Florida sheriff threatens to arrest Tim Cook if Apple resists encryption cooperation

“A Florida county sheriff has threatened to arrest Apple CEO Tim Cook, were a situation to arise similar to Apple’s resistance to government pressure in the ongoing San Bernardino terrorism investigation,” Cyrus Farivar reports for Ars Technica.

“Speaking at a press conference Wednesday that was published by FOX 13, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd… was asked about Apple’s refusal to help create a custom-firmware that would allow the FBI to brute force the seized iPhone 5C from San Bernardino,” Farivar reports. “‘You cannot create a business model to go, ‘We’re not paying attention to the federal judge or the state judge. You see, we’re above the law,” Judd said. ‘The CEO of Apple needs to know he’s not above the law, and neither is anybody else in the United States.'”

“He noted that if his agency were to face locked iPhones in the future, it may result in Cook being put behind bars, presumably under a contempt of court order,” Farivar reports. “‘But believe you me, if I get a toe hold in this county and I can get the state attorney’s office to prosecute, and a judge to back us up with it, I’ll lock the rascal up,’ Judd concluded.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Cool your jets, Rosco P. Coltrane.

This should not be decided court by court by court… This isn’t how this should happen. If there is going to be a law, then it should be done out in the open for people, so their voices can be heard through their representatives in Congress… Let me be clear, at the end of the day, we have to follow the law, just like everybody else. We have to follow the law. What is going on right now is we’re having our voices be heard. I would encourage everyone that have a voice or that wants to have a voice, wants to have an opinion, make sure their voice is heard. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 24, 2016

59 Comments

        1. Leodavinci1, the cops are *law enforcement*, not the law. There is a distinct difference. People like Grady Judd should not be in charge of a law enforcement organization. His grandstanding – what else can you call it when a sheriff publicly comments on a theoretical situation and begs for an opportunity to lock up a nationally know business person? – clearly shows that he is way too full of himself. Roscoe…lol! Nailed that one, MDN!

          People have commented frequent in this forum about how we are in danger from our government “taking over.” But I believe that the real danger is from the core functions of our society – the justice system and law enforcement. There is a very thin veneer of civilization that holds anarchy at bay. We depend on the rule of law to keep most of the baser aspects of human nature in control. For that to be successful, however, the justice system and law enforcement must have the faith and trust of the governed. When that breaks down, the fabric of society is torn and anarchy is not far behind.

          When I was young, kids dreamed of becoming police officers to catch the bad guys and help people. It was a respected profession and most people were not afraid to turn to the police for help. Things have changed. Officers of the law do not receive the respect that we should accord them because the actions of a subset have tainted the entire profession. Fewer kids want to become police officers, and that is a bad sign. The children have picked up on one of the ills in our society.

          Our country is only as strong as the organizations and people who administer and enforce our laws. When the respect for those organizations wane, then the country is rotting from the bottom.

      1. THE POLICE ARE THE LAW!
        THE JUDGES ARE THE LAW!

        I see you like abstract concepts, cute, but not real life.

        A lot of people setting in jail have a better understanding than you. What do billionaires do in real jail? We may find out. If ordered by the courts, lawyers are going to get rich, Cook refuses a lawful order, he will sit in jail.The rich are often exempt from the law, within degrees, power of influences, but this is too public now.

        This is now becoming a question of following the law. this is america, free to protest and all that, but part of that, consequences of your action, etc., is going to jail, at least until… judge let’s you out or the law changes and a judge let’s you out.

          1. Not socialist. Socialism a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies.

            Mark pull it together man, stop listening to the crazies at Fox News.

            The rich benefit greatly in every ism, communism, socialism, capitalism… “The way of the World”

            1. No, the Nazis were not socialists any more than North Korea is democratic just because it calls itself the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

              Just because a man sits in a shopping mall in red suit and a white beard in December, it doesn’t make him Santa Claus.

            2. Yes, the Nazis were socialist, read history.
              They were the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
              The North Koreans are Maoist Communists. Both cases involved cults of personality and neither have anything to do with Santa Clause.

      2. There appears to be considerable confusion on the point being made. Law enforcement officers may _think_ they know the law. But they can be wrong. Citizens have the right to ask the court if law enforcement is acting lawfully.

        It once happened to me about a petty issue: I got ticketed and fined for making an “illegal” left turn, as my left directional signal was not on. Ultimately the judge agreed that I did not break the law as it was written — because the left-turn was controlled by a traffic light at an intersection, with a dedicated left-turn lane, and left-turn traffic was indicated with 7 road signs (arrows), and there was no safety reason to utilize my directional signal to alert oncoming traffic that I would be turning across their traffic lane. The police officer and Town Attorney were found to be wrong in interpreting this law. And they were very pissed off because my case voided dozens …and perhaps more… similar bogus tickets. Personally, I think it was a money-making scheme for the town. And a lot of innocent people paid fines until I questioned their interpretation of the law.

        The point is: police officers are not the law — they are law enforcement. The same goes for judges — they are not the law, they are law enforcement.

        Tim Cook believes the warrant that the FBI asked the court to serve on Apple is not supported by the law. And — well, at least the last time I looked — in the USA, he has the right to ascertain, via our system of jurisprudence, whether what the FBI and Court has asked Apple to do is legal.

  1. Just another dumb cop trying to look tough based on a hypothetical situation in his jurisdiction.

    If a judge can compel Apple to write something like code. Then the same thing could happen to that dumbshite Kanye West. I, Judge blah blah, order you, Kanye West, to write a good enough song that people will buy. Then give the only copy to your debt collector to get you out of debt. And then hope that it doesn’t get out to where people are downloading it for free. Because you know, they said they’d keep it safe and only sell to paying customers.

  2. All it proves is that a lot of factions are gunning for Apple and Tim Cook. It’s just par for the course for Apple shareholders having to get involved in something like this. Apple needs to take some of those billions of dollars it’s sitting on and hire hundreds of lawyers to make sure they win this case. Unfortunately, I’ve got a bad feeling they’re going lose this case like they usually do. Apple vs the court system never turns out well for Apple.

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