Will we lose phone security in Apple’s fight with the FBI?
Apple and the US security services are at odds over a single phone - and the outcome of this battle impacts all of us.
A battle between an American tech company and the US government isn’t something that, on first glance, should concern the rest of the world. But this one certainly is.
Apple and the US Government – or, more specifically, the FBI – are locked in conflict over unlocking a terrorist’s phone. They don’t want Apple to decrypt it – just to disable the “10 tries on the passcode, and then the phone wipes itself” security feature.
Rene Ritchie writing for iMore:
Make no mistake, what is being asked of Apple should horrify not just those in the U.S. but around the world. Nothing made can be unmade. Nothing used once will only ever be used once. The moment after an easy way to brute-force passcodes exists we, none of us, will be safe. A few criminals may be more easily investigated, but catastrophically more people will be subject to unlawful searches, hacks, theft, blackmail, and other crimes. Everywhere.
Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing strikes a similar note:
This is the slipperiest of slippery slopes, guys. If you think this makes sense, will you feel the same about the government demanding backdoors or software rewrites in every other technology device or service you use? How about when China demands backdoors in everything? The whole world is watching.
This is the price of a tech world dominated by the US: the rest of the world has to watch and wait to see if one government is about to make all our phones much more insecure.
The battle for the right to encrypt your information
This is not the place to go into the ins and outs of this situation. The web is full of interesting, intelligent reading on the subject, and here’s a few to get you starter
- An excellent technical analysis of what’s being asked
- Tim Cook’s letter to customers
- Why Apple if fighting not to unlock phones for the Government
- Apple’s fight against the DOJ may be the most important in the history of data security
- It’s not about this 5c
- Apple versus the FBI, Understanding iPhone Encryption, The risks for Apple and encryption
For now, the tech world and public opinion seem to be on Apple’s side – but do you think they are right to push back against government?