The debate rages on. Apple continues to fight FBI demands to create access to the encrypted iPhone used by the San Bernardino terrorist who massacred 14 people in December. Many say Apple is wrong on this one. Dead wrong.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation wants Apple to write special code so that it can access the contents of the iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of two gunmen responsible for the San Bernardino, Calif. shooting. Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people and injured numerous others at a holiday party attended by Farook's co-workers on December 2.
The radicalized husband-wife duo were shot and killed by police after a pursuit later that day. Still, authorities want access to Farook's phone, as a matter of national security, to investigate suspected links to other terrorists or planned attacks.
A magistrate judge recently ordered Apple to comply with the request. However, Apple responded by filing a motion to vacate the order, saying that complying with the FBI’s request would weaken a valuable encryption platform at a time when the United States needs stronger and more effective device encryption.
Candidates Back The Feds
Others support the government in the controversy. On the campaign trail, several GOP candidates for president have taken the side of the FBI. Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida said Apple should voluntarily comply.
While removing encryption could theoretically create a backdoor for criminals, it would clearly also help the government protect against criminal and terrorist activity. Candidates John Kasich, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson have expressed similarly qualified support for the FBI in the matter.
"Apple needs to sit down with trustworthy members of the government . . . and hammer out a relationship," said Carson.
Donald Trump has been characteristically blunt in his opposition to Apple’s resistance. "Who do they think they are?" asked Trump during a TV appearance, referring to Apple. "They have to open it up."
A poll by Washington, DC-based firm Morning Consult showed that just over half of respondents think Apple should comply with the FBI, with many citing national security priorities as the reason.
Industry analysts are also mixed over the issue. Independent technology analyst Jeff Kagan told us that even Apple’s customers are mixed over whether the company should comply. Kagan also pointed out that the argument is simpler if the FBI is only asking Apple to give the agency access to the one phone used by the San Bernardino assailant -- which the FBI generally says is the case.
"If Apple could simply open this one iPhone, that may be fine," said Kagan. "However, if Apple starts down this path, other governments in the U.S. and around the world will want the same access for their cases."
Court proceedings on the matter are scheduled to begin on March 22. At that time, Apple and FBI lawyers will meet in court to discuss the specifics of the San Bernardino iPhone case in front of a judge. Even if a ruling is passed down at that level, however, one side or the other is almost certain to appeal.
Posted: 2016-03-19 @ 1:36am PT
Perhaps when a terrorist kills one of Apples head honchos those arses will open that phone up, Muppets !!!
Posted: 2016-03-19 @ 1:33am PT
Imams preaching islamist sharia law in 2500 mosques in USA built with saudi money. So how does a totalitarian fascist dicatorship masquerading as a religion gain so much power using terrorism and murder? How can any company aid and abet these criminals?
Posted: 2016-03-17 @ 7:21pm PT
Industry analysts are not mixed in this issue. Over 100 companies filed briefs supporting Apple including a husband of one of the victims. The FBI and DoJ's response to this issue is a travesty and borders on illegal while putting 100's of millions of people at risk world wide. This includes Director Comey outright lying when he opened his letter to the American people that this case is not about precedent only to recant that 2 weeks later under oath. Also given current support for the FBI's stance has dropped by nearly 30% as people actually educate themselves on the topic the FBI is on shaky ground.