The origins of this story began long before Apple computers gets involved, but much later after the death of Steve Jobs. After the events that took place in San Bernardino, California, the FBI stepped in and decried, after taking a look at some of the information available, that the attacks there were indeed a terrorist attack. Surely they came to this conclusion after much deliberation.
During the FBI’s investigation, they came across the smartphone cellular telephone device that belonged to one of the shooters who ultimately perished during the attack. The FBI believes that it could glean valuable information from taking a peek inside the smartphone of the shooter, but there’s a few issues. The phone has a passcode on it, and if the passcode is failed 10 times, then all data on the phone is completely erased.
What happens next?
The FBI has asked Apple, the tech giant and supplier of Macbooks, iPhones, and iPads, to break into the shooter’s phone. In order to do this, Apple would have to create something know as a “backdoor.” Much like a backdoor into your own home might allow someone to come and go without much warning, this would allow the FBI to do the same thing. Bypassing the automatically erasing function, this would allow the FBI to use a brute force method to guess many passcodes in a short amount of time and gain access to the device. This all sounds fine and dandy, but the situation is that this is a legal court of law. By bypassing and hacking their own device, Apple would be forced to weaken the security that it’s worked so tirelessly to create. And yet, each year tons of iPhones, iPads, and other devices are still jailbroken for unauthorized usage across the United States. Though safety measures on this individual’s phone may exist to protect a criminal in this case, if a backdoor were to be opened, it would allow access to phones that would compromise many legally abiding citizens.
The good and the bad
Across the world, American tourists and journalists are hiding in places fearing for their lives. If they were to be located using their smartphones by enemy assailants, they might be murdered immediately. Dear FBI, is this all worth that? The deaths of innocents because you lack the foresight to see what really matters? Ultimately, the death toll of terrorism in the United States is not high enough to garner such a massive risk upon the American people. Think of all the personal data that you keep on your smartphone. What if anyone could get access to that data? If Apple is forced to crack open this one phone, then anyone with a warrant could do the same to your device. I don’t think that’s something anyone wants, and an entire legion of tech companies stand with Apple in this legal battle, arguing that their devices could be forced to be opened after this legal precedent as well.
What do you think should happen next? Who do you think will win this case?