Google and WhatsApp take Apple’s side in fight against FBI iPhone-unlocking court order

Yesterday, Apple announced it will go to court to contest an order by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to access information stored on an iPhone that belonged to mass murderer Syed Rizwan Farook.

The company’s decision has received the support of technology titans Google and WhatsApp, as a rift grows between companies’ technology, and what the state wants to control.

The FBI said that Farook’s phone contained “crucial” information, but Apple would have to build a new version of its iOS software without any security features in order to access the data on the phone.

This, Apple said, would have a long term impact on customer security.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai signalled his support in a series of tweets: “Important post by @tim_cook. Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy.”

Meanwhile, Jan Koum, chief executive of Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp wrote a blog, which says that our “liberty is at stake”.

He said: “I have always admired Tim Cook for his stance on privacy and Apple’s efforts to protect user data, and couldn’t agree more with everything said in their customer letter today,” wrote Koum.

“We must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set. Today our freedom and our liberty is at stake.”

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