Apple fights for privacy

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No one thought to raise a brow when the FBI turned to Apple for help on the San Bernardino, California shooting investigation. It is understandable that investigators want to unlock an iPhone used by the shooter of 14 people, Syed Rizwan Farook.

But now that the FBI is compromising our privacy in the matter, eyebrows should be raising at rapid speed. By challenging the federal court ruling requiring compliance, Apple is protecting not only its customers but also an entire world of tech from invasion of privacy.

Apple has already worked with the FBI throughout this case releasing data from the phone that was stored on its iCloud service. The requests from the FBI to further include Apple in their investigation could pose a dangerous threat.

In an order issued last Tuesday, Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym requested Apple create new software that would bypass security features on Farook’s iPhone which would allow the FBI to unlock the device and retrieve photos, messages and other data.

Apple CEO Tim Cook published a letter on Apple’s website Monday disagreeing with the investigative request. Cook said requiring Apple to create software to bypass security would create a back door that would have the power to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession. Cook was not sold on the FBI’s promise to use the software solely for this case.

Not often do million dollar CEOs publically call to attention or deny government searches. Tim Cook is doing just that. So if the CEO of the world’s largest information technology company is telling us that this is dangerous, why aren’t we listening?

A Pew survey was released Monday showing the results of support in favor of either side. Surprisingly, 51 percent of people supported the idea that Apple should assist the FBI in accessing information from Farook’s iPhone 5C. Only 38 percent agreed with Cook that Apple should avoid helping to protect security.

If Apple is required to comply to the FBI’s request, courts could require the software in future investigations or order Apple to create new software to fit new needs.

In October, the Obama administration said it would not seek legislation that would require phone and computer makers to maintain “back door” encryption data on devises.

At what point do we limit the amount of ease we allow for law enforcement in order to protect the security of private citizens, businesses and government?   

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