Apple Vs. FBI, A Review
By: Justin White
In December a horrible attack in San Bernardino took 14 innocent lives. The FBI’s investigation led them to the shooter’s phone, which could have information vital to national security, like texts and phone contacts that could prevent future attacks. In order to retrieve this information a California Court ordered Apple to provide “reasonable technical assistance” in getting this information. So, what’s the problem?
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, warns that if they are ordered to help break into the phone it sets a precedent for future cases and forces the company to expose our privacy. If Apple is required to break into this one phone they could even be forced into opening all phones in the future. The CEO of Apple even sent us an email he was fighting for our protection, so it must be bad, right? These chances are too great in Cook’s mind, but some have serious doubts about Cook’s fear.
For one, the government doesn’t want special code or a special backdoor built, nor does it want into any other phones. In fact, the FBI wants to break the phone completely on its own. What the FBI is asking for is the ability to enter in multiple password attempts without deleting the information on the phone, a process known as “bruteforcing.” We recognize the dangers in the FBI’s request, but we should also understand that even if the FBI’s bruteforce request is possible it’s likely Apple cares little about your privacy and more about its own security.
Cook’s argument about privacy is also hollow because if you think the government doesn’t already have access to your information, you’re wrong. Companies have invaded our privacy since coupons could be sent in the mail. On social media we can look up anyone, see what they like, what they do, which hashtags, and what links they share. I bet location services are turned on your iPhone right now. None of these things are new, so why does Cook pretend like it’s our privacy for which he’s fighting? How many times have multibillion-dollar corporations fought for our rights? We shouldn’t have a problem engaging in conversations on privacy, but does Apple think we can be convinced without the facts of the government’s case? Is our national security at risk for the sake of the Apple brand?