- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont is staying neutral on whether Apple is correct in refusing the FBI help to break into the iPhone of San Bernardino, California, shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

“I am very fearful in America about Big Brother, and that means not only the federal government getting into your emails or knowing what books you’re taking out of the library, or private corporations knowing everything there is to know about you in terms of you health records, your banking records, your consumer practices. I worry about that very very much,” Mr. Sanders said during a town hall hosted by MSNBC on Thursday.

“I also worry about the possibility of the terrorist attack against our country, and frankly, there is a middle ground that can be reached,” Mr. Sanders said. “There has got to be a balance. But count me in as someone who is a very strong civil libertarian who believes we can fight terrorism without undermining our constitutional rights and our privacy rights.”

This week a federal judge ordered Apple to bypass security functions on the iPhone used by Farook, one of the terrorists in the December mass shootings of 14 people in California. Apple has refused to cooperate, saying the order would set a “chilling precedent.” Apple pledged to fight aggressively against government efforts to “weaken the security” of consumer technology products.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have demanded that Apple cooperate with the federal government in their investigation.

In an interview with PBS yesterday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a Democrat from California, told Apple they should comply with the court order, saying the information found on the phone could prevent future acts of terrorism. Mrs. Feinstein said that if Apple didn’t comply, she and her colleagues would introduce a law to compel them to.

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