Staff Writer

On Dec. 2, 2015 in San Bernardino, Calif., 14 people were killed and another 22 were injured during a tragic shooting, which a few days later was confirmed by investigators as a terrorist attack, making it the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

The ongoing investigation of the attack has led to a conflict between Apple and the FBI, who found a phone at the scene of the massacre and require Apple’s help in breaking into that phone for potential information about the attackers.

Apple has refused to comply with the FBI’s request to which the FBI responded with a court order compelling them to do so.

“The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” said Apple’s CEO Tim Cook in an open message to Apple customers posted on the company’s website. “This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.”

The iPhone of interest is an iPhone 5C belonging to Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the San Bernardino Massacre. In the past, Apple has been very cooperative with the government when requested; however, things have changed with the advent of Apple’s newest update, iOS8. It has been discovered that even the FBI’s best hacking tools are not able to get information out of the database and Apple has steadfastly refused to help in their mission. The reasoning behind Apple’s defiance is their adherence to a belief that they are “a privacy company” at its core, leaving the FBI and its administration relatively upset.

“Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let the bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?” asked FBI Director James Comey during a speech he gave accusing Apple of helping the shooters.

The reason this case is getting as much media attention as it has been, is because it could potentially give the FBI the means and the right to retrieve any information from any iPhone. While the case does not specifically allow the Bureau to look into exactly any iPhone at the moment, it would set a precedent for APPLE IS PUSHING BACK AGAINST THE FBI The Bureau Has Encountered A Widely-Publicized Challenge the FBI to legally challenge iPhone users on a case by case basis.

As for the victims and the families of the victims of the shooting, most are supportive of the FBI in this case because they want as much information as possible leading to those who were responsible for this terrible tragedy. “They were targeted by terrorists,” said former Federal Judge Stephen Larson who is representing some of the victims.

“They need to know why, how this could happen.” Apple operates on a guarantee to its users that their information is private and the company has made it clear this court order is dangerous to Apple users. This court order would not only impact Americans, but in the event Apple loses the court case, would have international implications as well.

Jerry Hoffman

Jerry Hoffman is a senior studying public relations and multimedia journalism. Originally from just outside of Philadelphia, he became interested in writing throughout the four years he spent attending Lansdale Catholic High School. Aside from being a staff writer for iPulse, Hoffman is a resident assistant in Freiburger Residence Hall here at Lynn.

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