FBI: Let us in!
Apple: No!

Apple vs FBIA fact of digital life is that the harder we work to keep data secure, the harder bad guys will work to break in.

But what happens when government wants to break in?

The FBI has been trying to break into the iPhone owned by Syed Rizwan Farook. You will recall that it was Farook and his wife who, two months ago, shot 14 coworkers in San Bernardino, California, before being killed by police.

To date, Apple’s encryption, which Apple itself has not devised a means of breaking, has proved sound enough to foil even the FBI.

Two days ago, magistrate Judge Sheri Pym of the Federal District Court for the District of Central California ordered Apple to create a way for the FBI to break in.

Yesterday, Cook replied with a resounding NO. Some excerpts from his open letter:

Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create …

Specifically, the FBI 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…

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government …

… ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.

Cook raises real concerns. On the other hand, the FBI’s interest in thwarting future potential attacks is not to be lightly dismissed. How will this play out? Stay tuned.

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