The case between Apple and the FBI may not be as limpid as it could be. If you ask me if Apple, or any US or Europe based supplier of high tech system should help the FBI (or any similar organization) and provide the technical support needed to extract information belonging to a terrorist, my answer would be definitely YES.
I don’t know any of the people who were killed in San Bernardino, but I just feel sad about the human beings they were. Another reason comforting my position is what has happened in Paris, in the Bataclan, a couple of months ago. I am not living in Paris anymore, but I used to go to the Bataclan to dance or listen to a band many times. About 100 peoplewere killed and more than 300 injured within a couple of hours. Just imagine how horrible it was to be systematically massacred with a Kalachnikov… not on a battle field, but in place where you just came to enjoy music with friends.
If you would be responsible for the post-attack investigations don’t you think you would try to do anything to find who has been behind this attack?
Now, we have to more precisely look at the whole Apple vs FBI story as it unfolds. Here is a summary from BI:
- Last week the FBI asked Apple to create a back door for hacking the state-owned iPhone that belonged to Farook, a government worker.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook responded with a blistering letter denying the request. His argument was that creating the kind of back door the FBI wanted would create a “master key” others could use to hack into iPhones.
- The FBI responded with a motion from the Department of Justice on Friday compelling Apple to help anyway. In the motion, the FBI revealed that San Bernardino county officials had attempted to access the backups of Farook’s iCloud account by resetting his password hours after the phone was recovered.
- Apple held a call with reportersFriday afternoon and revealed that resetting the iCloud password effectively locked the iPhone maker out of accessing its backups. If the county didn’t reset the password, Apple would have likely been able to access the backup contents as it has done in past investigations without creating a back door to break the iPhone’s encryption.
- Late Friday night, San Bernardino county revealed that it had been acting at the FBI’s request to reset the iCloud password, which went against the FBI’s motion that was filed earlier that day and blamed a county official for the reset.
- .Over half of Americans think Apple should unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. That’s according to figures from a Pew Research study published Monday. Only 38% thought Apple shouldn’t unlock the phone.
- Bill Gates thinks Apple should help unlock an iPhone for the FBI. Bill Gates has disputed Apple CEO Tim Cook’s assertion that the FBI is trying to get Apple to create a “back door” to the iPhone.
It seems that San Bernardino county officials, or the FBI (or both) have made a mistake by resetting the terrorist’s iPhone password, giving Apple a “good reason” not to satisfy to the FBI’s request. This request was that Apple should create a kind of back door, allowing the FBI to access the data stored by the terrorist on the phone and iCloud. We can expect $500 per hour lawyers to enjoy a long fight before anything can be decided one way or another. Once again, the mistake made by resetting the password doesn’t help.
But the real question is:
Should we provide to terrorist the right to store or exchange data with absolute privacy?
Should we consider as “Liberte d’expression” (freedom of expression) the possibility for terrorists to post movies describing assassinations?
As far as I am concerned, I deny privacy and freedom of expression to people who’s main goal is to kill me, or my friends, or even people I don’t know who just want to enjoy life. Probably because I have learned this sentence about the French Revolution “”No freedom for the enemies of freedom!”…
But the reason why Apple wants to protect privacy at any cost may just be linked with the image of the company. I am sure that you remember when Apple was the “nice guy” fighting with the bad guys, IBM, Intel or Microsoft. If we look at this problem at this angle, Apple’s problem is a business model problem. Protecting this image is a way to protect their business model (we are the nice guys and protect customer privacy)… at any cost?
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