Apple CEO Tim Cook: Unlocking San Bernardino iPhone would be 'bad for America'
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday said that complying with a court order to help the FBI break into an iPhone belonging to a San Bernardino shooter would be "bad for America," and set an "offensive" legal precedent.
"Some things are hard, and some things are right, and some things are both - this is one of those things," Cook told ABC News in his first interview since the court order came down last week.
SEE ALSO: Bill Gates thinks Apple should help unlock an iPhone for the FBI
Apple's chief executive officer also said there should have been more dialog with the Obama administration before the U.S. Justice Department's decision to seek relief from a federal magistrate judge in California.
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We found out about the filing from the press, and I don't think that's the way the railroad should be run, and I don't think that something so important to this country should be handled in this way," Cook said in an interview being aired on "ABC World News Tonight."
Apple has publicly said it intends to fight the court order and has until Friday to respond.
The iPhone in question was used by San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife went on a shooting rampage in December that killed 14 and wounded 22.
The Justice Department wants Apple to help access encrypted information stored on Farook's county-owned iPhone 5C by writing software that would disable its passcode protections to allow an infinite number of guesses without erasing the data on the device.
Apple has said the request amounts to asking a company to hack its own device and would undermine digital security more broadly.
"This would be bad for America," Cook told ABC. "It would also set a precedent that I think many people in America would be offended by and when you think about those, which are knowns, compared to something that might be there, I believe we are making the right choice."
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