U.S. government

Victim's Family Outraged Apple Didn't Voluntarily Unlock San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone

The iPhone used by San Bernardino mass shooter Syed Farook remains locked — and the phone is so secure that even the U.S. government can’t break into it, despite two months of efforts.

A judge ruled Tuesday that Apple must help hack the phone, but the tech giant is pushing back.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday the company will resist the order. Cook asserted such a move would undermine encryption by creating a backdoor that could potentially be used on future devices.

Tuesday's ruling comes after 10 failed password attempts caused the device to automatically erase all of the phone's contents, which the FBI said were critical. The iPhone found in the couple’s car belonged to Farook and was given to him by his former employer.

San Bernardino County Health Department officials gave their consent along to search the phone, but Apple did not.

"If you try to look at this from Apple’s perspective, they want to ensure their customers they are taking great strides to protect their customers' privacy," said retired FBI special agent in charge Jeffrey Harp.

The husband of one of the victims said Tuesday night he was upset Apple didn’t volunteer to assist from the start.

"For national security, it should not take three months to help the federal government with this decision," said Arlen Verdeh, whose wife, Bennetta Betbadal, was one of 14 people killed in the Dec. 2 attack. "I am very upset with Apple for not assisting the federal government."

The couple's son celebrated his 11th birthday Tuesday night — the first without his mother.

"People’s lives matter," Verdeh said.

The FBI is desperate to access the phone in hopes its data could lead to other terrorist contacts or plans.

"This could reduce other instances. Any assistance they can help the federal government in finding what’s behind those phones is a big help," Verdeh said.

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