Apple filed a motion to cancel the district order which asks them company to create a software which can break the security of their phone in the San Bernadino case. The motion states the case is not only about Farook’s phone, but about the Department of Justice and FBI seeking a way to break security and force companies like Apple to create a backdoor for them on their devices. This is Apple’s first official response since the case started.
How it all started
The case started with a terrorist attack; Syed Farook and his wife killed 14 people, injuring 22 more in the bloodiest terrorist attack since 9/11, as it was called. Before the attack, the two had destroyed their personal phones, but Farook’s work phone, an iPhone 5C with iOS 9, was not destroyed. On 16th of February a federal judge ordered Apple to assist FBI in cracking the phone, creating a software which would allow the government to disable all the protections on the phone and access the content freely.
Millions of people’s privacy is at risk
Why did the case became so notorious? Apple refused to create the software FBI asked for, believing this would jeopardise privacy and security of millions of iPhone users around the globe. Now Apple is asking for the case to be taken to the Congress, as they say government is asking for a power which was withheld from them by the American nation. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, states that FBI forced the case into the courts, which are not able to deal with such a major case, so they want the Congress to settle the case. Moreover, in the past, the Congress refused to pass similar acts and orders, refusing to grant the government the power they are seeking.
The future of people’s privacy and safety is at stake
The stakes are high in the Apple vs. FBI case, as the decision will affect millions of iPhone users across the world. On the other hand. FBI and the government states they are asking this software to prevent and fight terrorism, which is a global plague. Despite the public seems to part with FBI, Tom Cook insists the creation of such a software would put a heavy burden upon IT companies and would violate Apple’s First and Fifth Amendments regarding the user’s right to privacy.
Moreover, this would create a precedent and will tempt FBI and other authorities to abuse their newly-found power over and over again. What about other governments? Russia, China, even North Korea or Iran? What will happen when they will use this software to break the people’s phones and access their information?
Cook sees the company as being in an incredibly ironic and uncomfortable position, as they feel they are fighting the government on a matter they ought to protect: civil liberties. He is willing to go all the way to the Supreme Court and the President, in order to settle this case, considered to be of maximum importance for Apple, as well as the IT world.
Apple is no alone in this match
Apple is not alone in this battle; other large companies plan to back Apple. Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Twitter are only the most notorious companies on the market which spoke about this case and made their intentions to support Apple clear. Behind them, there are many more companies which are filing their complains and opinions.
Regardless what will be the final decision in this case, it will affect the way we see our online and mobile privacy, as well as how we use our devices. Most important, it will reshape digital privacy laws and policies. But for now, we have to wait and see where it all goes from this point.