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Apple siding with terrorists, no more iPhones for employees, Arizona county says

by Todd Haselton | February 25, 2016February 25, 2016 12:00 pm PDT

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Maricopa County in Arizona has chosen to ditch the iPhone following Apple’s ongoing dispute with the FBI. We’ve already broken it down but the gist of it is this: the FBI wants a backdoor into iOS and Apple says it won’t provide one. The entire country is torn on the issue: some people believe Apple is right in protecting privacy, others believe the FBI needs this information to prevent attacks. Maricopa County has taken the latter stance and will no longer provide iPhones to employees as they upgrade their smartphones.

“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,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Thursday. “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.” The FBI also sees Apple’s actions as a PR move.

Montgomery’s office argued that getting access to smartphones can provide valuable evidence in prosecuting would-be terrorists, drug traffickers, sex traffickers, murders and other criminals.

“If the potential for unauthorized access to an encryption key is truly motivating Apple’s unwillingness to assist in downloading information from specific iPhones, then let’s define the problem in those terms and work on that concern,” Montgomery added. “Otherwise, Apple is proving indifferent to the need for evidence to hold people accountable who have harmed or intend to harm fellow citizens.

Maricopa County

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...