'A Message to Our Customers'

Tim Cook:

The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.

This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.

This is, of course, in response to the story that broke yesterday that a federal judge has ordered Apple to assist the FBI in hacking the work iPhone of one of the San Bernadino shooters. Please go read the letter in its entirety. Few things are more important right now.

I've written multiple times now about Tim Cook's stance on customer privacy and staying true to Apple's principles in that regard. He has held strong today and produced a response infused with honesty and care that other business leaders should aim to emulate.

Cook rightly calls out the serious implications of this order, and emphasizes a need to educate the public, rather than fall back on hyperbole to evoke fear (like the government has time and time again).

This is just the beginning. I'm sure Apple will get dragged through the mud by officers and politicians alike in the coming weeks, months, years. What will be remembered though is that this thrusts the privacy debate into the spotlight, and history will remember Apple as a leader in maintaining freedom when others would seek to erode it.

I've never been more proud to be an Apple customer.