Apple CEO Tim Cook was not shy Tuesday night about voicing his opposition, saying a choice to help unlock the phone would set a “dangerous precedent.”
“The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe,” Cook wrote in a message posted on Apple’s website.
“Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government … 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.”
The statement got kudos from figures like Edward Snowden:
And though Congress is in recess this week, lawmakers were also quick to respond on social media. As you might expect, there is no consensus on Cook’s decision, not even within the political parties.
Let’s start with the lawmakers who agree with Apple, or are at least skeptical of the government’s position. They include libertarian Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.):
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.):
And Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.):
Now let’s round-up some of the lawmakers who side with the FBI.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was among the most colorful, releasing a statement that called Apple the “company of choice for terrorists, drug dealers, and sexual predators of all sorts”:
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who spoke on the Fox Business Network:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), again via Geller:
The issue also broke into the conversation on the 2016 campaign trail, where several Republican candidates sided with the government (including Donald Trump):