the software protections built into iOS, which require Apple’s unique signature.
But security expert and NSA surveillance leaker Edward Snowden recently said that the FBI’s assertions that only Apple has the capability to unlock the phone is “respectfully, bullshit”.
Other security researchers have said that for Apple to modify the iOS software of the iPhone 5C to allow the FBI to guess the passcode via a machine without losing data would be a slippery slope.
Apple has the backing of the majority of the technology industry, including Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and Google, which makes the most-used smartphone operating system, Android.
The case will come to a head this month when Apple and the FBI go to federal court to contest the order. The US government was recently dealt a blow in a similar but unrelated case over the unlocking of an iPhone in New York, which it is currently appealing against.