In an interview with reporters today, a senior Apple executive made the case that, should the company comply with United States government demands to help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, other governments will soon follow suit.
Apple's slippery slope argument suggests that following the demand will have global repercussions — that by complying with the United States, they will be forced to hear similar demands made by countries like China. Reports have suggested that the company has already submitted to "security audits" in China, but the executive told reporters that no other country has made demands similar to what is being asked by the FBI in its investigation.
The comments echo what CEO Tim Cook said in an open letter published this week, in which he argued that the government's request would have ripple effects. "The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone," Cook wrote. "But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices."
Today, ahead of Apple's phone conference, the Justice Department filed a new motion in the case, suggesting that the company's defiance of the order was done as a marketing stunt.