So Apple has been in talks with the federal government for weeks now over the fact that the FBI wants them to create a backdoor to an iPhone that was used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, as well as a few other iPhones and Apple devices used by criminals. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple flatly denied the request, saying that creating such a technology would be unconstitutional as it would undermine the privacy of all iPhone users everywhere, because, anyone who has ever seen any sci-fi movie knows that once a technology is created, it can usually be used or found by anyone! The argument is turning into a show that is pretty entertaining to watch, if only because the feds seem to be bumbling in their effort to force Apple into performing the task at hand.
First of all, Apple brought up the point that the FBI has not even asked the NSA, the agency tasked with maintaining security and overseeing terrorist communications, to help create a technology to unlock the iPhone. Apple is just the developer of these products but there are many qualified hackers and coders who could probably figure something out.
In the courtroom, Apple is slaying the federal government, causing known dissident Edward Snowden to tweet “Today I learned that #Apple has way better lawyers than the DOJ.” They are pointing out that many of the arguments that the feds are using to compel them to do the job through legal means have nothing to do with the All Writs Act, the 300 year old act which could force them to create the technology, or encryption/privacy.
They were also able to show that the feds made some mistakes in their court filings, saying that the Agent who determined that the shooter had not backed up his data to iCloud was looking at the wrong screen, and had given the courts wrong information about how people can choose to upload their data to iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage solution. The same agent also said that the FBI would need access to the phone to gain access to the keystroke history, however, Apple informed the government that Apple devices do not keep logs of keystrokes in the first place. Seems like someone needs to go to the Genius Bar!
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