We help Apple on trade, yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers: Trump

WION Web Team
Washington DC, United States of America Published: Jan 15, 2020, 05.48 PM(IST)

Trump and Tim Cook Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Trump's latest comments came after attorney general William Barr said that Apple 'refused to cooperate' in the Florida shooting case involving a Saudi gunman.

Apple says that they offered all the necessary data to the FBI, including cloud data and back-ups.

US President Donald Trump has joined the chorus for weakening device encryptions.

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And on his radar, this time is the technology giant Apple.

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Trump asked Apple to help the federal agencies unlock phones that are used by criminals something that Apple has refused to do.

He said that his government had consistently helped apple in trade matters and so it was time for Apple to reciprocate.

The US president in his tweet, said: "We are helping Apple all of the time on trade and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements. They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, Now! Make America great again."

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Trump's latest comments came after attorney general William Barr said that Apple "refused to cooperate" in the Florida shooting case involving a Saudi gunman.

Apple says that they offered all the necessary data to the FBI, including cloud data and back-ups.

But they have consistently denied easing encryption levels for law enforcement agencies. In a statement issued on Monday, the company said there would be no backdoor entry for the good guys.

This is the latest instance in a long stand-off between Apple and the American government. Back in 2015, a terrorist attack in San Bernardino claimed the lives of 14 people. The FBI obtained a court order asking Apple to unlock the attacker's I-phone.

But Apple did not comply, and the FBI ended up using a private company to bypass the encryption.

Apple had a stand-off with the Obama administration over the same problem, and now it has spilt over to the Trump regime.

Tech companies like Apple and Google argue that weaker encryption will jeopardize billions of devices across the world.

But US Senate in December warned that if tech companies do not cooperate with law enforcement, they would introduce laws to regulate encryption.

Even in India, the government is fighting a battle with tech giants over encryption.

The Indian government argued that a terrorist cannot have privacy in India, and so phones belonging to criminals must be decrypted by the parent companies.

The disputes reached the Supreme Court, where Facebook argued that it was not legally bound to share data with the Indian government.

The company said it was open to the government decrypting messages by itself, but not to wilfully sharing user data. The case is a reminder of an earlier row between Facebook and the Indian government over WhatsApp decryption row.

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