Uncle is leaning on Apple to crack a smartphone used by the San Bernardino killers. Apple is refusing, saying that once they do, it will crack encryption on all Apple smart phones.
The Apply phone is probably crackable. Like Windows, Apple must need to patch the code in the phones. Once you allow the phone to patch itself, change the code inside it, all bets are off, you can load code to do anything you want. But, Apple is probably the only one who can pull this off. They have the programmers who wrote the code, they have the source code, they have development stations that allow a programmer to single step thru the code and watch what it is doing. Without this information and equipment, nobody outside of Apple has a snowball's chance in Hell of pulling it off.
Apple clearly fears that if they crack this phone, they will be on the hook to crack any phone in the future, and their customers, knowing that Uncle can snoop their Apple smart phone, will go to a more secure smart phone. Samsung for example.
I like the idea of being able to keep secrets. Fourth Amendment, unreasonable search and seizure. Fifth Amendment, protection against self incrimination. Uncle has so many ways of snooping that I like the idea of some limitations. In this case, appalling as it is, I kinda doubt that the cell phone in question will tell investigators much, if anything, if it gets cracked. NSA already has all the phone numbers that the San Bernadino killers called with thqt phone, and they can jolly well get agents out to interview every one of 'em.