In the past few weeks, we have witnessed a very split debate in our country over the encryption of an iPhone. After the San Bernardino shooting, one of the shooters phones was seized with one complication, the shooters phone was passcode locked. Without the encryption key for all iPhones the FBI runs into a risk of the data deleting itself. The FBI has demanded Apple provide a decryption for the phone but the corporation has denied the request claiming that this decryption proves a threat to its users from the government and from malicious hackers according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Apple is doing what hundreds of companies have been unwilling to do go against the FBI in protection of its users. This is the first step in taking back our privacy from our government.
There are no guarantees that this decryption will help at all against the war on terror likely because he covered his tracks and would not have used his iPhone to store secret information. To risk the privacy and safety of millions of citizens from hackers over something that may or may not be there is preposterous. Apple is doing the right thing here. This is one of the last companies to fight for the rights of the consumer. Given the national response, it is hopeful that other companies decide to follow in apple’s footsteps.
On top of all of this, the FBI has other ways of accessing the phone’s information. As stated by John Oliver the FBI could run all possible lock codes without erasing the device using cracking hardware. Apple can’t use this as a defense because it would show that there is a weakness in their security. What the FBI is pulling here is an attempt to access all iPhones with a backdoor. By getting the encryption key they can access all iPhones information from anywhere in the world.
This needs to stop. If the FBI and NSA keep getting away with spying on its own people it could end with the federal government policing its own citizens. To quote Battlestar Galactica:
“There’s a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people,”