OPINION: Apple champions more than privacy
Jonathan McCollough | Staff Writer
The debate between Apple and the FBI, privacy versus security, should not be framed as such.
It all started when U.S. Judge Sheri Pym ordered Apple to unlock an iPhone owned by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino, California tragedy that took place in December. More specifically, she wanted Apple to create a way for the court to bypass the iPhone’s security measures that freeze or erase the device after too many failed passcode attempts. The bypass would allow for the FBI to use a computer program to run as many unlock attempts as they wish.
There is a simple problem, however, with this request that a lot of people don’t realize: unlocking one phone means unlocking all of them.
In order to bypass the iPhone’s security protections, Apple would have to create a unique version of their operating system that would be given to the government, so it can unlock the iPhone. This operating system would be the equivalent of a master key that could be used to unlock any iPhone in the entire world.
In the wrong hands, this master key could be extremely dangerous. It would enable hackers or terrorists to gain access to anyone’s iPhone, allowing them to steal information and data from unsuspecting citizens.
Think of encryption as a solid box around your data. Nothing and nobody can get in or out of this box to steal your data. If the FBI’s backdoor is implemented, it would be like putting a door on this box with a key that only the FBI can use. The problem is that a hacker could potentially steal the key or lockpick the door, and gain access to users’ sensitive data.
The solution to this dilemma would be to simply never create a backdoor in the first place.
On top of the clear security risks, creating this backdoor would set a dangerous precedent that would allow for the government to expand its power and eliminate our privacy.
The government could just as easily ask for access to our cell phones cameras and microphones, track our locations, access our financial information, and much more, for the sake of “security.”
I would like to believe that the government has good and pure intentions, but I still do not trust it with unlimited access to my information or data.
It isn’t about wanting to hide something: I don’t have anything to hide. It’s the principal of the government undermining our freedoms, the very same freedoms that they are claiming to protect.
That is why Apple needs to stand strong against a government overreach. It needs to stand strong against the security risks that would come with adding a backdoor. It needs to stand strong against the continued attack on our freedoms for “security’s” sake.
We need to stand with it.