The DOJ has asked a federal judge to compel Apple to help the FBI in its investigation of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist attack in December that resulted in 16 deaths and another 24 injuries. Friday's filing was first revealed by ABC News.
"Rather than assist the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack by obeying this court's [previous order], Apple has responded by publicly repudiating that order," prosecutors wrote in a new filing today.
Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, launched a deadly assault on Dec. 2, 2015, killing 14 of Farook's coworkers at a holiday party.
At the Justice Department's request earlier this week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym in California ordered Apple to help the FBI crack open Farook's iPhone.
Federal prosecutors say the phone, given to Farook by his employer, could be hiding "crucial evidence" about the terror attacks.
"The government requires Apple's assistance to access the ... device to determine, among other things, who Farook and Malik may have communicated with to plan and carry out the IRC shootings, where Farook and Malik may have traveled to and from before and after the incident, and other pertinent information that would provide more information about their and others' involvement in the deadly shooting," prosecutors said in their initial filing on Tuesday.
But after Pym issued her order late Tuesday demanding that Apple assist federal agents, Apple quickly vowed to challenge the decision.
"The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement to customers. "[T]his order ... has implications far beyond the legal case at hand."
"The FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on [the shooter's] iPhone," Cook added. "In the wrong hands, this software -- which does not exist today -- would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession."
Click here to read ABC's original story.