UPDATE: Apple CEO Tim Cook has responded to this news, saying that Apple opposes the order and that creating a backdoor in iOS could have major security implications in the future. "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," says Cook. "And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect."
Following the December 2 shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., a judge has ordered Apple to assist in gaining access to an iPhone used by one of the shooters.
The government has been working to get into the iPhone 5c of Syed Farook so that they can find out who Farook and his wife were working with when planning the shooting. However, investigators haven’t gotten past the password that’s keeping the phone locked, and the phone will automatically erase itself after too many failed password attempts. A federal judge has ordered Apple to give “reasonable technical assistance” to the government by eliminating the auto-erase feature, which would let the government have an unlimited number of password attempts.
The government needs Apple’s help because the iPhone’s data is encrypted, and Apple can’t do anything to access that data. That’s why the government wants Apple to try and bypass the auto-erase feature that will totally wipe the phone after too many failed password attempts. Apple has five days to respond to the order if it thinks that agreeing to help would be “unreasonably burdensome.”
Apple hasn’t yet issued a comment about the judge’s order.