U.S. attorney General William Barr accused Apple in cooperation with Russia and China. The statement Barr was published on the website of the Ministry of justice on may 18.
It involved the investigation of the shooting on the basis of naval aviation in Pensacola (Florida), which occurred in December 2019. As a result of incident three persons were lost, eight more got wounds. Fire was opened by the Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani from Saudi Arabia, which was held in the U.S. three years in the framework of cooperation between the two countries.
Barr said that Alshamrani had two phones the iPhone, but Apple refused to help the FBI to obtain access to them. Employees of U.S. intelligence managed to crack the phone only four months later.
“Apple took biznesowe and marketing solution to design their phones so that only the user can unlock the content, regardless of the circumstances. The desire by Apple to ensure the privacy of its customers is understandable, but not at any price,” said Barr.
U.S. attorney General expressed the opinion that this decision of Apple is a threat to national security and encouraged to make changes to American law that will allow law enforcement to access phones by a court decision, “while maintaining very high standards of data security”.
Barr also said that many technology companies are in favor of strong encryption for privacy protection, “ready to adapt to authoritarian regimes when it suits their business interests.”
“For example, there have been many reports that Apple is working with the Communist party of China and with the Russian regime to move data centers and allow the governments of these countries to organize mass surveillance [for citizens]… If such technology companies as Apple, ready to meet the requirements of authoritarian regimes, they have, of course, there’s no reason to refuse cooperation with countries where there is rule of law that respects civil liberties and the right to inviolability of private life”, – noted the official.
Director of international information security of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Russia Andrey Krutskikh said “RIA Novosti” on may 18 that the statements of the US attorney General on cooperation with Russia “are condescending smile”. The scale of anti-Russian accusations in the United States “reached a new phase, namely: beat the that strangers were afraid”, he said.
Apple called statements about Barra. In a statement, which received the publication AppleInsider, says that in the case Alshamrani Apple cooperated with us law enforcement and first requests to the FBI on receipt of the data replied a few hours later, after the attack on the airbase.
The company believes that such statements – “it’s an excuse to weaken encryption and other security measures that protect millions of users and national security.” The statement said that the company is selling the same iPhone around the world, does not store user passwords and is not able to unlock password protected device.