Top US Republican presidential candidates today slammed Apple for not complying with the court order on unlocking the iPhone of a Pakistani-American terrorist who gunned down over a dozen people, saying the technology giant should be forced to do so.
Participating in a Republican presidential debate here, they strongly argued that Apple should be forced to comply with the court order and asserted that otherwise this would allow terrorists to get away with things is bad for America.
“I think they should comply with that.If that’s all they’re asking for, they are not asking for Apple to create a back door to encryption,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio, said in response to a question on Apple and supported FBI in this regard.
“Apple should be forced to comply with this court order. Why? Because under the Fourth Amendment, a search and seizure is reasonable if it has judicial authorisation and probable cause. In this instance, the order is not put a back door in everyone’s cell phone. If that was the order, that order would be problematic because it would compromise security and safety for everyone,” Senator Ted Cruz said.
“I would agree with Apple on that broad policy question. But on the question of unlocking this cell phone of a terrorist, we should enforce the court order and find out everyone that terrorist at San Bernardino talked to on the phone, texted with, e-mailed. And absolutely, Apple doesn’t have a right to defy a valid court order in a terrorism,” Cruz said.
Cruz and Rubio are vying for the second spot in the Republican presidential race after Donald Trump, who has won three of the four Republican primary elections so far.
Trump, who has openly asked for a public boycott of Apple till it follows the court order, was not asked the question during the debate in Houston, Texas.
“I think allowing terrorist to get away with things is bad for America,” another presidential candidate Ben Carson said.
“We have a Constitution. We have a Fourth Amendment. It guards us against illegal and unreasonable search and seizure. But we have mechanisms in place with the judicial system that will allow us to gain material that is necessary to benefit the nation as a whole or the community as a whole. And that’s why we have FISA courts and things of that nature,” he said.
“So I would expect Apple to comply with the court order. If they don’t comply with that, you’re encouraging chaos in our system,” Carson said.
The US Justice Department last week filed a motion to compel Apple to provide “reasonable technical assistance” sought by the FBI.
The FBI wants access to data stored on an encrypted iPhone owned by Pakistani-American Syed Farook, who, along with his Pakistani wife, killed 14 people at a Christmas party in December before they died in a gun battle with police in San Bernardino, California.
The iPhone maker is arguing that the government effort violates Apple’s constitutional rights to free speech, by forcing it to write software that undermines its values.