Maricopa County Attorney bans new iPhones because Apple is 'on the side of terrorists'
Man shouting at cell phone (Shutterstock)

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced this week that employees would no longer be able to obtain iPhones because Apple's stand on privacy puts the company "on the side of terrorists."

In a news release on Wednesday, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said that effective immediately it "will discontinue providing iPhones as option for replacements or upgrades for existing employees."

“Apple’s refusal to cooperate with a legitimate law enforcement investigation to unlock a phone used by terrorists puts Apple on the side of terrorists instead of on the side of public safety,” Montgomery opined in the statement. “Positioning their refusal to cooperate as having anything to do with privacy interests is a corporate PR stunt and ignores the 4th Amendment protections afforded by our Constitution.”

Earlier this month, a court used the 1789 All Writs Act to order Apple to assist the FBI in hacking a phone that was in the possession of one of the San Bernardino shooting suspects. Apple has said that the code the government is trying to force it to write would put the privacy of all iPhones at risk.

Apple is expected to fight the order by arguing that computer code is free speech, and that the government cannot compel the company's speech.

Experts warn that a win by the government could have the unintended consequence of companies creating future devices that are virtually un-hackable.

Apple executives indicated this week that the company was already working on phones with new security measures that even it could not hack.

(h/t: Apple Insider)