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Feinstein Calls For Apple To Decrypt Shooters' iPhones

Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California speaks at a Public Policy Institute of California forum.

Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio

California Senator Dianne Feinstein has some strong words for Apple, as the company resists a federal order to hack into the iPhone used by last December’s San Bernardino shooters.

"Apple is not above the laws of the United States," Feinstein said at a forum hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California in Sacramento on Friday. "Nor should anyone or any company be above the laws."

Feinstein is the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate intelligence committee.

A federal judge has ordered Apple to access the encrypted data on one of the shooters’ phones. The company has resisted. It says that requires building new software that could threaten security on all iPhones.

Senator Feinstein says the FBI needs the information to be certain the shooters were lone wolves and not part of an ISIS terrorist cell. She says classified intelligence briefings have shaped her view.

"You get a picture of the world that isn’t on the front page of a newspaper, and I can tell you it is a very dangerous world," Feinstein said. "I can tell you there is a war going on, without a war being declared."

Feinstein also discussed drought legislation and Supreme Court nominations.

The 82-year-old Senator said she will consider running again, when her term expires in three years.

"My health is good, but I've learned one thing about life--no one ever knows what the future brings," Feinstein said. "I have to be able to get something done. Or else if I can't, it's not worth it. If I can, if I can help people, it's worth it."