Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Apple versus DOJ

I am far from an expert on this case or security in general, but this feels increasingly like a political battle that goes beyond this phone and this case. It is an issue between the FBI, which would like to see Congress pass a law to insure "backdoors" on all phones to allow access and decryption and Apple and most other tech firms that oppose such a law.

I believe both sides are sincere. The FBI believes they could better guard us against terrorists (and drug dealers and other criminals) if they could get a warrant to search any phone, as they can a car, home, etc. Apple believes that since the US is the current world leader in encryption technology, we are better off without such backdoors because the "keys" would be discovered by others and other governments, for example the Chinese, might press for backdoor access in selected cases. (Apple has also invested a lot in a pro-privacy marketing image).

There is no obvious correct answer and there will be unintended and unforeseen consequences regardless of the outcome. Only one thing is clear -- this is not a matter that should be decided by supporters of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.

For more, see this article, which has links to statements by both sides and this Pew survey on public opinion: