In recent weeks, the Apple vs. FBI debate has been all over social media. The FBI had requested that Apple unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Rizwan Farook, to aid in national security and guard against future threats. However, if Apple creates the technology for a backdoor into their system, it could get into the wrong hands. Many people are on Apple’s side, arguing that what the FBI wants would threaten everyone’s right to privacy.
The FBI claims that they need this backdoor to investigate the shooting at San Bernardino last December, which resulted in the death of 14 people and injuries for 22. Such software would give the FBI unlimited attempts to guess the passcode, without being locked out of the phone entirely. That is what Apple and many of their customers view as a danger to their privacy. If this technology gets into the hands of a terrorist or criminal, it would only be a matter of time before they could unlock any iPhone.
It also does not help the FBI that Apple, a usually compliant company in these situations, is not giving them anything. In fact, the FBI has lost the support of one of the senate’s best counter-terrorism fighters, Senator Lindsey Graham.
In a message published on Apple’s website, CEO Tim Cook explains everything from the need for encryption to why they will not comply, forwarding inquiries to a link at the bottom of the page. They explain that this puts over 10 million Americans at risk, undermining decades of security advances, and that there is no way for this technology to be 100% secure. Cook explains that even Apple has no access to your device’s data, and that they believe that it is none of their business.
Cook also mentions that they have done everything in their power to aid in the investigation, from providing data and complying to valid search warrants and subpoenas. There is no guarantee that creating this master key— that can access every phone—will be completely secure and only used once, as the FBI has almost a hundred locked phones that could provide crucial evidence for serious crimes, including murder.
By Eilidh MacDonald