Judge Demands FBI Breakthrough Encryption Code on Apple Phone of San Bernardino Gunman

Apple is refusing to comply saying this could set a dangerous precedent.
3:07 | 02/17/16

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Transcript for Judge Demands FBI Breakthrough Encryption Code on Apple Phone of San Bernardino Gunman
The battle tonight between the FBI and apple. Months after the terror attack in San Bernardino the FBI is desperate to break into the iPhone used by the gunman. And that would judge is agreeing to Manning apple help the FBI breakthrough the encryption on the phone. Apple tonight refusing saying this could set a dangerous precedent and just a short time ago the Justice Department releasing a statement. Saying quote it is unfortunate that apple continues to refuse to assist the department. ABC's senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas tonight on both sides. An. ERA in apple in Titanic clash between personal privacy. Secured. It is just now it has flared. Since the bloody into the sand Bernadie new attack the deadliest since 9/11. The FBI has been helplessly staring at say it Farouk cell phone and iPhone 5 C like this one. We still have one of those killer's phones that we have not been able to open. And it's been over two months now a federal judge now siding with the FBI. Ordering apple to find a way to hack into the iPhone used by for rook tonight apple is refusing saying if they break into the phone it was set up a dangerous slippery slope. If you design a backdoor for one phone you have to design it for all phones. The FBI suspects a phone may hold critical clues about who were Rupp was communicating with. Where he and his wife test FEMA leak may have traveled. The problem they don't have for route four digit password. The FBI believes that Farouk used Apple's security options. Basically a self destruct mechanism that renders all data on the phone permanently inaccessible at the proper code isn't ended after ten tries. But with 101000 unique possibilities the FBI knows cracking the code. Is nearly impossible in just ten tries and so it wants apple engineers to design software to break into the phone. In an impassioned statement CEO Tim Cook said. The government is asking apple to hack its own users adding that the soft words quote something we simply do not have. And something we consider too dangerous to create. Cook expressing those same concerns recently on sixty minutes. There have been people that suggests that we should have a back door. But the reality it's if you put a back door yen. That back doors for everybody for good guys and bad guys it's not about us trying to get a back door I don't wanna door I don't wanna wind Arnold won a sliding glass store. I would like people to comply with court orders. The fight exploding on social media today. With presidential candidates weighing in. They think they are now we have to open it up. But apple is standing firm tonight arguing that they found a way to break into that phone. They'll be able to break into any phone which could put the private data of millions of users at stake. And Pierre Thomas with us live from the FBI tonight and here you were telling us this battle could affect far more than the San -- of cases when it comes to unlocking iphones. That's right David Manhattan C prosecutor tells us he'll loan is trying to open more than 100 convicted. Exhibit iphones in cases ranging from murder to sex crimes and robbery is an epic legal battle that could go all the way to the Supreme Court. They are here Thomas with a slot tonight Peter thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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