Apple is being ordered by the U.S. government to unlock one of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. The company is actually being told to write software that it currently doesn’t have, so that they can create a backdoor and help the government whenever they need them to.
The repercussions of this particular instance could be far-reaching. Next, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies will be ordering Apple to do the same to countless other iPhones. Once Apple complies, the government will only increase their requests for Apple to hack into devices.
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, responded to the FBI’s request by publishing a public letter. In it, he explains that his company has worked with the FBI when they are in possession of the data that the government wants. In the San Bernardino case, Apple isn’t in possession of the data the FBI needs.
“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.”
iPhones are designed to be secure, and the information stored on them is protected by encryption. This ensures that the data on the iPhone is hidden even from Apple itself. That’s why the FBI wants Apple to write new software that gives them a backdoor where they can access the phone’s contents.
This is bad for a number of reasons. For one thing, most Americans like privacy, and knowing that there’s a backdoor in your device where the government can peer into is unsettling to many people. Another very valid reason that testifies against a backdoor is the fact that hackers could easily take advantage of any backdoor that Apple creates.
In summary, the government is ordering Apple to weaken its software so it can impose itself on the company and make Apple its snitch.