By MELISSA CABRAL
Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday he’s prepared to take the controversial FBI vs. Apple dispute to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Cook said that it would be “bad for America” if Apple were to accept the FBI’s request and court order of unlocking an encrypted iPhone previously owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
Officials have said that they only need Apple’s assistance in unlocking certain security features on the iPhone which would help release information regarding the murders. Cook fought back saying that if they complied with the request it would put Apple’s customers in danger of having their information exposed, as iPhones would become more susceptible to hacking.
“Some things are hard and some things are right, and some things are both. This is one of those things,” Cook said. “I think the safety of the public is incredibly important.”
Cook showed sympathy for the families of the victims of the shooting and said that Apple sent out some of their own engineers to provide technical support to further the case in any way they can without creating the “backdoor” software the FBI is requesting.
Cook added, “If we knew a way to do this that would not expose hundreds of millions of other people to issues, we would obviously do it. But this is not about one phone, this is about the future.”
Although a meeting is not confirmed, Cook said that if he had to, he would make his case directly to President Obama in order to avoid going through with the court’s request.
Hundreds of millions of iPhones would be at risk in the process of creating a software to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone and Cook stated that he will go to great lengths to protect the privacy of the company’s customers.
FBI Director James Comey argued that Apple simply has to unlock only one phone but Cook disagreed.
“If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write,” Cook said. “Maybe it’s an operating system for surveillance. Maybe it’s the ability for law enforcement to turn on the camera. I mean I don’t know where this stops.”
Apple has until Friday to respond to the judge’s order.