Apple: Gatekeeper of Individual Privacy


A recent legal case dealing with Apple and the FBI has caught the attention of many people. The FBI has demanded Apple to unlock Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c, the shooter responsible for killing 14 innocent people in San Bernardino. By unlocking the phone, the FBI believes they can access secret information regarding other terrorist organizations. Apple’s refusal to create a new encryption for the FBI has brought up many questions regarding the government’s transparency.

Apple believes that if they create this new encryption to unlock the phone it could potentially lead to unknown negative consequences. Encryption built onto iPhone’s are vital to the usual of it’s customers and is why Apple’s name is so credible. Apple’s sole purpose as a company is to ensure the privacy people are paying for. They sent out a letter to the customers concerning the matter with the FBI by explaining their side. In Apple’s letter, Tim Cook states:

“The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.”

According to ” The Nation: Apple vs the FBI,” “once technology has a so called back door installed, all kinds of people can walk in.” If Apple creates a “back door” to the iPhone for the FBI, this will create a vulnerability which could potentially give criminals access to any other iPhones. The FBI wants Apple to create a tool that is very dangerous which could put a threat to many lives. Although national security is important in society, individual privacy should’t be dismissed. Apple is an advocate for individual privacy and believes privacy should trump national security. People should use Apple as a way to gain back their security granted in the constitution. Although the government should insure national security, there is a limit as to how far they should intervene. How far is too far?

The FBI insisted on the usual of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify their reasoning for seeking access to Farook’s iPhone. Because of the retrieval of this rarely used 220 year old law, it becomes skeptical on the FBI’s side.  This act allows the Supreme Court to intervene on a situation by issuing writs, otherwise known as  formal orders. Is this right fair, or does it give government too much power?

Edward Snowden, a computer professional, Tweeted stating how Americans have to rely on  Apple to fight for right’s as citizens. As a formal employee of the CIA he exclaims that our government is disregarding our privacy rights for their own benefit in order to seek information. America is a Democratic-Republic in which citizens rely on the government to ensure Americans right’s, not the other way around. Why should we have to depend solely on a company to stand up for our rights instead of government? People need to be aware of what is going on, because if not our government will eventually have too much control.

Individual privacy is more important than our National Security.

The FBI has recently stated that they don’t need Apple’s help to unlock the phone, due to the fact they have a third party. Should the FBI reveal the third party? Although the FBI has found another way to unlock the phone, they shouldn’t disregard the individual privacy citizens have. Although the FBI may have potential access to the current iPhone, they’re ignorant to the possible consequences that could arise. Is this truly what we want as citizens?




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s