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Apple doubled-down Thursday by asking a federal court to vacate its order that the company create a tool to unlock the iPhone of shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. But if a higher court ultimately requires Apple to do that, as seems likely, the company will be seen by privacy advocates at home and abroad as having been rolled by the U.S. government. Neither outcome is in Apple's interest.First, Cook has argued that if Apple creates a special tool for Farook's phone, it could be used by governments or hackers to crack any other iPhone. But Stewart Baker, a former National Security Agency lawyer and a leading writer on encryption issues, cites an Apple security paper that suggests Apple has plenty of ways to prevent the tool from being used without Apple's permission or on phones other than Farook's.Apple has also argued that if it unlocks Farook's phone for the FBI, it might have to provide similar help whenever it gets a legal order from foreign governments, including repressive ones in Russia or China.
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