"The request that the FBI has put forward is one that is quite limited in scope. It doesn't require Apple to redesign a product or to create some sort of new backdoor," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news briefing yesterday.
    
The FBI wants access to data stored on an encrypted iPhone owned by Syed Farook, who, along with his Pakistani wife, killed 14 people at a Christmas party in December before they died in a gun battle with police in San Bernardino, California.
    
Apple CEO Tim Cook has warned that creating software allowing the FBI to unlock the San Bernardino suspect's phone would create a backdoor that would make millions of other phones vulnerable to hackers and criminals.
    
The Obama Administration, Earnest argued, believes the American people benefit from robust encryption that protects their privacy and civil liberties.
    
At the same time, law enforcement and national security professionals have an obligation to keep people safe and do what they can to keep Americans safe, he said.
    
"In this situation, as it relates to the phone that was used by the terrorist in San Bernardino, we're talking about a phone that was owned not by the terrorist, but by the local government. The terrorist is no longer living," Earnest said.