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Tim Cook made the case for Apple’s federal court case at the company’s iPhone event

Apple CEO Tim Cook opened a much anticipated company event to announce the new iPhone with a few words on the company's high-profile fight in cybersecurity.

"We did not expect to be in this position — at odds with our own government," Cook said. "But we believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and your privacy. We owe it to our customers and we owe it to our country. This is an issue that impacts all of us, and we will not shrink from this responsibility."

While speakers in Cupertino, California, geared up to reveal Apple's most recent innovations, on the other side of the country in Washington, DC, Apple's team prepares for their Tuesday faceoff against the federal government.

Apple is slated to appear in federal court in a fight over whether the tech giant should have to help the FBI unlock the phone used by one of the suspects in last year's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California — a case that has become the newest development in the personal privacy versus national security debate.

According to Cook, Apple has more than a billion devices in use around the world, a milestone that comes with "significant responsibilities," Cook said, hinting at the San Bernardino case with the FBI.

"We built the iPhone for you — our customers. And we know it is a deeply personal device. For many of us, the iPhone is an extension of ourselves. … We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy."

Tuesday's hearing will have expert witnesses from both sides making their cases.

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