The Sunshine State may be a gloomy place for Apple CEO Tim Cook — at least if one Florida sheriff gets his way.
In a rather bizarre yet nonetheless passionate non sequitur during a press conference (supposedly about the recent arrest of three brothers accused of killing a drug dealer), Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd turned his attention to the tech leader, whose ongoing battle with the FBI over iPhone encryption has captured national attention.
Judd is known as an “often-outspoken” individual, according to local reports, and was prompted to make his feelings known regarding the privacy debate because of the role an iPhone played in the recent arrests. The sheriff noted that the three Johnson brothers took photos of their victim’s body with a smartphone and then showed off the content, “bragging about the murder.”
While his suspects willingly turned over their phones and passcodes, Judd was clearly incensed by what might have happened had the Johnsons refused. When reporters asked about his opinions with regard to Apple’s continued refusal to decrypt an iPhone linked to one of the San Bernardino terrorists, Judd had some harsh words to share.
“You cannot create a business model to go, ‘We’re not paying attention to the federal judge or the state judge. You see, we’re above the law,'” he said. “The CEO of Apple needs to know he’s not above the law, and neither is anybody else in the United States.”
He continued, “I can tell you, the first time we do have trouble getting into a cellphone, we’re going to seek a court order from Apple. And when they deny us, I’m going to go lock the CEO of Apple up.”
“I’ll lock the rascal up,” Judd stressed.
So there you have it, Mr. Cook. Beware of any trouble you may get into in Florida — if Sheriff Judd is around, he won’t hesitate to throw you in the slammer.