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Apple CEO Tim Cook says if FBI iPhone case happened again 'we would fight again'

  • Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher that if the FBI iPhone privacy case "came up again, we would fight again."
  • Two years ago the FBI asked Apple for access to the iPhone of Syed Farook, who was responsible for killing 14 people in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015.
  • Apple refused to give access, citing issues of data privacy and encryption. The case was dropped after a third party was able to unlock the phone.
Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
Jason Lee | Reuters
Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in an interview Wednesday with Recode's Kara Swisher that if the FBI iPhone privacy case "came up again, we would fight again."

Cook referred to the case two years ago when the Federal Bureau of Investigation asked Apple for access to the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter, Syed Farook. The technology giant refused to help the FBI, citing issues of data privacy. Cook called the request "chilling."

The debate sparked a wide discussion over government interference in a technology company's data. Law enforcement argued the data would help solve terrorist cases. Technology companies rebutted, stating that without encryption, iPhone users will become easier victims to hackers.

The case was dropped after the Department of Justice was able to access the iPhone. Reports suggested a third party unlocked it.

Cook also criticized the data privacy practices of Facebook in the same interview.