What would you think if the federal government goon squad demanded of every lock manufacturer in the nation a key to open every single lock it makes so that there is no way that the company could assure its customers that the goons would not have the means to secretly unlock their front doors at any time for access to their private property?
Suppose the FBI goons cajoled a federal judge into ordering safe manufacturers, bank deposit box manufacturers and software encryption makers to fork over the means of defeating the purpose of every device or software they make whenever they like in order to discover the secrets within they are looking for?
What if you were the owner of a new technology which allowed your customers to keep a tight secret of all their private thoughts, papers and effects? How would you like it if a government goon ordered you to turn it over and give it up to big brother who doesn’t like the idea of anyone keeping secrets from it?
If the United States government wants access to your secret it thinks it has the perfect right to demand access to it by any means possible, and it has no qualms about demanding the cooperation of others to help it satisfy its desires.
So now the goons are trying to take a bite out of Apple Computer. The FBI convinced a federal judge last Tuesday to order Apple to assist the government break into the encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the deceased San Bernardino terrorists.
“Apple has the exclusive technical means which would assist the government in completing its search, but has declined to provide that assistance voluntarily,” prosecutors whined. US government officials are concerned that the expanded use of strong encryption is hindering national security and criminal investigations. Apple has it. We want it. Therefore Apple must give it up argue the goons.
Apple CEO Tim Cook says: Screw you, goon squad; we’re not going to lie down and roll over like government lap dogs when you threaten the security of our customers. “We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.” He knows that his customers want their private secrets protected from hackers – including government hackers. He is deeply committed to those customers.
But now the government is demanding that Apple build a “backdoor” to the iPhone. It “wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”
“While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect,” Cook concludes.
Lots of American technology companies like Google and others are wisely agreeing with Cook. I say thank goodness there are patriotic American CEO’s who are willing to risk their businesses by standing up to the government goons.
I hope the FBI can eventually crack the terrorist’s phone and get access to the encrypted data within. But not at the expense of Apple and its loyal customers who have a right to count on the company to safeguard their precious secrets. If the government can’t crack it; that’s just tough luck.
The goons don’t have the right to bite Apple.