CONFLICT BREWING: Apple says it won’t comply with federal demands to crack a mobile phone connected to December’s terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif. As The Post’s Ellen Nakashima writes, “The clash reflects wider debates in the United States and elsewhere over security measures used by companies to protect users of devices such as smartphones — and how much leverage authorities should have to gain special access … The order comes a week after FBI Director James B. Comey told Congress that the bureau has not been able to open the phone belonging to one of the killers. ‘It has been two months now, and we are still working on it,’ he said.”
AT THE READY: The U.S. government had an elaborate plan for a cyberattack on Iran in case of military conflict between the two countries in the early years of the Obama administration, the New York Times reports. “The plan, code-named Nitro Zeus, was devised to disable Iran’s air defenses, communications systems and crucial parts of its power grid, and was shelved, at least for the foreseeable future, after the nuclear deal struck between Iran and six other nations last summer was fulfilled. Nitro Zeus was part of an effort to assure President Obama that he had alternatives, short of a full-scale war, if Iran lashed out at the United States or its allies in the region,” the paper reports.
DON’T TRUST TWITTER: At least not when it comes to predicting election outcomes. That’s the conclusion of a new study from the Social Science Computer Review. “The study, whose relevance to this year’s U.S. election was sharply disputed by Twitter, focused on the 2013 German federal election and found that Twitter data was a more accurate measure of the level of interest in candidates rather than the level of support they will receive. ‘Negative events, such as political scandals, as well as positively evaluated events, such as accomplishments, can (both)underlie attention for a party or candidate,’ said the study, published on Monday,” Reuters reports.