Apple CEO Tim Cook: FBI asked us to make software 'equivalent of cancer'

Apple chief executive Tim Cook accused the US government of asking his firm to engineer the “software equivalent of cancer” to help investigators unlock a terrorist’s iPhone.

“This is not about one phone,” Cook told ABC multiple times in an interview, which aired 24 February. “This case is about the future. Can the government compel Apple to write software that we believe would make hundreds of millions of customers vulnerable around the world?”

The remarks come as Apple is taking an increasingly firm stance against Washington in a battle over consumer privacy. On 16 February a federal magistrate ordered Apple to write a program that would weaken some of the iPhone’s security countermeasures. Since then the company’s engineers have held discussions with digital security experts on possible ways to make it technically impossible to field such requests in the future, three people familiar with the talks said.