In Defense of Apple and Our Right to Privacy

Earlier this week, Apple came out with an open letter discussing their opposition to a recent court filing to force them to unlock the iPhone 5C of Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the San Bernadino attack in California this past year. The FBI has ordered Apple to create a piece of software that would circumvent all of their security measures that they've put in place. Creating this piece of software would be extremely dangerous to the general public and would set a dangerous precedent for the future of our country

The FBI wants Apple to create a special version of iOS that would allow them to break the passcode via brute force. Currently, there are measures that do not allow the pin code to be entered via the lightning port, and after 10 failed attempts, all of the data is erased. These security measures are meant to prevent such an attack. But the FBI wants Apple to essentially disable all the security features they have implemented. The problem with that is if this piece of software ever got into the wrong hands, then basically everyone's iOS device would be at risk. 

The most dangerous part about this case is the possible precedent that it could set for future decisions. This case would mean that the government basically has free reign over what devices and information that it can access. Furthermore, it means that it can force companies to write software that will circumvent their own security measures. Combined with the previous concerns, this means that cyber security would be greatly diminished. The security measures that these companies have developed would be completely useless. Our personal data would be much less safe and much more readily available to the government. 

Such an important case should not be decided by a low level court. Technology has become such an important part of our lives and the government has lagged behind greatly in developing policies that regulate and set boundaries as to what information can and cannot be accessed.  There needs to be comprehensive legislation that sets forth how the government can obtain information in a digital way. The privacy and security of our data needs to be a priority just as much as national security. We host so much personal information online that we cannot afford to do anything less.