What Apple Wants, What the FBI Needs

Update on the catfight between Apple and the FBI

This Matters | Isabelle Stafford | March 4, 2016

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I’m sure many of you reading this article have probably been hearing about the cat fight going on between Apple and the FBI—I hope—but in the case that you only clicked on it because the title references a Christina Aguilera song, I’ll give you a recap.

Over the past few months, Apple and the U.S. Government have been discussing what happened in San Bernardino. Earlier in December, a couple killed 14 civilians in San Bernardino, California, in an act of what many people think was terrorism, although the motives are still unclear. Apple has been working with the FBI regarding this case and doing their best to help them gain information through their iPhones.

However, the U.S. government is overstepping one (million) too many boundaries by demanding access to one of the attackers’ phone. With little progress over the past months, a federal magistrate judge ordered Apple to unlock the iPhone. What’s the harm in that, you might be asking? Let me enlighten you. The U.S. government wants Apple to create a new iPhone software that would, “have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession,” says chief executive of Apple, Tim Cook in his letter to customers. Thanks Obama. Apple is adamant about doing everything it can to avoid creating this software that would overstep the privacy of its customers.

What’s happening now

This battle will most likely continue for awhile; however, Apple just recently managed to get ahead. In a similar case, last Monday a federal judge from New York said NOPE to the FBI’s demand that Apple unlocks the iPhone of a suspected drug dealer in Brooklyn. The judge ruled in favor of Apple because of the bill that Congress rejected which would allow the government “to require companies like apple to unlock data for law enforcement.” One point for Apple and a big “Fuck You” to the FBI. Although it is a separate case, this ruling could have an effect on the San Bernardino verdict as it puts Apple one step ahead.

Why you should care

You don’t need me to tell you how many college students have iPhone’s, but I’ll tell you anyway. According to a Chitika study, 43.1 percent of cell phone sales in Wisconsin were iPhones. The study also concluded that most people who are college educated have iPhones.

Therefore, we, as college students, will most likely own or already own an iPhone. Don’t have an iPhone? What about that MacBook of yours. If the U.S. government is allowed to force Apple to make this cheeky software, who’s stopping them from using it on whomever they wish? Think about those pictures or videos you REALLY don’t want getting out. Just because I know you have them, doesn’t mean that the U.S. government should, too.

This case is so incredibly important because the dispute between Apple and the FBI is due to a potential terrorist attack. Obviously Apple, the U.S. government, and American citizens wants to do everything in the their power to prevent more attacks from occurring, but to what extent? Both Apple and the U.S. government have an obligation to protect the privacy of Americans.