Apple executive Eddy Cue has warned ceding to the FBI’s request to unlock a terrorist’s iPhone handset could lead to greater demands in the future.
Speaking to Spanish language news service Univision (via Guardian), Cue said if the Feds get their way here, they’ll soon be seeking access to the cameras and microphones of iOS devices in order to spy on users.
He said: “Someday they will want [Apple] to turn on [a user’s] camera or microphone. We can’t do that now, but what if we’re forced to do that?
“Where will this stop? In a divorce case? In an immigration case? In a tax case? Some day, someone will be able to turn on a phone’s microphone. That should not happen in this country.”
See also: Apple vs FBI: Your questions answered
Apple is steadfastly refusing to offer up access to the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5C, saying it would be a betrayal of consumer’s trust in the brand.
Backed by a host of tech luminaries, Tim Cook says he would never drop iOS encryption and offer a ‘backdoor’ into the operating system, claiming it would set dangerous precedent.
Meanwhile, NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden offered a new spin today, ridiculing the notion the FBI even needs Apple’s permission to get into the iPhone in the first place.
“The FBI says Apple has the ‘exclusive technical means’ to unlock the phone.
“Respectfully, bullshit,” he said.
While Fast Eddy’s comments could be classed as fear mongering from the tech giant it’s not unreasonable to ask what’s next if the government agency gets its way when the two sides contest the issue in court.
A hearing is set for March 22, the day after Apple holds its latest product launch.