Thursday, February 18, 2016

Apple isn't protecting a shooter's iPhone data. They're defending digital privacy | Susan McGregor | Opinion | The Guardian

Apple's switch to default encryption on iPhones has been a subject of complaint from law enforcement since its introduction in 2014, but the FBI's current request seems to intentionally side-step the encryption question, instead requesting Apple's assistance to bypass non-encryption features of the iPhone in order to get at its currently encrypted contents.

While the particular model of iPhone in question here means that it may be technically feasible for Apple to comply with the FBI's request, this is not the true heart of the issue. As Cook's open letter to customers stating that Apple would oppose the order points out, the request "has implications far beyond the legal case at hand".

Cook's letter makes a point of characterizing the software solution that the FBI is requesting as a "backdoor", situating the request squarely in the middle of the broader debate about whether the government can make tech companies provide access to customer data.


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