Silicon Valley FBI boss says the bureau loves Apple

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Apple help
Apple and the FBI are on the same team sometimes.
Photo: Dave Newman/Flickr (CC)

Apple’s relationship with the FBI isn’t nearly as contentious as some government officials and critics would have you believe.

That’s according to the FBI’s San Francisco chief, John Bennett, who says his office and Apple actually enjoy a great relationship. In fact, Apple actually trains FBI agents on how to do their jobs better.

The FBI and Apple became embroiled in a public battle in 2016 after the Cupertino refused to create a backdoor into a terrorist’s iPhone. Both sides appeared before Congress to argue their points, but the FBI eventually got an Israeli company to hack the iPhone.

Apple + FBI = Love

Bennett praised Apple in an interview with Forbes not only for helping train FBI agents but also for providing direct assistance to local cops.

“A lot of people made a lot of hay that everyone was at war with each other…. Apple is a great company that we have tremendous respect for,” Bennett said. “We have a great relationship with them from a local field perspective and also from understanding products and what they do from an engineering standpoint.”

Not everyone at the FBI agrees with Bennett, though. Last week, FBI forensics expert Stephen Flatley called Apple employees “jerks” and the company an “evil genius” at the International Conference on Cyber Security.

Despite the hate from some experts, Apple has a pretty good reason to maintain a good relationship with the FBI. The massively successful company needs the bureau’s crime-fighters, according to Bennett.

“From our experience in San Francisco, we have meetings with Apple and they are not only a great company but they’re also victims,” said Bennett. “Their stuff gets hit and their employees get in harm’s way, so they call us locally on a lot of things they need help for.”