John Bolton: Apple ‘Simply Wrong’ to Deny FBI Access to Terrorists’ iPhone

AP Photo/Dennis Cook
AP Photo/Dennis Cook

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, argued on Breitbart News Daily Thursday morning that Apple’s response to the U.S. government’s demand for Apply to unlock the San Bernardino jihadi’s iPhone is “simply wrong.”


Bolton acknowledged civil-liberties concerns, and the importance of keeping personal data secure. However, he stressed the importance of accessing the San Bernardino terrorist’s secure iPhone, and said the access law enforcement wants from Apple would be carefully controlled with the proper judicial warrants.  

“We’ve got here a phone that was in the possession of known terrorists, who committed a mass murder because of their terrorist beliefs,” said Bolton.  “All that the FBI has asked for – and by the way, gotten a court order to order – is to provide a way into this particular phone. Now, Apple’s response – which is, ‘well, if we develop that, suddenly everyone in the world will have access to all of our iPhones and other equipment’ – is just simply wrong.”

“You can have full protections built in here, so that the government can’t get to these kinds of data without a court order,” he asserted. “The people who listened to Edward Snowden, and think his version of reality is close to the truth, may not understand that, but I think there are ample judicial protections that we could see in place here, and it may be something Congress is going to have to weigh in on.”

Bolton warned that Apple, by refusing to provide access to its secure phones, “is demonstrating to terrorists, and enemies of the United States all over the world, that they’ve got the FBI over a barrel. And that is a signal that our capabilities, our national security capabilities, are not what many people think they are.  So let’s be clear: objectively, Apple is doing a service for our adversaries.”

Bolton agreed with host Stephen K. Bannon that the public’s sense that huge, international corporations like Apple are putting their global bottom line ahead of the American people’s interests – a driving factor in the populist campaigns of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders – is reinforced by decisions such as Apple’s refusal to cooperate with counter-terrorist authorities.  

Bolton recalled an earlier time, during the Reagan Administration, when telephone companies were more willing to cooperate in the area of encrypted land-line communications.  He warned Internet companies that they could provoke legislative action by refusing to work with national security demands.


Breitbart News Daily airs from 6AM-9AM EST on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125.


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