"Once created, this software -- which law enforcement has conceded it wants to apply to many iPhones -- would become a weakness that hackers and criminals could use to wreak havoc on the privacy and personal safety of us all," echoed Federighi.
While the amicus briefs filed on behalf of Apple last week were filled with language best suited to legal and policy wonks, Federighi stuck to points that had a better chance of resonating with the general public.
"Security is an endless race -- one that you can lead but never decisively win," Federighi said. "Yesterday's best defenses cannot fend off the attacks of today or tomorrow. We cannot afford to fall behind those who would exploit technology in order to cause chaos. To slow our pace, or reverse our progress, puts everyone at risk."
The federal magistrate who ordered Apple to assist the FBI will hold a hearing March 22 before making her final decision on Apple's objections. Both the government and Apple are expected to appeal if she rules against them.
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