Argh. The flacks advising Tim Cook should be fired.
Was reading an article about what a great leader Tim Cook is (we still have our doubts), but his stance on not allowing the Feds (or Apple) to open IPhone of the terrorists is a public relations disaster.
I come at this as a retired Navy cryptanalyst, one who directed teams to catch people who wish to do us harm.
It’s quite possible that the IPhone has something on it that would be useful to the Feebs in finding out more about our homegrown terrorists.
The smart play for Cook and Apple would be to invite the Feds back in, have the warrant cover only that one phone, or announce that it does, and disclose to the FBI exactly what is or isn’t on the phone, maybe with a datamap. Apple controls the process. The rest of the world doesn’t need to know, and the Feebs should sign affadavits that they won’t disclose anything. There’s always the chance something will get leaked, but that’s a risk worth running.
There’s actually a precedent for this sort of behavior: when NSA wants to look at some domestic target, it has to go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Board and get a warrant for the surveillance from a judge, based on probable national security harm that would occur if the warrant weren’t granted..
Judges are normally cooperative, even in the Ninth Circuit, where Apple lives.
And, if Apple ‘ol Tim could just say that ‘we’ve taken another look at this thing, and decided to cooperate with the Feds, under certain conditions.” Disaster not averted, but maybe mitigated a bit.
As a CEO, getting your feet set in cement is not a good idea.