Inside Apple this idea is nicknamed, not affectionately, GovtOS.
“We had long discussions about that internally, when they asked
us,” Cook says. “Lots of people were involved. It wasn’t just me
sitting in a room somewhere deciding that way, it was a labored
decision. We thought about all the things you would think we would
think about.” The decision, when it came, was no.
Cook actually thought that might be the end of it. It wasn’t: on
Feb. 16 the FBI both escalated and went public, obtaining a court
order from a federal judge that required Apple to create GovtOS
under something called the All Writs Act. Cook took deep,
Alabaman umbrage at the manner in which he learned about the
court order, which was in the press: “If I’m working with you for
several months on things, if I have a relationship with you, and
I decide one day I’m going to sue you, I’m a country boy at the
end of the day: I’m going to pick up the phone and tell you I’m
going to sue you.”