February 18, 2016
Two weeks ago, the FBI called Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, with a jarring message: the agency wanted Apple to help them hack an iPhone. Apple refused.
The request stepped up a level on 16 February when a federal magistrate ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock a single iPhone – the phone belonging to one of the killers in the December mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Apple again refused.
But this carefully planned legal battle has been months in the making, US officials and tech executives told the Guardian, as the government and Apple try to settle whether national security can dictate how Silicon Valley writes computer code.