A major story in the technological world that has Apple fighting for the rights of their customers against the FBI.
Due to an act of terrorism in San Bernardino, California last December, the FBI and Apple have been in a war: to gain the rights to access to a terrorist’s phone, or to defend the privacy of Apple’s software.
The FBI was unable to unlock a phone recovered from deceased shooter Syed Farook, and asked Apple Inc. to create a new version of the phone’s IOS operating system that could be installed and run in the phone’s random access memory (RAM) to disable certain security features. If the FBI could disable these features, they would be able to brute-force hack their way into the phone by trying every possible combination, without Apple’s security measure disabling and deleting everything on the device. Apple declined this request due to its policy to never undermine the security features of its products. The FBI responded by successfully applying for a federally issued court order, mandating Apple to create and provide the requested software.
The order was not a subpoena, but rather was issued under the All Writs Act of 1789. Apple announced their intent to oppose this order, citing that the security risks of creating a backdoor to one iPhone would pose a threat to all of their customers.
The way I see this issue is that Apple, of course, should help the FBI in finding more information about the terrorist, but then again Apple would not want to compromise their security for its customers and create a backdoor that could lead to possible risks.
I understand that the FBI wants justice for the victims and families of those who were affected in San Bernardino, and my condolences go out to them. They deserve every bit of justice for what happened to their loved ones. The FBI is only doing their job in ensuring that we are safe and preventing any further attacks in the United States. On the other hand, I can see why Apple is so adamant about following their security policy because it defends the millions of customers that they have.
They are not denying the FBI help, but rather guaranteeing this software the FBI wants Apple to create will not allow the access to all the other iPhones the FBI has. Apple wants to protect the personal rights that we have under the First Amendment and are concerned that the software the FBI wants violates these natural rights. Both parties have their justifications and only time will tell as to what will happen in the Apple vs. FBI court case.
In this entire court case, I stand with Apple. I understand that the FBI wants to prevent further attacks and to gain access into the terrorist’s phone, but if that were to happen through Apple creating a software that allows the FBI a backdoor, then millions of iPhone users would be at risk, not only to hackers but to our own government. With access to one’s personal information, the government and hackers can ruin lives and delve into the inner confines of our technology.
Cutting into our rights that we have for the protection of our personal information sets a dangerous precedent for free speech cases. We the people, should have the right to keep our information private, and I believe that Apple has been doing an excellent job in defending those rights.
Follow Angel Castillo on Twitter: @aeCastillo15