Talking about bringing jobs back from China… then boycotting Apple?
GOP presidential contender Donald Trump is urging his followers to boycott Apple until it complies with the US government in its ongoing encryption battle.
Apple is currently facing a court order requiring the company to assist authorities in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the two killers involved in a San Bernardino mass shooting that killed 14 and injured two dozen others in December 2015.
“First of all, Apple ought to give [authorities] the security to that phone,” Trump told the crowd at a South Carolina rally on Friday. “What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until they give that security number.
I just thought of that—boycott Apple.”
Trump was initially discussing how he believes the US needs to bring back jobs from China before he stumbled into his Apple position.
The comments come as the debate about encryption reached a fever pitch this week. On Friday, the Justice Department demanded that a federal judge make Apple comply with a Tuesday court order requiring Apple to create a custom firmware in the seized iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook.
That firmware would remove a possible automatic wipe feature on the phone if a passcode is incorrectly entered 10 times.
“The phone is not even owned by this young thug that killed all these people,” Trump continued. “The phone’s owned by the government.
It’s not even his phone, so we don’t even have to go that far.
But Tim Cook is looking to do a big number—probably to show how liberal he is.”
Trump followed up his speech with a Bloomberg phone interview in which he continued to dismiss the Apple CEO’s position. “Tim Cook is living in the world of the make believe,” he told the outlet. “I would come down so hard on him—you have no idea—his head would be spinning all of the way back to Silicon Valley.” On Tuesday this week, Cook lashed out against what he described as an “unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion” of the government’s authority.
Elsewhere on Friday, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr (R-N.C.), backed off on trial-balloon legislation he floated earlier that would criminalize Apple’s or any other firm’s refusal to assist the government’s encryption efforts.
In court documents filed Friday, authorities said they needed access to the iPhone because they “believe that Farook used that iPhone to communicate with some of the very people whom he and Malik murdered.
The phone may contain critical communications and data prior to and around the time of the shooting….”
Apple has until next Friday, February 26, to respond to the court order.
A hearing on whether Apple must comply is scheduled for March 22 in Southern California.
Following Trump’s Apple attack, tweets made from the official @realdonaldtrump handle appeared to come from an iPhone.
Trump later tweeted this: “I use both iPhone & Samsung.
If Apple doesn’t give info to authorities on the terrorists I’ll only be using Samsung until they give info.”