Google CEO Sundar Pichai Calls FBI iPhone Hack Order a ‘Troubling Precedent’

A judge has ordered Apple to help the FBI access information on a phone owned by San Bernardino shooter

Last Updated: February 17, 2016 @ 10:27 PM

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has made his thoughts known about the court order commanding Apple to help the FBI extract information from an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooting suspects.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Pichai strongly criticized the order, saying it could be “a troubling precedent.”

“Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy,” Pichai wrote.

“We know that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face significant challenges in protecting the public against crime and terrorism,” he continued. “We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders.”

However, he added: “But that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent.”

Pichai ended his thoughts on the topic by saying he is “looking forward to a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue.”

Apple is opposing the court order. The company’s CEO, Tim Cook, posted a letter online stating: “While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”

A judge has ordered Apple to build software that could unlock the iPhone used by Syed Farook for the FBI. Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people and injured 21 in a shooting attack at a holiday party in San Benardino, California, in December before they were killed by police.