SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — After Apple said it will not comply with a federal judge’s orders to help the FBI hack into an iPhone belonging to one of the killers in the San Bernardino shooting massacre, the boyfriend of one massacre victim said he strongly disagrees with the company and is considering getting rid of his Apple products.
Ryan Reyes, whose boyfriend Daniel Kaufman was killed in the terror attack, told CBS2’s Crystal Cruz that the shooters are dead and therefore don’t have rights. Reyes said he’s considering getting rid of his Apple products.
The family of massacre victim Yvette Velasco also issued a statement criticizing “Apple’s reluctance to cooperate with authorities.”
“Frankly, it’s difficult to understand why Apple would not jump at the opportunity to help uncover whatever information the phone may contain,” the statement said.
“We’re not talking about an an ordinary case here; this is an act of terrorism, where 14 Americans lost their lives and many more were seriously injured. It’s potentially a matter of national security, where other Americans’ safety could be at risk.”
Mandy Pifer, who was engaged to marry another victim of the attack, said she agrees.
“The little ‘i’ [in iPhone] could now stand for ISIS,” she said. “Is my privacy important? Absolutely. But so is my life and my physical well-being and the well-being of my neighbors.”
Many San Bernardino residents and others across the Southland agreed that Apple should comply with the court order.
“I think they should unlock it,” said Crushunda Johnson, an Apple customer who lives in San Bernardino. “If there’s any information that could stop something like this from happening again, that’s something they should do.”
The government is asking the tech giant to disable the auto-erase feature, which wipes a phone’s data if a phone’s password is guessed incorrectly 10 times.
Some said Apple has a special obligation, since the FBI investigation could have national security implications.
“We’ve got to protect our country, and Apple should be forced to provide that information,” said La Canada resident Jeff Peters.
But Apple has said it values the privacy of its customers above all else.
“We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a statement. “While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products.
“Ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”
Many Apple customers in Pasadena said they support the company’s stance in favor of maintaining customers’ privacy.
“I do respect the fact that no matter who it is, they’re going by what their policy is regarding privacy,” said Chris Balan.
“If this is the stand we have to take to save a little bit of [privacy], I think maybe we should,” said Valerie Main of San Gabriel.
“The government can want what the government wants, but Apple made a good decision in protecting our privacy,” said Apple customer Warren Schenck.
According to Cook, Apple assisted the FBI in the days after the attack and has “worked hard to support the government’s efforts to solve this horrible crime.”
The FBI is still trying to piece together a 2-hour stretch between the massacre and the attackers’ shoot-out with police. They’re hoping recovering information from the iPhone could help fill in those gaps.
However, Apple says it does not have the software to comply with the court order, even if the company was inclined to do so.
“If they’re saying they don’t have the software to do it currently, I guess that could be a problem,” said Glenn Willwerth, who owns a business in San Bernardino.
Apple has five days to appeal the federal judge’s order.