Arizona County Attorney’s Office says Apple Supports Terorists

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Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery bans iPhonesThe Maricopa County, Arizona, Attorney's Office has officially banned iPhones from the list of smartphones it will issue to employees. County Attorney Bill Montgomery said iPhones won't be issued to employees anymore because Apple is refusing to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by Syed Farook in last December's San Bernardino mass shooting, and as such is supporting terrorists.


In a statement issued Thursday, Mr. Montgomery said,

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. Positioning their refusal to cooperate as having anything to do with privacy interests is a corporate PR stunt and ignores the 4th Amendment protections afforded by our Constitution.

Mr. Montgomery's statement comes in response to Apple's refusal to cooperate with a Federal Court order compelling the company to create a version of iOS that removes the safeguards blocking brute force attacks on device passcodes. The FBI wants the specially coded operating system so it can find the passcode for the iPhone Mr. Farook had when he was killed in a shootout with police.

Mr. Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik shot and killed 14 of their San Bernardino County Department of Public Health coworkers last December and injured 22 others. His county issued iPhone was recovered and Apple helped FBI agents recover as much data as they could from the device's iCloud backup. When Apple said it didn't have a way to bypass the device's security code to gain full access, the FBI turned to the courts for an order compelling the company to do just that.

Apple has refused saying it is an unprecedented demand and would threaten the security and privacy of iPhone owners, and by extension, users of other devices with encryption features. Apple and the FBI are planning to square off in court over the order.

Mr. Montgomery isn't buying into Apple's argument and has decided his employees no longer need iPhones as part of their job. Currently, his office has 366 iPhones, and 564 smartphones total.

Interestingly, his statement also claims county prosecutors have obtained search warrants to "unlock encrypted smartphones, including iPhones," and that evidence has been obtained from those devices. Apple has said it doesn't have a way to unlock iPhones or other iOS devices—that, in fact, is why the FBI asked the courts to compel Apple to create a security weakened iOS for them to use—which doesn't fit with the Maricopa County statement.

The Mac Observer has reached out to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for clarification.

Mr. Montogmery added, "I cannot in good conscience support doing business with an organization that chooses to thwart an active investigation into a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of fourteen fellow citizens."

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Just to be clear: the Maricopa County Attorney's Office doesn't approve of Apple's privacy and security, and by extension, Apple's decision to use the legal system to legitimately question the court order compelling them to create tools the FBI can use to unlock an iPhone.

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Somebody is running for office.

Lee Dronick

The County Attorney who represents Sheriff Joe? Yeah, he walks the moral high ground /snark.


Um.. Google supports Apple’s stance. So no Android phones either.

I guess nothing but Windows Phones for them then.

Lee Dronick

  I guess nothing but Windows Phones for them then.

Homer Simpson could hack into them.


Good grief. As others have stated, good luck with your Android or Windows phones, people in high ranking offices with sensitive information. Sheesh.




Well, this utter tool is free to decide not to purchase Apple products, no matter how invalid and, perhaps idiotic, the reason may be. Personally, this whole sorry tale has made me very proud to be a supporter/buyer/shareholder in Apple. It balances out, I guess.


Dear Mr. Montgomery,

You, sir, are an idiot. Apple’s refusal to acquiesce to the FBI request is not “supporting terrorism.” It is supporting personal privacy and an overstepping of governmental authority. Mr. Farook’s employer had purchased and had available a tool that would have prevented this entire issue (MDM), but chose, for whatever reason, not to implement it. They also, at the behest of the FBI, changed the password to the iCloud account. That fault lies with the FBI, not Apple. Now, because of those mistakes they are being compelled (trying, anyway) to do something that would allow the violation of individual privacy and potentially allow for illegal search and seizure. To equate that to “supporting terrorism” is reprehensible at best.


The American public


“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin


CudaBoy, I’ve been waiting and waiting for someone to bring out that quote. It is a powerful statement and while I do not want to undercut it’s meaning in this context, it had a different context when written by Mr. Franklin.

The quote is actually:
[quote=Benjamin Franklin]Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

Her wrote that as a legislator arguing the government’s side. There have been many articles written about the quote, but this one I find most succinct.


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