The Defiance of Apple
Hi guys, I felt compelled to write about the latest Apple scandal. In what is perhaps the most defiant act of data protection, Apple are contesting an FBI requested court order for the mobile phone information belonging to San Bernadino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook.
The FBI have claimed that Farook’s iphone contains essential information. In 2014, Apple changed its settings so that all data on their devices is encrypted by default. This means that data on a locked phone will only be available if the passcode is know. And, more significantly, if an incorrect passcode is entered 10 times all data, such as text messages and photographs, is automatically deleted! The FBI want Apple to change the settings on Farook’s phone so that they can make unlimited passcode attempts on his phone without erasing the data. Interestingly, for a 4 digit passcode, as was Farook’s, there are 10,000 different possible number combinations. I wouldn’t want to be the FBI workers manually trying to unlock that phone, that’s for sure!
Apple are contesting the order because they feel that it sets a precedent for breaching the security they have worked hard to set up for their users over the years. I’m not sure where I stand on this. I agree to some extent that by allowing the US government access to confidential data Apple may set a precedent that does not protect its users in the future. But then, let’s not forget that Farook and his wife shot 14 people dead in California at the end of last year. However, Apple’s decision to make encryption by default on their devices was designed to circumnavigate moral dilemmas such as this and, therefore, the US government’s attempt to override this turns it into a subjective, rather than objective process.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this too. Thanks and catch you next time.