Former Qwest Communications CEO: This is a PR Ploy by Apple

During an interview with FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, former Qwest Communications CEO Joe Nacchio discussed the clash heating up between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the FBI and legal obstacles facing the tech giant.

“You have a legal request from the United States, whether we like it or not it’s legal, you have a judge ordering them to do it.  And I think the government will ultimately prevail on this issue.”

Nacchio explained why he sees the government as having the advantage in this case.

“I think there is a lot of hypocrisy on both sides of this issue to go around.  But if you look at the way courts have ruled historically when it comes to the government claiming a national security issue, the fourth amendment has been watered and the government usually wins.  In this case you actually have a terrorist and criminal action.  I think this is the absolute wrong case to try to argue the privacy one on in terms of public opinion and probably the opinion of the courts.”

Nacchio also discussed the potential fallout from Apple fighting this battle.

“I fear that, as in my case, there will be retaliation at some point by the government.  For us to believe the government is pure white on all these issues would be somewhat Pollyannaish.”

Nacchio speculates that some agencies of the government may already have access to iPhones.

“While the FBI may not have access, I would be shocked today if the NSA, CIA and others don’t already have access into these phones despite what Tim Cook says,” noted Nacchio.

“This is clearly a PR ploy, I mean I’m sure the Apple lawyers know they’re going to lose this one and I think it was done to give the customers a sense that Apple is trying to hold the line-- but at the end of the day, national security will trump private corporations.”