Mar 01, 2016

FBI vs. Apple : A Fight Unfolds, A Nation Divides, The World Watches

Privacy vs. Security — one of the most debated arguments we have heard numerous times in recent days due to the ongoing legal battle between the FBI & Apple. The debate raises an important question - In this digital age is Privacy real? Or is it a mistaken belief we hold on to?

With technology playing a big role in the day-to-day lives of regular people, this legal tug of war between Apple and the FBI is more important now than ever. The outcome will shape future technology policies, influence how technology companies build security for their devices and set precedents and rules for law enforcement with regard to technology.

How it all BEGAN

Why does Apple pushback over this GovtOS?

A Nation Divided

The issue of Privacy vs. Security has been around for a long time and there have always been opposing sides that have made strong arguments to their case. This is just one of the latest issues for which each side has put forth their arguments again.

James Comey, Director of the FBI — “Maybe the phone holds the clue to finding more terrorists. Maybe it doesn’t. But we can’t look the survivors in the eye, or ourselves in the mirror, if we don’t follow this lead. We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That’s it. We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land.”
Tim Cook’s email to Apple Employees - “The case is about much more than a single phone or a single investigation. At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties. Ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect”

CEO’s of various Technology companies have voiced their support for Apple

Google CEO Sundar Pichai : “We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders, but that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data could be a troubling precedent.”

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates & his clarified stand : “I do believe there are sets of safeguards where the government shouldn’t have to be completely blind. But striking that balance…clearly the government has taken information historically and used it in ways that we didn’t expect, going all the way back to JFK and J Edgar Hoover. There should be safeguards in place when the government accesses such information.”

Yahoo CIO Bob Lord: “Ordering a company to hack one targeted system is clearly the first step to ordering them to backdoor them all.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “We’re sympathetic with Apple. We believe in encryption; we think that that’s an important tool”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey : “We stand with Tim Cook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership)!”

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum : “Couldn’t agree more with Cook and his letter. We must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set”

Encryption is set to become a Political Debate

The Whitehouse Statement : “The U.S. Department of Justice is not asking Apple to redesign its product or to create a new backdoor”

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump : “To think that Apple won’t allow us to get into her cellphone? Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it”

However, what does the public think? Public opinion has been divided. There are many polls that show the majority of the public supporting both sides. Both the FBI and Apple have tried to reach out and garner public support for their positions. The FBI says it is all about “The Victims and Justice” while Apple maintains its stand and explains with a typical FAQ for the customers.

Some VERY Important Points to Ponder

The World is WATCHING!

One thing is certain - whichever side you’re on, there is no denying the importance of this problem and both innocent and guilty will equally face the consequences if a backdoor is created.