In a long drawn out battle that has raged on for much longer than this latest case, Apple refuse to help FBI in breaking encryption in the latest fight between national security and privacy. The FBI have recently reached out to Apple at their headquarters in Cupertino, California in order to help them in unlocking a single iPhone. The iPhone belonged to the shooter in San Bernardino from last year’s attacks, but this isn’t a simple case of helping law enforcement in a criminal case but it could set a dangerous precedent.
Both Apple and the FBI have claimed they have cooperated before in a similar situations but this is the first time that the FBI have requested to unlock a specific phone and the manner in which it wants to. Previously when law enforcement have requested assistance from Apple, they have gone ahead and released certain information from the companies that are connected to the information; service providers and email providers. But this time, the FBI are asking for backdoor access that could compromise every user’s data and set a dangerous precedent for data security and user’s privacy.
This battle between privacy and security is a fight with blurred lines, where neither has a clear case for what should be done. The FBI are fighting for national security, something that this day and age is very important, but on the flip side this cannot undermine everyone’s privacy and open the door to further problems. One such issue would be to literally hand the keys over to law enforcement and to surrender control over everyone and anyones personal data. The Department of Justice (DoJ) wish for Apple to allow them to electronically unlock an iPhone’s passcode screen, as opposed to the standard method of manually pressing the keys on the touch screen. This of course would quicken the process of unlocking an iPhone, much how a hacking program can use brute force in guessing passwords.
Apple have been adamant in not giving up on their stance against the government, with many supporters in the tech world taking Apple’s side. If such a compromise would be allowed, it would also open up the technology and the know how for not just the government, but hackers too, which would have serious consequences for privacy for everyone.