Apple is locked in a big fight with the FBI.
Donald Trump doesn’t side with Apple. Neither does Bill Gates.
However, Apple is right.
The FBI botched the San Bernardino terrorist shooting. Now they want to use national security as the excuse to ask Apple to break encryption on the terrorists’ iPhone.
Rather, it’s a fight over the future of high-tech surveillance, the trust infrastructure undergirding the global software ecosystem, and how far technology companies and software developers can be conscripted as unwilling suppliers of hacking tools for governments. It’s also the public face of a conflict that will undoubtedly be continued in secret—and is likely already well underway.
So the bureau wants Apple to develop a customized version of their iOS operating system that permits an unlimited number of rapid guesses at the passcode—and sign it with the company’s secret developer key so that it will be recognized by the device as a legitimate software update.
Considered in isolation, the request seems fairly benign: If it were merely a question of whether to unlock a single device—even one unlikely to contain much essential evidence—there would probably be little enough harm in complying. The reason Apple CEO Tim Cook has pledged to fighta court’s order to assist the bureau is that he understands the danger of the underlying legal precedent the FBI is seeking to establish.
Apple invested millions in building the encryption software for its iPhone.
What right does the government have to destroy Apple’s intellectual property asset?
That’s the not so obvious reason to deny the FBI’s request.
The obvious one is the right to privacy.
Our smart phones are now an extension of our thoughts and activities.
It’s our private property.
The government should be required to make the case for a warrant based upon evidence in front of a judge to access information on any smart phone.
Do we really trust that the government would do the right thing if they had full access to the information in all our phones?