I haven’t been blogging about the Apple vs. FBI controversy, which may seem odd given that this is a privacy site. But the issues are so complex, and the available facts have been dribbling out in such a way that it’s hard to get a clear sense of what happened, what might happen, and the risks it poses.
So I’ve been following a number of people on Twitter who presumably know more about the law and/or data security than I do. And I find myself increasingly aligning with Apple because: (1) the government filed ex-parte and Apple was not given a chance to argue the motion before the magistrate issued the order, (2) the government is asking a court to compel private industry to create something solely for law enforcement’s purpose, (3) the government omitted crucial details about how it contributed to its own problems in the days following the attack, and (4) Apple stands to lose consumer trust and goodwill even if it is only cooperating under direct court order.
Can the government force Silicon Valley to spy on its customers? Timothy B. Lee asks?
And is this an issue that should be decided by the courts or by Congress?
Ironically, I’d note that all the so-called Conservatives (or as my husband calls them, the “faux-Conservatives”) who should be arguing for small government, have once again jumped on the “privacy vs. security” excuse to rationalize big government.
Apple creating code that weakens its own security is not just a slippery slope. It’s an attack/destruction of its own carefully developed product and approach to data security. Our government shouldn’t make Apple attack its own baby. Whether you cal it a “backdoor,” or something else, the bottom line is that if our government gets away with this, other governments will undoubtedly similarly order Apple and other companies to assist them for their own purposes. We will all be unsafer.