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US Defense Secretary Warns Against Tech 'Back Doors'

  • VOA News

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, March 1, 2016.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, March 1, 2016.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Wednesday he opposes "a single technical approach" as a solution to the complex legal battle between Apple and the FBI.

The FBI has asked the tech company for assistance unlocking the passcode to an iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the shooters who killed 14 in San Bernardino, California last December.

Apple refused the request, saying it cannot be asked to hack one of its own devices. The company says the creation of a "back-door" could endanger a wide array of devices while raising privacy concerns.

"I don't think we ought to let one case drive a general conclusion or solution," Carter said in remarks at a San Francisco tech event. "We have to work together to work our way out through this problem."

Carter also warned that legislation written by Congress to deal with the issue could be lacking technical knowledge and "may be written in an atmosphere of anger and grief."

Apple filed a formal objection to a Federal order to assist the FBI on March 2. Tech companies Microsoft, Google and Facebook are expected to file briefs supporting Apple on Thursday.

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