A Riverside, California court Tuesday directed Apple to help FBI crack the phone by developing software to hack into one of its own devices.
In a series of tweets Wednesday evening, Pichai argued that even that would essentially put tech companies in the position of hacking their own customers:
1/5 Important post by @tim_cook. Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users' privacy. 2/5 We know that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face significant challenges in protecting the public against crime and terrorism 3/5 We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders 4/5 But that's wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent 5/5 Looking forward to a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue The government, Cook contends, is asking Apple to create a "backdoor" to its own security systems. "Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them," Cook wrote in a letter published on the company's website.
"But now the US government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create." Reacting to Cook's stand, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he was floored that Apple had not volunteered to aid the FBI. "Who do they think they are?" he asked on Fox News.
Speaking to reporters in South Carolina, Senator Marco Rubio said he hoped the tech giant would voluntarily comply with the government's request, but acknowledged the court order is far from a simple issue.