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 (www.fleoa.org) is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan professional association that exclusively represents over 26,000 active and retired federal law enforcement officers from over 65 agencies.