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Arizona county attorney to ditch iPhones over Apple dispute with FBI

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Apple’s refusal to help the FBI unlock an iPhone 5c used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino, California attack on Dec. 2 has prompted the Maricopa County attorney’s office in Arizona to ban providing new iPhones to its staff.

“Apple’s refusal to cooperate with a legitimate law enforcement investigation to unlock a phone used by terrorists puts Apple on the side of terrorists instead of on the side of public safety,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a statement on Wednesday.

Montgomery described as a corporate public relations stunt Apple’s positioning of its refusal to cooperate on privacy grounds. The evidence obtained through searches using warrants to unlock encrypted smartphones, including iPhones, have proven critical to the investigation and prosecution of defendants charged with drug trafficking, sexual exploitation, murder and other serious offenses, he added.

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