Here’s an interesting segment in a New York Times report about Tim Cook becoming “a bulwark for digital privacy”:
Apple had asked the F.B.I. to issue its application for the tool under seal. But the government made it public, prompting Mr. Cook to go into bunker mode to draft a response, according to people privy to the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The result was the letter that Mr. Cook signed on Tuesday, where he argued that it set a “dangerous precedent” for a company to be forced to build tools for the government that weaken security.
Which this means is that the FBI wanted its request to be public—because the FBI wanted to make this a controversy, one it feels that it can win… and that will open the door for further requests of tech companies to hack their software and systems to make them more vulnerable.