It happened again- Terrorism on US soil. We sat glued to our seats and wondered what it would take to keep us safe. This time, things were different. This time the perpetrators were caught and killed quickly. Crisis averted. However, just this week, most of us found out that after two months, the FBI was still unable to crack the IPhone code of one of the killers. It's what we found out next that may change the landscape of law and privacy in the U.S.
I admit that I am an IPhone user. I got this adorable Rose Gold 6s shortly after they were introduced and I couldn't be happier. I mean, who doesn't love live photos? When I heard that the FBI asked for Apple's help to unlock the phone because they were afraid to make the dreaded 10th guess, I understood. IPhone users know that we have the option of wiping our phones clean automatically after 10 unsuccessful guesses. It's Apple's way of assuring us that our nude photos won't be leaked like those celebrities. (Who am I kidding, I haven't taken a nude photo in my entire life.) Apple has promised its users security and we eat it up. We drink it like Kool-Aid. We pay homage to that security as Kanye pays homage to himself. We are proud that without our codes or fingers(Iphone has touch ID), no one can get our secret data. We like it and we trust it because Apple made it so even they can't break our code.
So now, the FBI has asked the company to break the code. Apple has said no. No, they didn't create a backdoor and if they helped this time, they would have to create a whole new system that would jeopardize all of our safety. The FBI says it impacts national security. But does it? The attack happened several months. If there were an immediate secondary attack scheduled, it's too late for that. If there is another planned, you have to expect that the terrorists have long since changed any details that would have been found in that phone. Am I worried about national security? Of course, I live if here too. But, I am also worried about personal liberty. Can you imagine what would happen if that proposed new technology got out? Heck, could you imagine what would happen if the FBI, CIA, or the local police got to use it for every investigation? I'm no criminal, not even a pretend one, but my phone is full of crap. It's full of my private thoughts, secret dreams, and yes, client information. If the wrong person had my phone, they would have access to attorney-client secrets. Could they use e-mails and text messages sent to me, as the attorney, to prosecute my client? Could they prosecute me as an accomplice because I knew my client committed a crime?
I believe in security. I want to be safe. But, I also believe in privacy. I don't want our government to be the Big Brother envisioned by the book 1984. Perhaps Tim Rice said it best with his statement listed below:
The US government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.
They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.
Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation.
In the wrong hands, this software - which does not exist today - would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.
While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products.
And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.
The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true.
Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices."
In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes.
No reasonable person would find that acceptable.
– Tim Cook, Apple CEO
By Jacquie L. Jones
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