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US Attorney General 'hopes' Apple will unlock San Bernardino iPhone

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch weighed in on Apple's fight with the FBI on Tuesday, saying she would prefer that Apple comply with the recent court order directing the company to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone.

"It is still our hope that they will see their way clear to complying with that order as thousands of other companies do every day," Lynch said, as noted by Reuters. The comment comes ahead of a scheduled appearance at a Silicon Valley cybersecurity conference.

At the conference, Lynch plans to tell tech companies that there must be a balance between personal security and national security.

"The going-dark problem is a very real threat to law enforcement's mission to protect public safety and ensure that criminals are caught and held accountable," she will say, according to the Wall Street Journal. "We owe it to the victims and to the public, whose safety we must protect, to ensure we have done everything under the law to fully investigate terrorist attacks and criminal activity on American soil."

Most major American tech companies have lined up behind Apple, which scored a significant — though not decisive — victory in New York earlier in the week when a judge ruled that the FBI overstepped its bounds in using the All Writs Act to compel Apple's compliance.

"[The FBI's] preferred reading of the law - which allows a court to confer on the executive branch any investigative authority Congress has decided to withhold, so long as it has not affirmatively outlawed it - would transform the AWA from a limited gap-filing statute that ensures the smooth functioning of the judiciary itself into a mechanism for upending the separation of powers by delegating to the judiciary a legislative power bounded only by Congress's superior ability to prohibit or preempt," New York Magistrate Judge James Orenstein wrote in his decision.