STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
One law-enforcement official has a view of what's really at stake in the court fight over an Apple phone - not much. Jarrod Burguan is police chief of San Bernardino, Calif. That's where two people conducted a mass-shooting last year, including one who used an Apple iPhone that the FBI wants to open. Apple is resisting that demand to help. In his first remarks on this issue, Chief Burguan told us he favors unlocking the phone even if there's little inside.
JARROD BURGUAN: I'll be honest with you, I think that there is a reasonably good chance that there is nothing of any value on the phone. What we are hoping might be on the phone would be potential contacts that we would obviously want to talk to.
INSKEEP: Do you think there may be a less intrusive way to get at the information that might be there if there is anything of value?
BURGUAN: Not that I'm aware of. This is an effort to leave no stone unturned in the investigation. And this is something that to allow this phone to sit there and not make an effort to get the information or the data that may be inside of that phone is simply not fair to the victims and their families. The worst-case scenario obviously, is that maybe there was some information on there that would lead to a larger plot or to a larger network and therefore are other people out there that are still a potential danger. I think the probability is probably low, but it could be.
INSKEEP: Are you fearful that this form of encryption will completely change the rules of the game?
BURGUAN: I think it very well could, yes.
INSKEEP: Let me ask though because you're probably well aware that even before the San Bernardino shooting, federal law enforcement officials and other law enforcement officials were raising concerns about encryption and urging some kind of change in the rules, some kind of solution so they could get easier access to phones. Has it crossed your mind that you're being used a little bit in this situation, that this case is being used as an example to advance that agenda which was already there?
BURGUAN: No, no. I keep in mind that law enforcement across the board is concerned about this encryption issue. You know, I'll be honest with you, I have an Apple phone. I have an iPad. I am a bit of a fan of Apple products. I don't necessarily see this as a fight of the FBI against Apple. In this particular case, Apple is challenging the FBI's request, so to speak, to overcome that encryption. But the larger issue here is do we want companies to have the right to create something that would be that much of potential danger?
INSKEEP: Although Apple argues that if the government is given this right that's going to make your information less secure over time. Is that an acceptable price for you to pay?
BURGUAN: At the speed of technology, this particular operating system will be obsolete in six months to a year. It'll be completely replaced by a new system and whatever version of iOS this is will be, you know, useless in a short period of time.
INSKEEP: So you're not going to feel any less secure about your Apple devices if this court order is complied with.
BURGUAN: No. No.
INSKEEP: Jarrod Burguan is police chief in San Bernardino, Calif. Thanks very much.
BURGUAN: Thank you, appreciate it.
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