Monday, February 22, 2016

The Letter CEO Tim Cook Sent Out to Apple Employees This Morning

Target Liberty has obtained a copy of the email letter that Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out today concerning the US government's demand that Apple crack open the cell phone of San Bernadino ISIS-sympathizer and killer Syed Farook. The full letter is below.

Subject: Thank you for your support


Last week we asked our customers and people across the United States to join a public dialogue about important issues facing our country. In the week since that letter, I’ve been grateful for the thought and discussion we’ve heard and read, as well as the outpouring of support we’ve received from across America.

As individuals and as a company, we have no tolerance or sympathy for terrorists. When they commit unspeakable acts like the tragic attacks in San Bernardino, we work to help the authorities pursue justice for the victims. And that’s exactly what we did.

This case is about much more than a single phone or a single investigation, so when we received the government’s order we knew we had to speak out. At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties.

As you know, we use encryption to protect our customers — whose data is under siege. We work hard to improve security with every software release because the threats are becoming more frequent and more sophisticated all the time.

Some advocates of the government’s order want us to roll back data protections to iOS 7, which we released in September 2013. Starting with iOS 8, we began encrypting data in a way that not even the iPhone itself can read without the user’s passcode, so if it is lost or stolen, our personal data, conversations, financial and health information are far more secure. We all know that turning back the clock on that progress would be a terrible idea.

Our fellow citizens know it, too. Over the past week I’ve received messages from thousands of people in all 50 states, and the overwhelming majority are writing to voice their strong support. One email was from a 13-year-old app developer who thanked us for standing up for “all future generations.” And a 30-year Army veteran told me, “Like my freedom, I will always consider my privacy as a treasure.”

I’ve also heard from many of you and I am especially grateful for your support.

Many people still have questions about the case and we want to make sure they understand the facts. So today we are posting answers on to provide more information on this issue. I encourage you to read them.

Apple is a uniquely American company. It does not feel right to be on the opposite side of the government in a case centering on the freedoms and liberties that government is meant to protect.

Our country has always been strongest when we come together. We feel the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and, as some in Congress have proposed, form a commission or other panel of experts on intelligence, technology and civil liberties to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms. Apple would gladly participate in such an effort.

People trust Apple to keep their data safe, and that data is an increasingly important part of everyone’s lives. You do an incredible job protecting them with the features we design into our products. Thank you.



  1. This company is asking the government to step back on its coercion of private citizens. Whatever their motivations or past acts, this action should be supported.

  2. Absolutely agree Brian. Keep it up Apple!

  3. This is the letter I would've written:


    Last week the United States government, through the issuance of a court order, demanded that our company created a software key that could defeat the encryption of a particular phone manufactured by us. Let me assure you that, as a company, we're not going to accept the validity of this order as it stems from a clear violation of our rights protected under the constitution and as a matter of moral principle.

    As individuals and as a company, we have no tolerance or sympathy for government bureaucrats who hide behind legalese in order to hide their true intention, which is to obtain by either fear or intimidation a backdoor to our private information. All for free, of course. Please rest assured that the argument wielded by the government in the Media, which is most of the time in cahoots with the government, that our refusal to cooperate is tantamount to "helping the terrorists", is not only absurd - it is also dishonest. It is meant to elicit an emotional response against our defense of our property and liberty.

    If there is one thing that this company holds as precious, is our reputation with our millions of customers. By giving in to the government demands, our customers will feel betrayed. I, for one, am not willing to betray them. I want to thank you for your support. I assure you, you have mine.

  4. "As individuals and as a company, we have no tolerance or sympathy for terrorists."

    So Apple has no tolerance or sympathy for the US government. Good to know.

    "When they commit unspeakable acts like the tragic attacks in San Bernardino, we work to help the authorities pursue justice for the victims."

    Only that multiple EYE-WITNESSES described the "terrorists" as three tall athletic white men, not olive-skinned man and petite 90-lb woman.

    Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

  5. If the iPhone in question was using fingerprint ID t andhe FBI could have used the finger of the corpse to unlock the iPhone. Furthermore the NSA has every record of every phone call made in the US. Maybe the FBI doesn't have very good relations with NSA so they want to steamroll Apple, or maybe they are just too inconvenienced to ask. In any event I don't want the FBI to have access to my data for any reason without a legal warrant for my specific device.