Apple CEO, Tim Cook acknowledged the latest drama surrounding the Apple's refusal to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone. Cook sent out an email to Apple employees explaining the tough position they are facing. He shared that “it does not feel right” to refuse to help the FBI hack the iPhone used by the terrorist in the mass shootings; however, he explained that complying with the demand would threaten data security for millions, and would also threaten “everyone’s civil liberties.”
Cook reassured employees in the email, "“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.” Then he reiterated the alternative, that hacking the iPhone would risk the “security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people.”
He elaborated by sharing that “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.” But he said, “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.”
The difficulty in this case stems from the fact that in order for Apple to comply with the FBI's request, Apple would have to code an entirely new version of iOS that would act as a "master key" to all other versions of iOS on Apple devices. Besides the fact that this would obviously be a major ethical breach for Apple, and besides the fact that it would basically invalidate Apple's reputation as a secure ecosystem, there is another problem if Apple were to capitulate.
Apple also explained how unsafe it would be for Apple to have and hold on to this “master key” once it is created. Cook explained that even if Apple did its best to protect the technology, Apple “would be relentlessly attacked by hackers and cybercriminals.”
Basically, if Apple created this hacked skeleton key for all iOS devices, it would be like creating an ultra-powerful cyber super-weapon which could be exploited to undermine security for future generations of Apple device users. If that weapon ever fell into the wrong hands the result could be catastrophic. Apple shared that “The only way to guarantee such a powerful tool isn’t abused and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands is to never create it.”