PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) --Dozens of rallies are planned Tuesday nationwide and locally to support Apple's stance against the FBI's request for access to San Bernardino terror shooter Syed Farook's iPhone to aid in their investigation.
It's Apple versus the FBI - one of the most powerful companies in the world versus the most powerful government in the world.
The fight over access to Farook's iPhone is sparking dozens of protests Tuesday.
"There are going to be at least 50 rallies in 50 cities across the country. There are four just in the Los Angeles area," said Tiffiniy Cheng, with the technology privacy rights group Fight for the Future. The group is organizing the rallies.
Cheng says forcing Apple to create a so-called "skeleton key" that would give federal authorities access to iPhones would create a major security problem.
"It will be sitting at the Apple headquarters or with the U.S. government. That skeleton key is going to be target No. 1 for criminals, thieves, terrorists, anybody who wants to do us harm," Cheng said.
Apple CEO Tim Cook emailed his employees over the weekend, thanking them for their support.
The company also posted a lengthy page on its website explaining its stance to customers, saying in part:
"It would be wrong to intentionally weaken our products with a government-ordered backdoor. If we lose control of our data, we put both our privacy and our safety at risk."
But on the other side, FBI Director James Comey is also taking to the Internet, writing:
"We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist's passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing...We don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land."
Stephen Larson, an attorney who represents several of the San Bernardino shooting victims and their families, says the FBI's request is reasonable and justified.
Larson says he'll file an amicus brief, supporting the government's case to force Apple to open up the phone.
"Hopefully it will answer some of the questions that the victims have. How this could have happened in San Bernardino, what are the real risks, what are the future risks, what can be done about this, who was involved?" Larson said.
Tuesday's demonstrations are set to take place outside Apple stores across the country. In Southern California, the rallies are planned in Santa Monica, Fairfax, Valencia and Thousand Oaks.