Apple has been in the news a lot this past week for its refusal to comply with a court order demanding it to unlock an iPhone used by one of the perpetrators of the San Bernardino massacre. There’s been a lot of ink spilled but there’s still a lot of confusion about what, exactly, the government is ordering Apple to do and why Apple is refusing to do it.
To help explain its position Apple has posted a public FAQ with more details. Among some of the major points:
- Apple says the government request would require it to engineer “an entirely new operating system” compromised with flawed security.
- Apple admits that it’s possible to do so, but fears that it would eventually end up in the wrong peoples’ hands, and all iPhone users would suffer as a result.
- Apple says that it has not unlocked phones for law enforcement in the past.
Our country has always been strongest when we come together. We feel the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and, as some in Congress have proposed, form a commission or other panel of experts on intelligence, technology, and civil liberties to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy, and personal freedoms. Apple would gladly participate in such an effort.
It makes for interesting reading. I hope you’ll check it out and come to your own conclusion if Apple’s doing the right thing.