The FBI is fighting Apple to change its encryption on iOS to allow it access to the contents of someone’s device. One of the biggest issues here is what the law says. The laws regarding what government agencies can demand companies to do, how they can force them to do and how companies are supposed to comply haven’t kept up to date with the changes in technology.
The question being asked is if Apple has the obligation to be forced by the government to help law enforcement. This started after what happened at San Bernardino, with the FBI wanting access to a mobile device. Apple hasn’t argued against helping the government out – Apple allows them access to information stored on iCloud when asked. So Apple isn’t completely against the government when it comes to keeping information from them. Apple is arguing against being forced to change parts of iOS to allow “cheat codes” that can break into any iPhone.
This throws up interesting questions about what could happen if Apple were to make codes bypast iOS security. One of the first questions is how can the government and Apple keep the codes safe, keep them out of the hands of criminals, other governments, or anyone who wants to break into a person’s device. Hackers are crafty and it’s likely that some of them will attempt to find these codes. If a hacker finds it and publishes the codes online, then everyone’s security is compromised. Which Apple will need to change their iOS, send out an update, and when the codes are found again repeat the process.
It’s hard to argue against the government wanting certain information from certain individuals. No one who watched The Wire would argue that the criminals had their privacy violated by having their conversations taped. What this argument shows the disparity in government policy and law. Government policy should be written to protect the innocent first and foremost, with Apple and most Apple users innocent. If codes are created, and then end up being released, the innocent are no longer protected.
The US government, technology companies and others involved need to work out how to keep privacy and security together, to continue to allow people personal freedom of communication without worry of information going to people it’s not intended for. 100% encryption isn’t an answer and isn’t something that’s ever existed. Government authorities have been able to record phone calls for decades without anyone worrying about being listened in on. The results of the Apple Vs FBI argument will likely last some time as this is a problem where a well thought out solution is needed, not a knee jerk reactionary policy that preys on fear.
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