Apple Vs. FBI battle over mobile encryption case is taking more twists and turns with every day pass by.
On one hand, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is boldly warning Apple that it might compel the company to hand over the source code of its full iOS operating system along with the private electronic signature needed to run a modified iOS version on an iPhone, if…
…Apple does not help the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) unlock iPhone 5C belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists.
And on the other hand, Apple CEO Tim Cook is evident on his part, saying that the FBI wants the company to effectively create the "software equivalent of cancer" that would likely open up all iPhones to malicious hackers.
Now, some Apple engineers who actually develop the iPhone encryption technology could refuse to help the law enforcement break security measures on iPhone, even if Apple as a company decides to cooperate with the FBI.
Apple Emplyees to Quit their Jobs
Citing more than a half-dozen current and former Apple engineers, The New York Times report claims that the engineers may refuse the work or even "quit their jobs" if a court order compels them to create a backdoor for the very software they once worked to secure.
"Apple employees are already discussing what they will do if ordered to help law enforcement authorities," reads the report. "Some say they may balk at the work, while others may even quit their high-paying jobs rather than undermine the security of the software they have already created."
Apple previously said that building a new backdoored version of iOS to satisfy the FBI's demand would require up to a month of work and a team of 6-10 engineers, naturally Apple's top software engineers.
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However, Apple employees said they already have "a good idea who those employees would be." They include:
- A former aerospace engineer who developed software for the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.
- A senior quality-assurance engineer who is an expert "bug catcher" with experience in testing Apple products.
- An employee specializes in security architecture for the operating systems powering Apple products including iPhone, Mac and Apple TV.
The FBI wants Apple assistant to help the authorities bypass security mechanisms on the San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook's iPhone 5C so that they can extract data from the phone.
Given that the San Bernardino case is currently working its way through the courts and that no one is prepared to stand down, the possibility that Apple might have to comply with the orders is probably years away.