Why Won’t Apple’s CEO Help the FBI Hack into the iPhone?

By Faye Higbee

Why Won’t Apple’s CEO Help the FBI Hack into the iPhone?

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is refusing a court order to build a program that would hack into the encryption of his company’s iPhone. Why, you ask? Because it has implications far beyond the terror attack in San Bernardino or even Syed Farook’s iPhone.  It would mean that the FBI would have the capability to get into everyone’s iPhone at any time. It is dangerous to the Bill of Rights.

apple's ceo

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Too dangerous to create

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook released a statement to his customers that reads in part,

 

“Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That is why encryption has become so important to all of us….

We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession…

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act [1789] to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.” Tim Cook

Is terrorism a justification for breaching the Bill of Rights? NO.

Tim Cook is absolutely correct in his assessment of the problem. The right to privacy and due process have already been compromised severely by the Patriot Act. But if the government succeeds in forcing Apple to comply with their demand, we can say goodbye forever to any sense of security whatsoever.
Allowing the FBI to decrypt  any or all of our communications is a horrifying thought. If they get their foot in that backdoor, we are lost. Though Mr. Cook may not be everyone’s cup of tea for his personal views and his politics, he is right on this one issue.
“The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expediency, and by parts.” Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
When well-intentioned men are in power, the rights of the citizens are protected. That is not the case under the current administration, or even members of Congress. They do not have good intentions, as we have repeatedly seen by their actions.
Democrats, Republicans, the President – all have continually sold our rights for their own personal agenda. Mr. Cook is right to oppose this order -he is seeing what the future may hold.
“If you think that the government trying to force Apple to build encryption back doors is just a Democrat or Obama thing, you’re wrong. Many Republicans in the past have supported similar actions. Don’t be fooled by the party distinctions.
The 4th Amendment is there for a reason and due process must be followed, even if the government is left with incomplete information or even if the guilty go free.”  R. Ferran
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)