The government made clear that it was open to less intrusive options in a new legal filing intended to blunt public criticism by Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, who said the software would be "too dangerous to create" because it would threaten the digital privacy of millions of iPhone customers worldwide.
    
'Apple may maintain custody of the software, destroy it after its purpose under the order has been served, refuse to disseminate it outside of Apple and make clear to the world that it does not apply to other devices or users without lawful court orders,' the Justice Department told Judge Sheri Pym.
    
'No one outside Apple would have access to the software required by the order unless Apple itself chose to share it.' Meanwhile, the legal fight continued to reverberate on the presidential campaign trail as Republican candidate Donald Trump called on Americans to boycott Apple until it complies with the court order.
    
Trump made the comment during a question-and-answer session in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, where he's campaigning ahead of Saturday's first-in-the-South Republican presidential primary. Trump says Cook wants to prove "how liberal he is" and told the crowd to "boycott Apple until such time as they give up that security."