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iPhone users and civil liberties supporters to rally outside Apple’s stores in Tampa & Brandon on Tuesday

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Apple’s standoff with the U.S. government about whether to help officials gain access to the encrypted iPhone of the San Bernardino attackers appears to be a polarizing, if not necessarily partisan issue.

California Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein said on the PBS News Hour on Friday that Apple should comply with a federal court ordering them to open up the phone, saying if they refused it would lead to legislation that would force the issue.

Donald Trump agrees and has called for an Apple boycott.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio calls it a “complicated issue,” and California Democrat Zoe Lofgren backs Apple, and says the ruling should be overturned.

Meanwhile, a group calling itself Fight for the Future is calling on iPhone users and civil liberties supporters to rally outside Apple stores this coming Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. exactly one week from the date of the court order. Protesters will be encouraged to bring signs, but will also have the option of loading a “Protest Sign” on their phone using Fight for the Future’s, which can turn any phone, tablet, or laptop into a light-up protest sign.

“Governments have been frothing at the mouth hoping for an opportunity to pressure companies like Apple into building backdoors into their products to enable more sweeping surveillance. It’s shameful that they’re exploiting the tragedy in San Bernardino to push that agenda,” said Evan Greer, Fight for the Future’s campaign director, “Security experts agree that any weakening or circumvention of security features on a phone puts everyone in danger. Encryption is what protects our airports, power plants, and hospitals. If the FBI succeeds in forcing Apple to help them hack into an iPhone, it will open the floodgates and set a dangerous precedent that will inevitably lead to more suffering and loss of life.”

Locally, that protest is scheduled to take place at two locations in Hillsborough County: At the Apple Store in International Plaza in Tampa, 2223 NW Shore Blvd. And at the Apple Store at 459 Brandon Town Center in Brandon.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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