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FLEOA Blasts Apple's Refusal to Cooperate With FBI

February 18, 2016  | 

Following Apple Inc.'s refusal of a duly issued federal court order to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the procurement of data from the phones of the terrorist attackers in the San Bernardino, CA, shooting, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) National President Nathan Catura issued the following statement:

"Tim Cook has grossly misrepresented the intentions of the FBI and the federal government. His implication that the US government wants to break into Apple customers' phones is akin to police searching a person's home without a warrant.

"Before the FBI or any law enforcement agency is able to search someone's phone, they must first obtain a court order issued by a federal judge or magistrate. In this case, it is outrageous for the CEO of one of the largest technology companies to suggest that federal agents are invading individuals' privacy after the lawful presentation of a federal court order. Tim Cook is employing fear-mongering tactics to prevent law enforcement from performing their duties.

"For the safety of all Americans, it is imperative that we continue to support and protect our national interest and national security. That is the goal. Unfortunately, Tim Cook is neglecting this fact which begs the question: how many more lives will be ruined or lost because the likes of Tim Cook and other billionaires who have a financial stake in the industry don't believe in American jurisprudence?

"This is a country of laws and no one, not even Tim Cook, is above that. He stands here, without any legal merit, actively choosing to ignore a federal court order. His arrogance has given him a false sense of superiority when it is in fact his responsibility as an American citizen to recognize and adhere to our system of laws, which were put in place to ensure both individual and national security. Tim Cook does not get to decide what laws he must comply with. That's not the American way of justice.

"It's time for Apple and Tim Cook to abide by the law and do their part to prevent another terrorist attack on American soil."


The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association ( is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan professional association that exclusively represents over 26,000 active and retired federal law enforcement officers from over 65 agencies.

Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Robert @ 2/18/2016 2:52 PM

Expected response...not really news, more of a white paper or position statement.
To start at the end:
1. Yes we are a country of laws, and Apple has the right to respond and appeal the court decision. Just because the FBI could convince a single Magistrate that they are right, and Apple is wrong...does not mean that is the last word on what is legal.
2. This is not just a 'search warrant'. The FBI is asking Apple to do 2 things that are not covered in a search warrant. First, create a code or back door that does not exist today. This tool could then be used by anyone at anytime (once 2 people know it is no longer a secret). Secondly, Apple has a vested interest in keeping that knowledge (how to hack their system) essence Apple is being compelled to create physical evidence for the FBI (not just make the key; but show the FBI how to use the key).
This is a slippery slopes...can a Dr. be forced to perform an operation to remove a bullet to check the lands/groove

GP Cobb @ 2/18/2016 10:37 PM

What I read in Linked-in, does not align with the rights of the FBI. Once that primary and secondary encryption code is broken or released, it's all over the world, China, Russia and all the others have it that can hack. I am for Cook or any other provider to keep our phones private. The phone they want has a dead owner anyway...... JMO

Tom Ret @ 2/19/2016 11:09 AM

Why not have Apple take the phone, attempt to unscramble it, give the info to the FBI if successful but not divulge how they did it? If they keep it in house and then the method gets out then they have no one to blame but themselves.

Robert @ 2/19/2016 1:03 PM

I asked that question on a tech board...and I got 2 different responses (so these may not be accurate)

First Poster: Apple offered to do this, but the FBI said no. The FBI said the information gathered from the phone would be both physical evidence (potentially used in a trial and the chain of custody had to be maintained) & secret information, that could impact national security.

Second Poster: Apple doesn't even trust their own staff (or the FBI). Once they put a team together and make the firmware, and bypass the apple security certificate in essence the "key" exists. If a member of their team (or the FBI) decides to re-engineer the fix (in their own home...or the FBI lab) the key is lost. Apple would never know if their product was secure, unless they re-write the entire IOS (and replace the HW chip that holds the firmware).

Now, there is no accurate way to verify it may all be inaccurate....but the board is pretty reputable data on apple inside moves...

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