Apple is getting support this morning from another high-tech heavyweight in its standoff with the FBI.

THIS-MORNING-02 ...

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heavyweight in its standoff with the FBI.>

unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers. The FBI needs

just four digits to crack this code.>

Apple is getting support this morning from another high-tech heavyweight in its standoff with the FBI. Google`s CEO says Apple is right to defy a judge`s order to help unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers. The FBI needs just four digits to crack this code. Jeff Pegues is in Washington with the escalating fight. Jeff, good morning.

JEFF PEGUES (CBS News Homeland Security Correspondent): Good morning. Apple`s lawyers are digging in. Industry sources say the tech giant is ready to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court.

(Begin VT)

JEFF PEGUES: The FBI is locked out of Syed Farook`s iPhone 5C. Apple is betting it`s global customer base once unbreakable encryption, not a company that hands over their customer`s private information. The U.S. magistrate judge ordered Apple to disable the iPhone`s auto erase feature which wipes out all of its data if the wrong pass code is entered ten times. Apple`s CEO Tim Cook says the tech giant doesn`t have the technology and that developing it would create a back door to not only that iPhone but millions of devices. The White House defended the Department of Justice`s request for Apple to aid in an investigation. The President calls an important national priority.

JOSH EARNEST (White House Press Secretary): They are not asking Apple to redesign its product or to create a new backdoor to one of their products. They`re simply asking for something that would have an impact on this one device.

JEFF PEGUES: As the war on terror and the right to privacy collide, CNET`s Dan Ackerman says Apple and the FBI both have compelling yet competing interests.

DAN ACKERMAN: Apple is saying even if you promise you`re only going to use it once, it`s going to get used again and again. And once you create the precedent of giving that access once you`re not going to be able to deny at the time next time.

JEFF PEGUES: Google`s CEO Sundar Pichai posted a series of tweets Wednesday siding with Apple, saying, "we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders, but that`s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices and data." In the two months since Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik killed fourteen people in San Bernardino, California, the FBI has been poring over their electronic and internet history. They`ve discovered evidence that Farook and Malik sympathized with ISIS and other Islamic radicals leading up to the terror attack.

(End VT)

JEFF PEGUES: Publicly, Apple says it doesn`t have the technology to do what the FBI wants but a top industry official tells CBS News that Apple could theoretically write the software to comply with that ruling. Charlie.

CHARLIE ROSE: Jeff, thanks.

END

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