Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Apple Won't Back Down in iPhone Unlocking Fight

Apple CEO Tim Cook started off Monday's "Let us loop you in" media event by making it clear he will not back down from protecting our privacy in the face of a court order to give the FBI a hackable version of iOS. Mr. Cook said Apple has a responsibility to protect our data and privacy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook on encryption fight: We will not shrink from this responsibilityApple CEO Tim Cook on encryption fight: We will not shrink from this responsibility

Mr. Cook's comments come a day before Apple is scheduled to appear in court and defend its refusal to comply with the court order.

The order was part of the FBI's investigation into the December 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California where Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik shot and killed 14 coworkers and injured 22 others. Law enforcement recovered an iPhone 5c from Mr. Farook after he was killed in a police shootout, but there wasn't any way to bypass the security code encrypting the device's data even though it was work-issued.

The FBI obtained an order for Apple to create a version of iOS that doesn't include the security features preventing brute force attacks on passcodes, but the company is refusing to comply saying the order is an overreach of government authority and endangers our privacy and security.

The FBI insists the order won't reach beyond this one iPhone, although Apple says it's a precedent setting move that will lead to similar orders. FBI Director James Comey contradicted the FBI's stance under oath in a House Judiciary Committee hearing where he said this case would be a blueprint for future smartphone unlocking cases.

Mr. Cook made it clear Apple is going to fight this order to the full extent of the law. "We owe it to our customers and we owe it to our country," Mr. Cook said. "We will not shrink from this responsibility."