February 17, 2016
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On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI break into an iPhone owned by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, giving Apple five days to object. It took Apple only a few hours to say no.

"We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to customers on the Apple website. But while "up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them," the U.S. government has now "asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone."

Cook continued:

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession....

We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them. Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority. [Apple]

Cook wrote that the FBI's demand should spark a "public discussion." You can read his conversation-starter at Apple's site. Peter Weber

4:42 p.m. ET
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A Wisconsin city clerk fought adding an early voting site near a college campus because "students lean more towards the Democrats." Green Bay clerk Kris Teske pressed the state's Elections Commission by email to oppose the polling station at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, even though the site would be open for all city residents to use, not just students. Long primary voting lines last spring led the courts to order more polling stations, The Nation reports, but Teske sought to evade the order by arguing that campus polling booths were "encouraging students to vote more than benefiting the city as a whole."

The Elections Commission later released a statement saying it "did not participate in the city's ultimate decision" on whether to open more absentee voting locations, Wisconsin Public Radio reports. Currently the only place to vote absentee in Green Bay's is Teske's office.

The emails from Teske were made public by One Wisconsin Institute, a liberal organization working to strike down a handful of Wisconsin voting restrictions, including its voter ID law. The Week Staff

3:57 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court on Friday announced that it will hear a high schooler's challenge that he be allowed to use the bathroom at school that corresponds to his gender identity, not his biological sex.

Gavin Grimm, a transgender male student at a Virginia high school, initially sued the Gloucester County school district over its policy "limiting restroom use to students' biological sex," BuzzFeed News reports, but lost at the district court level before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals found in his favor. Grimm's case centers on whether the school district's policy violates Title IX protection, which has been the Obama administration's position as the issue has gained prominence this year.

Grimm's case will be the Supreme Court's first consideration of transgender bathroom rules. Kimberly Alters

3:57 p.m. ET

Following the FBI's announcement Friday that it would be further reviewing emails potentially related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server, Clinton's campaign has responded by lashing out at FBI Director James Comey.

"It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election," Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said, claiming Comey "should immediately provide the American public more information than is contained in the letter." Podesta added that Comey already "declared no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with a case like this" when he recommended no criminal charges last summer, and that "Donald Trump and his Republican allies" in the intervening months "have been baselessly second-guessing the FBI."

The New York Times confirmed after the FBI's announcement Friday that the emails were discovered during the bureau's investigation into former New York congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Earlier reporting from NBC's Pete Williams had indicated the new messages were not emails sent by Clinton herself, nor were they wrongfully withheld during the initial FBI investigation. Jeva Lange

3:33 p.m. ET
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The FBI announced Friday that it would be renewing its investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server after learning of "the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation," as FBI Director James Comey wrote in a letter to Congress. Those new emails were apparently discovered in the FBI seizure of "electronic devices belonging to Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner," The New York Times reports.

Abedin and Weiner separated earlier this year after renewed reports of Weiner sexting other women. "The FBI and the New York Police Department have opened preliminary investigations of allegations that the former New York Democratic congressman exchanged sexually explicit text messages with a purportedly underage girl," CNN reported in September.

In July, the FBI recommended no criminal charges after looking into if Clinton or her aides had mishandled classified information. Comey did, however, say at the time that Clinton was "extremely careless" with her private email server. Jeva Lange

3:03 p.m. ET

The Observer has obtained the contents of a 2006 audio tape that appears to reveal then-Sen. Hillary Clinton suggesting the U.S. should have rigged the Palestinian election. "I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake," Clinton is heard telling the editorial board of The Jewish Press about the Jan. 25, 2006 election for the second Palestinian Legislative Council, in which Hamas won a victory over the U.S.-preferred Fatah. "And if we were going to push for an election," Clinton went on, "then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win."

The original tape belongs to Eli Chomsky, a former editor and staff writer for The Jewish Press, who claims to have the only copy in existence. Chomsky told The Observer, which is published by Donald Trump's son-in-law, that at the time he was surprised "anyone could support the idea — offered by a national political leader, no less — that the U.S. should be in the business of fixing foreign elections."

The news went unpublished at the time, Chomsky explained, because "The Jewish Press had this mindset that they would not want to say anything offensive about anybody … My bosses didn't think it was newsworthy at the time. I was convinced that it was and I held onto it all these years."

The tape is 45 minutes long, and contains "much that is no longer relevant," The Observer writes. You can listen below, or read more about it at The Observer. Jeva Lange

2:42 p.m. ET

After FBI Director James Comey announced that the bureau would be renewing its look into Hillary Clinton's private email server, liberals reacted with both shock and concern over an election that many had already been celebrating as a victory.

You might guess how the news has gone over with Donald Trump. Jeva Lange

2:22 p.m. ET

On Friday, the FBI announced it would be doing a further review of emails potentially related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server. Clinton was on a plane en route to Iowa when the news broke, which led to frenzied anticipation of the Democratic nominee's response to the news.

After spending almost half an hour still inside the plane when it finally did land, Clinton emerged at last — and was greeted by this:

And you thought landing at LaGuardia was bad. Kimberly Alters

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