Speed Reads

Apple vs. FBI

Apple warns that losing its faceoff with the FBI 'would lead to a police state'

Apple attorney Ted Olson thinks the implications of the tech company losing its standoff with the FBI over refusing to unlock the San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook's iPhone would extend far past just compromising the security of the iPhone. Rather, Olson told CNN Money in an interview Friday, 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."

While Olson declined to say just how far Apple would go in its legal battle to avoid putting "an Achilles heel on the iPhone," he did mention the possibility of the case going all the way to the Supreme Court. "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."