The stakes could hardly be higher.
Yesterday, Tim Cook published a bold open letter:
A Message to Our Customers
The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.
After the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino On December 2, 2015, the encryption in the operating system on the phone of shooter Syed Farook, has prevented the FBI to unlock the phone and search for critical clues in the case.
On Feb 16, a U.S. Federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI recover data from the device. Apple CEO Tim Cook replied with the open letter on the company’s website opposing the judge’s order.
When Eduard Snowden’s revelations started three years ago, some big internet companies were accused of collaboration with NSA. Apple decided to make a credible commitment in favour of privacy and become a truly trusted party for its customers.
With the introduction of iOS 8, the company built in and enabled an encryption on all iOS devices so tight and secure that even Apple can’t break. Apple has fought to avoid creating the backdoors in cryptosystems government all over the world are demanding:
Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.
Poor Tim Cook! He is been caught between a rock and a hard place, and he is going to have a tough time, unless, somehow, he is able to sweep the whole affair under the carpet. Is that possible? I think it will have to be, because:
- What FBI is demanding is technically feasible. So someone will do it, and I guess Apple will prefer to do it itself
- Though Tim Cook is right in his case for individual privacy, Apple might be on the wrong side of legal precedent in this fight.
This is a perfect moment for a career in PR… and by the way, to tell the world who you are:
Featured Image: Minh Uong/The New York Times