Apple and FBI Engaged in Epic Privacy Battle
By: Courtney Winfrey
The United States Government has gotten into what many think will be a long and tedious court battle over privacy with Apple, Inc.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was recently successful in getting a court order demanding the tech company’s assistance in unlocking the iPhone of San Bernardino terrorist, Syed Farook. The court order requires Apple to create a version of their iOS software that would bypass the security feature on Farook’s iPhone 5c that wipes away all the phone’s data after 10 incorrect password attempts, a feature that is standard for all iPhones.
Apple’s argument is that creating such software would create a backdoor that not only the government would have access to, but criminals and hackers alike could also abuse the feature.
In an open letter to Apple customers, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained how this could be the beginning of long-term privacy invasion.
“The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true,” the letter said. “Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks.”
This issue of privacy is polarizing. Some political figures, specifically Donald Trump, have gone as far as calling for a boycott of Apple products until the company complies with the court order.
Apple customers, though, are excited about the company’s willingness to fight for their privacy rights.
“I’m actually glad to know that Apple is dedicated to making sure no one has access to anything that powerful,” says Laquesha Conley, a third year criminal justice student at Florida A&M University from Miami, Fla.
When asked if the fact that this new software would help the FBI unlock a great number of answers in the San Bernardino shooting made a difference in her opinion in the matter, Amber Muldrew, a second year pre-engineering major said it did.
“I think Apple and the FBI should come up with a solution that would guarantee this was a one time only thing but the FBI could still get the information they need,” Muldrew says.
This battle pits two major concerns of American citizens, national security and privacy, at two different sides of the battle lines. Apple will most likely appeal the court ruling.