APPLE vs The FBI

The Apple vs FBI controversy is gaining momentum and deserves a better overview. It’s implications are not nearly as simplistic as the media is framing:

The San Bernardino case is being used as the catalyst to require that Apple provide a backdoor for the FBI on all iphones in order to combat terrorism. Apple is refusing, claiming that it would be a violation of privacy laws. The media is divided.

The iphone in question is ‘encrypted’. That means that unless you have the key or code you cannot access the data. The encryption protects your personal data, it protects you in the event of theft, and it protects the data on your phone from being hacked. Just as your computer has security features for hacking protection.

There is also available a security feature that erases the data on the phone if the password attempt is incorrect after so many tries. The FBI is demanding that Apple create software that will allow them to correctly guess the password within the range of tries before the security feature erases the data. This software would thus work on any and every iphone – everywhere.

What is interesting is the notion that this feature would only be available to the FBI when in fact, software hackers around the world would be then able to then duplicate – replicate the backdoor and have access to CIA agents, FBI agents, police, civilians and governments…

Given the NSA, cyberwarfare and a technology future, why wouldn’t the FBI simply write the software program themselves? Have other countries already developed the software themselves? While the FBI claims that it is only interested in this one specific iphone (the San Bernardino terrorist’s), Apple has offered to hack the phone for the FBI for free – and still the FBI refuses, because in reality, what they want is access to all.

While Apple continues to state that it will personally hack this one particular phone and the FBI continues to state that it doesn’t want an all inclusive ‘backdoor’, no one seems to be moving forward. If in fact the FBI is not looking for a backdoor then why wouldn’t they accept Apple’s compromise to specifically hack this one phone?

Because words are being played.

According to CEO, Tim Cook, Apple does not have the capability to hack the erase feature of its security. Thus, in essence the FBI is asking for Apple to create a new piece of software that would disable this feature. While the FBI adamantly denies that is their intent, it would be the outcome.

This is not the first time the FBI has requested greater access to privacy. Currently, the FBI is required to obtain a warrant to hack a computer, but they have been attempting to steamroll that security as well.

The argument being misapplied is, “if you don’t have anything to hide, why would you care?”.

I care because it is a violation of our Constitutional right to privacy… The IV Amendment to the Bill of Rights states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This is the basis for obtaining and issuing a warrant. Apple has stated it will hack into this one phone on behalf of the FBI to the best of their ability, but abridging the rights of all persons could actually subject Apple to lawsuits as being in violation of the IV Amendment.

Software is like an A-bomb – once created, it can be used for good – and it can be used for evil.

Giving the government unprotected access to everyone’s privacy without a warrant, or probable cause, is Big Brother, and I already have one, his name is Bobby.

2 thoughts on “APPLE vs The FBI

  1. I wonder if the government gives itself the right to dig into our private affairs if we could then give ourselves the right not to pay taxes – that way a huge chunk of government would disappear? Great article, Helena – as always

    Like

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