It might be helpful to law enforcement to be able to examine the digital data stored on the iPhone used by the terrorists who killed 14 people in San Bernardino.
The risk, however, is that once law enforcement has that power, police and the NSA could then use it to access anyone’s iPhones and iPads. And so could law enforcement, the military and spies of all other nations throughout the world. And that would put the lives of hundreds of courageous journalists, bloggers, human rights workers, dissidents, attorneys and opposition politicians in jeopardy. Their work — and their lives — depend on privacy:
If Apple does have this ability to enable decryption by disabling iPhones’ auto erase security function or by using other methods, the judge’s order will have already put the lives of hundreds of people at risk. Despotic governments could soon demand Apple provide access to thousands of cellphones, and Apple would then have to comply or stop doing business in that country.
With her ruling the judge may have already set back democracy and human rights on a mass scale throughout the world.
Apple will likely appeal, setting the stage for an eventual ruling by the Supreme Court. Even if Apple eventually prevails, the cat may already be out of the bag in the rest of the world.
The judge’s ruling would require that Apple install malware on the iPhone:
Apple’s official response:
Protests are planned against the government’s attempt to force Apple to enable decryption of iPhones:
A petition opposing the government’s attempt to force Apple to enable decryption:
Update: Apple releases a FAQ about the iPhone controversy:
Apple CEO Tim Cook wonders what would be the next decryption demand if the FBI were to win this iPhone case:
The FBI is trying to win the argument for decryption by creating a false dichotomy between saving lives versus privacy, as if the issue is that simple:
Update: The Justice Department’s claim that it just wants Apple to help decrypt one iPhone is an outright, indisputable lie:
Update: The FBI ineptly asked the county to attempt to reset the iPhone’s password, which then eliminated the possibility of recovering data from an automatic backup:
The FBI also apparently lied about the bungled attempt to reset the password, blaming the county government by making it look as though the idea was the county’s:
The FBI’s bumbling its investigation of the terrorists’ iPhone follows its decision to release the terrorists’ townhouse in Redlands just two days after 14 people were murdered in San Bernardino. The decision to release the townhouse to the landlord, an action that was criticized by law enforcement experts who questioned the lack of a thorough investigation, led to dozens of journalists handling the family’s belongings and contaminating the crime scene with their fingerprints and DNA on live TV.
This whole controversy with the iPhone is now looking more and more like the FBI is trying to compensate for its ongoing ineptness by forcing Apple to do its heavy lifting, civil liberties be damned.
Update: Judge rules in favor of Apple in other iPhone decryption case:
Update: Dozens of technology companies and law professors add their support to Apple in its court battle to protect privacy:
Think you have nothing to worry about? Think again:
Former CIA director James Woolsey opposes the FBI’s attempt to force Apple to rewrite its iPhone code:
Update: More Americans now support Apple than oppose it in its fight to protect privacy: