US accuses Apple of 'repudiating' order on phone access

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is firing back at Apple for refusing to help unlock a phone used by one of the gunmen in the San Bernardino attack. In a new motion Friday, federal prosecutors say the company has chosen to repudiate a judge's order instead of following it. The department...

 
              FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus during the Apple event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Apple has spent years setting itself up as the champion of individual privacy and security, a decision that’s landed it in the government’s crosshairs over an iPhone allegedly used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. The high-profile case presents risks for Apple almost no matter what it does, and may spill over into the broader tech industry as well, potentially chilling cooperation with federal efforts to curb extremism. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is firing back at Apple for refusing to help unlock a phone used by one of the gunmen in the San Bernardino attack.

In a new motion Friday, federal prosecutors say the company has chosen to repudiate a judge's order instead of following it.

The department also says Apple designs its products to allow technology — "rather than the law" — to control access to critical data.

Prosecutors also make clear that Apple would be allowed to retain possession of the phone and technology.

The motion offers a sharply worded response to a message that Apple's chief executive officer, Tim Cook, said in a message to Apple customers this week.

It represents a further escalation in a public relations battle that the two sides are waging.

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