San Bernardino Shootings Set Up Major Clash Between Government, Apple

The terror attack in San Bernardino in December has set up a major clash between the U.S. Government and Apple Computer--and potentially the entire tech industry--after a judge signed an order yesterday in Riverside ordering Apple to disable the data wiping features on the Apple iPhone used by the shooters in the attack. The order has asked Apple to disable the feature on its phones which completely wipes the data on a phone after 10 incorrect tries at entering a password, in order for the FBI to access contacts, photos, iMessages, and other data.

The agency hopes that information might help it figure out if Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were in communications with other attackers, had other potential targets, or had support from others. The order apparently does not ask Apple to break the encryption on the terrorists' iPhone, only to allow the FBI to "brute force" the password to access the phone. Apple, taking what could end up being a very controversial stance in helping to shield the data of the San Bernardino terrorists, said in a statement posted on its website that complying with the order would "threaten the security of its customers" and that the order has "implications far beyond the legal case at hand".