The Criterion

FBI vs. Apple


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The US government has always had an issue with Apple’s encryption, a security measure that can scramble and erase data so that no one can read it unless they put in the proper password. This sometimes interferes with the FBI’s ability to be able to check someone’s phone and gain information, but it wasn’t until after December 2nd, 2015 that the FBI began pressing for Apple to help them break down the encryption.

14 people died and 22 others were injured in a series of terror attacks in San Bernardino, California. Two of the shooters were shot down and their technology, including a phone, was confiscated.  They can’t unlock it because the encryption will erase the data on the phone if they can’t guess the password in 10 or less tries. The FBI believes that this phone contains useful information and is eager to get it; however, Apple’s code prohibits them from doing so. They claim that they want to break the encryption for only this phone. Apple thinks otherwise. They believe that by breaking the security measure, a backdoor will be created and the FBI will be using it to check out other phones, jeopardizing Apple users’ sense of privacy. They basically want Apple to create a new version of the iPhone operating system that can go past their security and install it on the iPhone that they recovered from the deceased shooter. Even though this software does not exist yet, it would still give someone the chance to get into anyone’s iPhone and retrieve any personal information.

Apple believes that the FBI is being sincere when they say that it will only be used for this one cellular device, but doesn’t think that they can guarantee that a ‘backdoor’ will not be created as a result of them unlocking this one iPhone. Apple has cooperated with the FBI before but does not seem to budge when it comes to decrypting their security. The FBI hopes that as time goes by Apple may change their minds.

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FBI vs. Apple