Apple and the FBI

You’ve likely read about the court case between Apple and the FBI. Basically, the FBI is asking Apple to help it unlock the contents of a terrorist’s iPhone. Apple has refused on the grounds of the personal privacy of its users and the follow-on effects of taking such an action.

If Apple builds a backdoor for outsiders to access the smartphone content of its phone owners, outsiders with bad intent could also use this backdoor. Although the FBI’s request is designed to protect people and therefore has good intent in this case, an outsider with evil intent could use the same backdoor to harm people. Hence Apple’s current stance and desire to build future phones that no one other than the owner (that is not even Apple) can access.

Among all the articles I’ve read on the topic, this one by Firefox founder Blake Ross┬ábest lays out the clear tradeoff between giving control of entry only to those on the inside (that is the phone owner), versus also giving control of entry to those on the outside (that is organizations like the FBI). As the article points out and I agree, the latter can do more harm than it prevents. My current thinking is therefore that the former is the right solution.

It’s also a funny piece.