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Apple engineers might quit over FBI ruling

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Apple FBI

It's been suggested that some of Apple's engineering team might quit their jobs if the company loses its court battle with the FBI.

The two parties are currently in the middle of a high-profile legal dispute over a locked iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters. The FBI wants Apple to help bypass the phone's security, while Apple sees this as a major affront to its principles, and a threat to the rest of its customers.

So convinced are Apple's employees of their own stance that some of them will consider their positions if the FBI wins. According to the New York Times, some Apple engineers have said that they will balk at the work that will be requested of them, while "others may even quit their high-paying jobs rather than undermine the security of the software they have already created."

Among the anonymous sources for this report are said to be some of the Apple engineers who work on the firm's mobile security, while this testimony has been backed up by former Apple security engineers and executives.

It raises the intriguing possibility of a mutiny in the event that the FBI wins its case and Apple orders the work done.

Related: Apple vs FBI

Of course, this report also conveniently confirms a point Apple has made in legal documentation - that the government ordering workers to do something that they find offensive would be against the principle of free speech.

"Such conscription is fundamentally offensive to Apple's core principles and would pose a severe threat to the autonomy of Apple and its engineers," said Apple in its final brief.

Of course, any such highly skilled Apple quitters would be virtually guaranteed of gaining another well-paid position on the US west coast, but that seems to be besides the point.

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