GOP presidential contender Donald Trump is urging his followers to boycott Apple until it complies with the US government in its ongoing encryption battle. Apple is currently facing a court order requiring the company to assist authorities in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the two killers involved in a San Bernardino mass shooting that killed 14 and injured two dozen others in December 2015.
"First of all, Apple ought to give [authorities] the security to that phone," Trump told the crowd at a South Carolina rally on Friday. "What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until they give that security number. I just thought of that—boycott Apple.”
Trump was initially discussing how he believes the US needs to bring back jobs from China before he stumbled into his Apple position. The comments come as the debate about encryption reached a fever pitch this week. On Friday, the Justice Department demanded that a federal judge make Apple comply with a Tuesday court order requiring Apple to create a custom firmware in the seized iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook. That firmware would remove a possible automatic wipe feature on the phone if a passcode is incorrectly entered 10 times.