Apple attorney Ted Olson is worried that a loss to the FBI over unlocking an iPhone will lead to a police state.
The tech giant is currently refusing to unlock an iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook.
Olson told CNN Money in an interview on Friday, that a loss for Apple would be a loss for the American people.
Olson said that if Apple were to comply with the FBI’s request for assistance in investigating the San Bernardino terrorist attack that left 14 dead by opening a “back door” on the iPhone, it could also open the door to greater — possibly even “limitless” — government power to “listen to your conversations.”
“You can imagine every different law enforcement official telling Apple we want a new product to get into something,” Olson said.
“Even a state judge could order Apple to build something. There’s no stopping point. That would lead to a police state,” he added.
Olson didn’t say how far he expected Apple to go in defending its customers’ right to privacy. However, he did mention that the Supreme Court could become involved in the case.
“It’s very easy to say ‘terrorism is involved’ and therefore you should do whatever the government wants to do,” Olson said.
“But just because you’re using the word ‘terrorism,’ you don’t want to violate the civil liberties that all of us cherish.”