The US Department of Justice has filed a court order to force Apple to build new software that can crack iPhone's encryption. It says that the investigation into the murders in San Bernadino California by the Farook’s is being hindered. In particular officials are still trying to ascertain the Farook contacts.
Apple said it will fight the order.
Attorneys for the Justice Department said that Apple's stance seems to be based on concern for its business model.
Apple has not always been so uncooperative. Prosecutors in the case pointed out that Apple had previously agreed to extract customer data from iPhones. Apple has pointed out that those cases were different because the data was available behind locked phones not encrypted.
Privacy campaigners say such a tool could be used to unlock anyone's phone, however, the order states that this is a one time use specifically for the iPhone belonging to Farook.
Apple is playing a dangerous game. If Farook's phone can be unlocked without it leading to further invasions of privacy, then many people will wonder why the company is making such a big fuss about the principle involved.