What started out as a simple request has turned into a massive debate about privacy, and exactly how much information the government should be allowed to know about you, and when they can know about it. For those who are hearing about this for the first time, Apple has recently taken a firm stance against unlocking an iPhone belonging to one of the shooters of the San Bernardino case.
Their decision, while unpopular with law enforcement officials, has seen a tremendous amount of support from the public, and even some of their rivals such as Google who acknowledges the difference between complying with a valid legal request, versus creating a backdoor for the authorities to hack into whenever they want.
In fact some of the public has taken it upon themselves to gather outside of Apple’s San Francisco retail store in a bid of solidarity with Apple. The internet rights advocacy group, Fight for the Future, held a rally outside the store, with their supporters all brandishing iPhones with a sticker from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that reads, “I do not consent to the search of this device.”
According to the FFTF co-founder Holmes Wilson who spoke to AppleInsider, “It began as a basic privacy issue, but the more we get into it, we learn it’s a bigger issue about the future of online security. They have many, many other tools for getting this information, governments have never been in a better position to get data on targets. We are living in the golden age of government access to data.”
Of course there are some who suggests that this is a bigger deal than it really is, but at the same time should Apple fail in their bid to oppose the court’s request, it will no doubt set a rather troubling precedent for the future.