Apple Fights the FBI

William Rhodes, Feature Editor

In recent months, the tech giant Apple has been waging a war against the FBI and the US Department of Justice. The issue of this growing conflict is about access to customers’ encrypted data. Apple’s argument is that once they create the encryption key to the iPhones, it will create a dangerous precedent for future cases. For example, if the key is made the government could use it to unlock any encrypted iPhone they choose. The FBI argues that it would just be to unlock this one iPhone and very few others in high profile cases, without harming the general population’s private data and information.

The reason that this specific case is gaining a large amount of publicity is due to whose cell phone it was. This iPhone belonged to one of the now-dead San Bernadino shooting assailants. Since iOS7 Apple has encrypted all of the data on iPhones, with only your specific phone and password providing the key. The FBI wants Apple to create the key by making a code to upload onto the phone to create a backdoor. To many in the technology industry backdoors are dangerous to the consumer’s privacy. After Apple refused to comply with the judge’s order many tech giants, including Google and Mark Zuckerberg, have spoke in favor of Apple’s decision. In recent days, these companies, including Apple, have decided to increase encryption and further limit the ways anyone can access a person’s information. The main reason being is that these seemingly perfect companies are only a little bit ahead of hackers. If they choose to create a backdoor, the key will inevitably get out allowing for any hacker to access anyone’s device.

While many people agree that the government should not have any access to your personal data and information, for many, this case is different because it involves a terrorism suspect and data that could lead to possible ISIS ties. Apple, and Silicon Valley, counter with the point that if the FBI gets their way in this case it will lead to the FBI asking for thousands upon thousands of requests to un-encrypt iPhones and countless other devices. At this point Apple is even considering complete encryption, which means that if you forget your password everything is gone forever with no way to retrieve it. To many that is too far, but for the tech giants scared of possible government intrusion that could be the only way forward. This case will likely continue to ensue for many months, if not years. It could possibly end up with the Supreme Court ruling on the case.