Apple vs the FBI
Apple did “exactly the right thing” by refusing a request from the U.S. government to create a backdoor to access a terrorist’s locked iPhone, billionaire Mark Cuban wrote in response to the encryption controversy this week.”Every tool that protects our privacy and liberties against oppression, tyranny, madmen and worse can often be used to take those very precious rights from us,” Cuban said.
“Apple vs the FBI: We must stand up for our rights to free speech and liberty.” – Mark Cuban, “Amen. A standing ovation,” Cuban wrote on his personal blog, heaping praise upon Apple and its chief executive, Tim Cook, for refusing to comply with the FBI’s order. In his view, if Apple were to comply, it would open the doors for countless situations in the future where the government could point to this case as a precedent.
Even if they were able to unlock the phone, there is no assurance that any 3rd party applications that the terrorists used were not still further encrypted and not defeat able. The FBI would be able to get into anything hosted by Apple’s apps and systems, but not necessarily the 3rd party apps or systems. So while Apple has taken on the responsibility of the first step, theirs is potentially not the last step.
Instead, Cuban proposes the following solution: Apple vs the FBI
A company can only be compelled to remove any type of security or encryption from a smartphone or tablet, and only a smartphone or tablet, under the following circumstances:
- There has been an event, with casualties, that has been declared an Act of Terrorism
- There is reason to believe that the smartphone was possessed by a participant in the Act of Terrorism.
- The smartphone must have been on premise during the event.
- The terrorist who was in possession of the smartphone or tablet must be deceased.
As I argued yesterday, it looks like the FBIhas set up a very clever trap for Apple. It knows that this is an emotionally charged case and that the politics of it look terrible for Apple. Politicians such as Senator Tom Cotton have already accused Apple of caring more about “the privacy of a dead terrorist” than national security and you can bet this is only the start of the public relations beating Apple will take if it continues its refusal to comply.
The FBI is betting that if Apple caves under public pressure, it will have precedent to ask both Apple and other companies such as Google to perform similar operations in the future. Apple vs the FBI