Monday, December 11, 2017
Valuable Discourse as Apple Tries to Fend Off FBI, And Likely Will, At Least Publicly

WASHINGTON, D.C. Feb. 18 (DPI) – Comment boards were alight today as the FBI challenged Apple to “unlock” the smartphone of the terrorists who carried out December’s shootings in San Bernardino, the latest high-stakes battle between technology firms and law enforcement. But Apple – publicly at least – says it won’t de-crypt the phone’s data because¬†doing so would compromise online privacy for all.

The online dialogue among readers has been especially vibrant, reflecting the tectonic tension between the government – charged with protecting US citizens – and technology firms like Apple, whose products and reach are challenging the power and control of sovereign states everywhere, not simply the US.

Popular comments on this morning reflected the delicate and difficult balance of protecting¬†privacy and maintaining security in the digital age. Moreover, comments were hardly one-sided: Many reasonable comments argued that Apple, protected by our nation’s open markets and rule of law – not to mention its military – has an obligation to share de-crypting information with the FBI.

Of course, many questions are being asked: Why can’t Apple simply assist the FBI in accessing the encrypted data of the terrorist’s phone, and no one else’s, without compromising broader security issues? Why can’t these issues be treated on a case-by-case basis?

Some readers expressed the view that Apple already may have already cooperated privately, and the current public dust-up is simply an act of PR and image protection. “No tech firm wants to look like it sold out to the government,” wrote one.

Most popular comments this morning:

You missed Tim Cook’s most important point. If you open a back-door for the government, criminals will find and use that back-door. The government will presumably still be using search warrants and subpoenas on a limited basis. The criminals of the world, however, are constantly and relentlessly testing your phone and computer for back-doors. Do you want criminals to hack your phone? If yes, then open a back-door for the government. If no, then accept that a handful of phones owned by criminals and terrorists will also be secure. You’ll have to find other means to catch them. If the back-door exists for the government, then everybody in the world, who is sufficiently motivated, can use it for their own purposes.

I’m all for robust civil liberties, but I’m with the FBI on this issue. Here’s why: the government has a properly executed search warrant and a federal court order. This is hardly an unwarranted search and seizure.
Smartphones and their manufacturers should not be above the law.
The author’s argument boils down to:
-It’s inconvenient for consumers.
-Big tech companies hold the balance of power.
Neither argument is sufficient when the government is conducting a legitimate criminal investigation.

What the heck does Apple company think it is ??? It is made mighty for one reason; AMERICA. So Apple, pay back and help protect the hand that feeds you, it’s that simple.


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