Apple CEO Tim Cook can probably defy the US government all he wants and not go to jail

“Does Apple CEO Tim Cook risk going to jail by opposing the US government request for help hacking into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone?” Steve LeVine asks for Quartz.

“Cook has said he’ll pursue the legal challenge as far as the US Supreme Court. That sounds courageous, and his stand patriotic,” LeVine writes. “But what he hasn’t said is whether he’s prepared to carry his defiance as far as other Americans who also have taken on the law.”

“It’s in fact not clear yet whether Cook could eventually be subject to jail for refusing a court order,” LeVine writes. “A judge could jail Cook for contempt as the case wends its way through the federal courts, that is if his lawyers couldn’t successfully argue against any penalties until the case reached its natural conclusion in the courts. But Stephen Vladeck, an expert on national security law at American University, told Quartz that it’s Apple as a corporation, and not Cook himself, that is potentially liable to a contempt charge.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Let’s see what Congress does first.

Apple CEO Cook picks up where Snowden left off in privacy debate – February 29, 2016
Obama administration set to expand sharing of data that N.S.A. intercepts – February 28, 2016
If Apple loses, your home could be the next thing that’s unlocked: Access to your security cameras would be just a judge order away – February 28, 2016
The Apple vs. FBI fight is about something more basic than software and laws – February 28, 2016
Apple privacy battle with Washington looms as watershed moment – February 26, 2016
Apple’s lawyer: If we lose, it will lead to a ‘police state’ – February 26, 2016
Apple: The law already exists that protects us from U.S. government demands to hack iPhone – February 26, 2016


  1. When it comes to that country anyone is at risk going to jail, all the government has to do is label you an enemy combatant and it’s a free ticket to the Guantanamo on the Bay Resort.

      1. What’s the purpose of your question? I ask because if you are from the nation that is involved with Tim Cook I suspect you are asking so that you can insult my country rather than wanting to know some of the wonderful features of it.

        Of course if you are from the free and civilized world that’s different, I’ll know for sure that you are wanting to know some of the wonderful features of the country I’m from.

        So putting up your intent up behind that question would be greatly appreciated.

        1. You insult the USA in many of your posts and that’s why I’m asking. The old let he who lives in glass houses cast the first stone, or something like that. What country do you live in please. I live in the USA. Now, tit for tat please.

          1. Puhlease, I don’t insult that country, I simply point out what it is doing to the citizens of the free and civilized world. I’ve insulted that country before, was banned for it, negotiated a relative peace with MDN so as not to ever use the insulting terms again. While I’m on this tangent I’d like to commend the MDN and the community for the great input these last few days, reminds me why I loved that place.

            Every time the parameter of country you so desperately seek is evoked and I have presented it has resulted in a simpleton insult and I shrug it off as so what. Where I live the government is just as corrupt as anywhere else and the black eyes and scars of our history is shared, if I recall that icon correctly.

            You a Viet vet? You say you live there, but are you a citizen, have you lived there all your life? What kind of food do you like?
            Yeah you can insult me as good as you, that’s not the point. Keeping people a percentage of innocent people detained for over a decade. I can see that, during war time. Like the Japanese internment camps, kinda nasty but hadda be done, but to torture like that, that crosses a line.

            I live on planet earth.

            Deal with it.
            I’ll add a salute if you are indeed a Vietnam Vet.

            1. Then allow me to welcome you home sir. You are aware first hand of the atrocities of war and I can only suspect that upon your return you were not accepted as you should have been. I could be wrong.

              You may find it hard to believe, but I have a great love for your country and that is why I am speaking out against what I see are atrocities committed by your nation, against the ideals that made your nation great. It is not to insult but to point out the need to get back on track on the road of justice and morality. That morality was missing in the Pacific arena of World War II when the Japanese did not abide by the rules of the Geneva convention. This resulted in torture and other atrocities that was met and dealt with. I hope that your country can one day see that the consequences of the current actions do not enhance the security of your nation but rather put it in jeopardy.

              Again, welcome home, you deserve a hero’s welcome.

    1. Yes, in the USA. Under the yearly NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act, any “belligerent” can be a terrorist suspect. Under the US Patriot Act, which 99% of the US Congress voted for, Democrats and Reps., all citizens are terrorist suspects.

      1. Bingo, and it’s so deja vu isn’t it. Evokes the way that Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini ran things. It’s all a power and control grab by the fearful.

        Nothing to worry about armed citizens if they act like sheep.

  2. The more they defy the US Gangster Government the more they will be punished. So far the count is as follows… $120 million GONE! Patents INVALIDATED! Anti-Apple judge nominated to the supreme court!

    Obama is a snake in the grass. To think I shed a tear of joy when he was elected. On the other hand we would have had Palin. Oh my god, the world is so screwed.

    1. Blaming the President for these atrocities doesn’t really help matters. Come to think of it, everything bad that has happened in the US, people always seem to blame the President, no matter who’s in office.

      There’s a lot of other things going on in the background. Apple should stand firm when it comes to encryption and user security.

      The government needs to find alternative methods in convicting criminals.

      Criminals know security just as well – if not better – than ordinary people. It’s how they get around things.

      We need to stay vigilant on crime, but we also need to protect ourselves.

      There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer in this situation, but it won’t help calling Obama a snake to solve the issues.

  3. The only thing more ridiculous than the article are some of the comments. No one is going to jail as this has not gone through the court system. The FBI can’t force Apple to do anything no can it throw anyone in jail.

  4. POORLY stated:
    “But what he hasn’t said is whether he’s prepared to carry his defiance as far as other Americans who also have taken on the law.”

    No. It’s the FBI who have ‘taken on the law’. Tim Cook et al. are DEFENDING the law.

    And no, this is NOT a question of ‘breaking the law’ with anyone in danger of going to jail. There is no ‘contempt’ involved with questioning a court order via the courts. This is about defining and revealing the specific law relevant to this situation.

    Simple minds think simple thoughts.

    “Tim’s goin’ ta Jail!’ (0_o)

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