Tim Cook is standing firm.
The Apple CEO reiterated his position on the company’s legal fight with the FBI during its annual shareholder meeting on Friday.
“We do these [things] because these are the right things to do,” Cook said. “We are a staunch advocate of privacy.”
Cook hadn’t said anything publicly about the dispute since his interview with ABC’s David Muir on Wednesday.
Apple (Tech30) has spent the better half of two weeks in the spotlight because of the case. ,
On Thursday, Apple argued that a court order forcing it to help authorities unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters violated its constitutional rights.
But public support has been more divided. A recent Pew Research Center study found that 51% of Americans say Apple should comply with the court order and help unlock the phone. Less than 40% say Apple should not, and the remainder say they didn’t offer an opinion.
Apple attorney Ted Olson told CNNMoney’s Laurie Segall on Friday that complying with the order could mean a government with “limitless” powers.
“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.”
Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, who attended Apple’s shareholder meeting, threw his support behind the company in its fight with the government.
Jackson recalled how the FBI wiretapped Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.
“We’ve been down this road before,” Jackson told reporters after the meeting.
“There are now those who run for office who approve of so much government interference. … We deserve better,” Jackson said. “The principles of America must stand up and must stand with Tim. We must stop the government overreach.”
A shareholder proposal to force Apple to increase diversity among its board and senior management was rejected on Friday.