Photo: Getty

Art imitates life; the plot of Revenge of the Nerds is now becoming a reality in Cupertino.

In the latest news to come from the back-and-forth between Apple, Inc. and the federal government, several engineers at the company told The New York Times that they will fight back if the F.B.I. wins a court battle to force Apple’s to unlock an iPhone that belonged to Syed Rizwan Farook, the gunman who killed 14 people at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health last December.

In this case, the Apple’s security engineers are Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowe, and the FBI officers are the Alpha Betas:

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Apple employees are already discussing what they will do if ordered to help law enforcement authorities. Some say they may balk at the work, while others may even quit their high-paying jobs rather than undermine the security of the software they have already created, according to more than a half-dozen current and former Apple employees.

Apple, the world’s most valuable company, has said before that it will resist the government’s order to unlock the phone, saying that the government is asking for “something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”

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Civil disobedience is no longer a tactic for the Thoreaus and the Gandhis of the world. Enter Apple’s engineers, the warriors on the front line of nonviolent government resistance.