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How the Apple-FBI Dispute Ended

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Justice Department drops lawsuit against Apple

The court battle between technology giant Apple (AAPL) and the DOJ (Department of Justice) over a terrorist’s phone ended earlier this week. The FBI had asked Apple to modify its iOS 9 on a single iPhone, removing the limits on passcode attempts. This feature prevents hackers from trying to unlock phones, as the iOS will delete the phone’s data after so many invalid attempts to enter the correct passcode.

The DOJ decided to drop its lawsuit against Apple and stated that the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) unlocked the iPhone of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook with the help of a third party.

According to court records, Google (GOOG) (GOOGL) has also been able to help the DOJ open cellphones. Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) have also openly supported Apple on this issue. Thus, Apple is not the only company to be embroiled in user privacy and encryption issues.

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Why Apple opposed the FBI

Apple continued to oppose the FBI and stated that this move would open a backdoor to any iPhone that the government could easily exploit. “The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, wrote in an open letter.

Cook has also stated that since smartphones store a huge amount of personal information like photos, music, notes, financial information, and contacts, users need protection from hackers and criminals who want to steal the information.

Apple accounts for 15.8% of the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) and 11.3% of the PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ).

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