WASHINGTON --The Justice Department is firing back at Apple for refusing to help unlock a phone used by one of the gunmen in the San Bernardino attack.
In a new motion Friday, federal prosecutors say the company has chosen to repudiate a judge's order instead of following it.
The department also says Apple designs its products to allow technology - "rather than the law" - to control access to critical data.
Prosecutors also make clear that Apple would be allowed to retain possession of the phone and technology.
The motion offers a sharply worded response to a message that Apple's chief executive officer, Tim Cook, said in a message to Apple customers this week.
It represents a further escalation in a public relations battle that the two sides are waging.