Apple and US government head to court over iPhone hack order

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The dispute over whether Apple must help the FBI hack into a dead San Bernardino attacker's iPhone is about to play out in a Southern California courtroom.

The hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Riverside is the first in the battle that has seen Apple CEO Tim Cook and FBI Director James Comey spar over issues of privacy and national security.

The case is likely to set a precedent regarding whether technology companies must assist law enforcement.

A magistrate judge sided last month with the FBI. The agency wants Apple to help it crack the iPhone passcode for the gunman in the Dec. 2 attacks that killed 14 people.

Apple says doing so would tarnish its brand and threaten the trust its customers have about the security of their personal information.