As a tech geek and student of computer networking, I have been intrigued over the last few days regarding Apple defying a court order to unlock an iPhone. Not just any iPhone, but the iPhone 5C owned by one of the suspects from the San Bernardino shooting that left 14 dead.
What’s the problem? The FBI can’t get into the phone. In fact, one of the security features I love on Apple devices is the one thing keeping the FBI out in the cold. It’s a feature you can enable to erase all of the contents on your phone after 10 unsuccessful attempts to log in. This is a great feature to have in case your device is lost or stolen (my primary concern). As great as it is (especially when combined with a complex passcode and Touch ID), who knows if the developers ever thought it would get in the way of a federal investigation?
The Department of Justice essentially wants Apple to create a way to hack the phone just this one time. As far as we know Apple would have to write the code to make this possible.
What if there’s something? What if there’s nothing? What if one more time turns into 500 more times because of national security? The promise of only one more time goes down the drain.
Thanks to media coverage and people such as Edward Snowden, the public is much more aware of government surveillance. If Apple complies, many would see this as another way for the government to gain access to our private information. This “hack” into the iPhone could also cause the technology to fall into the wrong hands. Once the code is out there, neither Apple nor the federal government can control its use.
Maybe you think Apple should just do what the government asks in the name of national security and preventing further acts of violence. I see that side and I want to stay secure without any more intrusions to my privacy. I am not saying the government side is wrong or people who come down on that side are wrong. My opinion of the matter is very different. My opinion speaks to my own desire for some of the privacy I still have left without companies being forced to hack their own technology whenever someone in a position of power says so under the large blanket of national security.
Again, this is not me against the government or me against people who hold different opinions. I believe everyone involved is trying to do the right thing for the general public. If Apple agrees, will I no longer use Apple devices? Probably not. But I would extra careful with what information is allowed on my device.
What do you think? Have you ditched your smartphone already regain privacy? Would you stop using Apple products if the hack is created? Should the government have the authority to even make Apple comply?