Apple Inc opposed a court ruling on Tuesday that ordered it to help the FBI break into an iPhone recovered from a San Bernardino shooter, heightening a dispute between tech companies and law enforcement over the limits of encryption.
Chief Executive Tim Cook said the court’s demand threatened the security of Apple’s customers and had “implications far beyond the legal case at hand”. Earlier on Tuesday, Judge Sheri Pym of U.S. District Court in Los Angeles said that Apple must provide “reasonable technical assistance” to investigators seeking to unlock the data on an iPhone 5C that had been owned by Syed Rizwan Farook.
That assistance includes disabling the phone’s auto-erase function, which activates after 10 consecutive unsuccessful passcode attempts, and helping investigators to submit passcode guesses electronically. The FBI has been investigating the couple’s potential communications with Islamic State and other militant groups.