Tim Cook released a letter publicly via the Apple website today titled “A Message to Our Customers”. In it Cook goes into detail regarding the US Government request for Apple to essentially create a backdoor to obtain information from an iPhone from a suspect in the terrible terrorist attack in San Bernardino last December.
This is major & important news regardless if you understand every minute detail of the request. Hell in all honesty even I don’t understand every technical aspect. That doesn’t mean I don’t understand it’s importance however. In essence our devices iPhones, iPads, iPod’s are protected so that our data be it messages, photos, or what have you are unavailable to unwanted eyes. As with any company customer protection is of utmost importance. Even more so with that of technology companies, Apple in this case is no exception & have stood firm on their encryption stance.
Thus far Apple has provided help to the authorities that are within their limits. However the FBI now wants them to circumvent the very security they setup in order to get more information from the suspects device. This is where the backlash on Apple’s end begins & in turn Tim Cook’s letter.
Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.
The bigger argument here being if Apple was forced to succumb to such requests that this wouldn’t be a one off thing. No matter how much the government or others will try to convince you. Once this backdoor is created there is no stopping the use of it in the future. It compromises the very principles of encryption.
The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. 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 — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.
Now of course the other half argues in defense of said request. That it’s for the greater good & at times for the overall safety we have to break some rules. There’s no denying that the act in which led to such requests was a violent & inhumane one. An act of terrorism that no one including Apple stands by or supports. However in this case it’s a company standing for it’s principles & more importantly customers against a government that despite it’s best intentions are asking Apple to do something that they technologically cannot even do currently.
You can play the ignorant card certainly in a situation like this. As your data isn’t the one currently at stake. I say currently as in many cases like these it isn’t & won’t be the first. Until something like this happens to you be i the iCloud leaks or a government order it’s something that can’t be simply ignored. Because if a company like Apple is forced into such acts our rights & data is at stake if not now in the future.