PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has pulled the plug on issuing iPhones to employees because Apple will not cooperate with the FBI in its investigation into the San Bernardino terrorist attack.
As of Wednesday, the office will no longer provide iPhones to new employees and will not offer replacements or upgrades for existing employees.
“If Apple wants to become the official smartphone provider to ISIS and the Sinaloa Cartel, they can do so, but there is going to be a consequence,” County Attorney Bill Montgomery said.
There are 564 smartphones deployed throughout the office, 366 of which are iPhones.
“Our country faces very serious threats and the position that Apple has taken certainly empowers those who would seek to harm or intend to harm or have harmed fellow citizens,” Montgomery said.
Apple has refused to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters per the request of the FBI.
Montgomery said Apple’s decision puts the tech company on the side of terrorists instead of on the side of public safety.
He added he was acting solely in the capacity as the leader of his office.
KTAR legal analyst Monica Lindstrom said she believed Montgomery’s actions could be replicated elsewhere.
“That is a pretty strong statement that could cause other agencies around the country to look up, take notice and agree to do the same thing,” she said.
Lindstrom said she didn’t believe the move was solely political but instead thought Montgomery was standing by law enforcement on the issue.
KTAR’s Mike Sackley contributed to this report.