Apple engineers threaten to quit if court ordered to unlock San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

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In the face of a possibility the a court might order Apple to create the software that would allow the government to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, some of Apple’s engineers have a unique solution to getting out of following through with that court order: they will just quit.

The software, which Apple is referring to as “GovtOS,” would require between eight and ten engineers to complete, but a few have anonymously told the New York Times that they would rather quit their jobs than comply with the order, effectively making the order impossible to carry out because of a lack of people who know how to do it.

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“[One is] an engineer who developed software for the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. That engineer previously worked at an aerospace company. Another is a senior quality-assurance engineer who is described as an expert “bug catcher” with experience testing Apple products all the way back to the iPod. A third likely employee specializes in security architecture for the operating systems powering the iPhone, Mac and Apple TV,” reports the Times.

Joseph DeMarco, a former federal prosecutor, admitted that it would be an effective way to get out of writing the software: “If — and this is a big if — every engineer at Apple who could write the code quit and, also a big if, Apple could demonstrate that this happened to the court’s satisfaction, then Apple could not comply and would not have to… It would be like asking my lawn guy to write the code.”

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