The encryption and consumer privacy battle which started with a court ordering Apple to help FBI create a backdoor in iOS mobile operating system and Apple strongly opposing it, has reached a new level. After Google taking Apple’s side in the battle, Apple has two new companions -Facebook and Twitter fighting on its side.
The American investigative agency FBI has requested Apple to assist them into accessing San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone by creating a backdoor in its iOS mobile operating. Tim Cook opposed the court orders calling FBI’s backdoor request as’chilling’ and ‘dangerous’.
Facebook published a statement today clearing its stand on the matter. Facebook said demands of weakening the security would create ‘chilling precedent’ and that they will continue to fight aggressively against such attempts. Facebook also said that they appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe.
“We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services. We also appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe.” The statement reads.
“When we receive lawful requests from these authorities we comply. However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.”
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter also voiced support for Apple. Jack via a tweet thanked Tim Cook for his leadership on the matter and that they stand with Cook and Apple.
Yesterday Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google also sided with Apple. Pichai, via a series of tweets said that giving law enforcement “access to data” is entirely different than “requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices and data.”
Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp has also published a statement in support of Apple saying We must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set and that our freedom and our liberty is at stake today.
The battle against demands of weaker encryption is rising to a new level. With FBI requesting Apple to create a backdoor for just this one particular case, and Tim Cook’s fear that the tool could land in wrong hands putting consumer privacy and data security at risk, the fight continues.
U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump yesterday made a statement saying he would “Force” Apple to unlock the iPhone and “Who do they [Apple] think they are?”
No matter which side wins at the end, but this battle will surely change the way we look at criminal activities, law enforcement and strong encryption.
What are your thoughts? Should Apple lend a helping hand by creating the tool demanded by FBI? Would Apple’s refusal to do so stop FBI and other agencies from developing such tools on their own? Feel free to add your comments.