Jan 15, 2020

Trump rips into Apple for refusing "to unlock phones used by killers"

President Trump. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump attacked Apple on Tuesday, recommending the technology company unlock the iPhones used by "killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements."

What he's saying: "We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues,” a Trump tweet read. "They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW!"

Why it matters: Some U.S. government officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr, have complained that Apple isn’t trying hard enough to help unlock the phone that belonged to the deceased Pensacola naval base shooter. The FBI requested Apple's assistance to access the devices after the bureau was unable to do so.

  • Barr said Monday that Apple "has not given us any substantive assistance."
  • This is not the first time the company has been embroiled in a battle against law enforcement over privacy and security. In 2016, the FBI attempted to force Apple to help investigators gain access to an iPhone used by the San Bernardino mass shooter.

Go deeper: Barr says shooting at Pensacola Navy base was an "act of terrorism"

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Apple's stance on iCloud encryption keys is nothing new for the company

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Apple has come under fire this week for holding onto encryption keys to iCloud backups, which let it provide law enforcement with access to users' data even while the company is refusing to unlock iPhones for the FBI, as in the current standoff over the Pensacola shooter's phone.

The state of play: Apple's practice is nothing new — and it's not a sign the company is capitulating to law enforcement in the encryption debate.

Go deeperArrowJan 23, 2020

Podcast: Trump vs. Apple

There is an escalating dispute between President Trump and Tim Cook over whether Apple should unlock iPhones used by "killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements." Dan digs in with New York Times tech reporter Jack Nicas.

Go deeper: Trump rips into Apple for refusing "to unlock phones used by killers"

Keep ReadingArrowJan 16, 2020

Trump meets with Apple's Cook and other tech execs in Davos

Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump met with about three dozen tech leaders for about half an hour in Davos on Wednesday morning, discussing education and the economy.

Why it matters: Apple CEO Tim Cook — who is tussling with the administration over law enforcement access to encrypted iPhones — delivered brief remarks, sources tell Axios. That suggests the controversy has strained their relationship, but not yet wrecked it.

Go deeperArrowJan 22, 2020