A standoff between Apple and the FBI is creating unlikely allies
Neither Donald Trump nor President Barack Obama is much of an Apple fanboy this week.
Despite their otherwise polarized views on homeland security, Obama and Trump joined the side of the FBI and Justice Department in their standoff with gadget giant Apple.
Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook Tuesday said Apple would defy a court order that it help the government unlock an iPhone linked to one of the shooters who killed 14 people in San Bernadino, Calif., in December.
The Republican presidential candidate rejected Apple’s argument that creating the tool to unlock the shooter’s phone could put widespread consumer privacy at risk, and called for an Apple boycott.
“Apple, this is one case, this is a case that certainly we should be able to get into the phone,” he said on a segment with Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” Wednesday. “And we should find out what happened, why it happened, and maybe there’s other people involved and we have to do that.”
He called for vigilance on security and “common sense.” “I agree 100% with the courts… Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it up.”
At the White House’s daily press briefing the next day, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest echoed the same argument, which the Justice Department is using its case: that the request is limited to a single devices and doesn’t have implications for consumer handsets widely.
“They are not asking Apple to redesign its product or to create a new backdoor to one of their products. They’re simply asking for something that would have an impact on this one device,” he said.The Justice Department is an agency in the executive branch, and so the White House typically aligns with its stance.