The FBI wants Apple to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, it even obtained a court order, but Apple is contesting that as it refuses to comply. Apple doesn’t want to set a precedent where governments can come in and demand the company to provide access to users’ devices and it also believes that doing so goes against its promise of keeping its devices protected from snooping. FBI says that only Apple has the “exclusive technical means” to unlock that iPhone but Edward Snowden is calling “BS” on that claim.
In case you’re unaware, Edward Snowden is a former CIA contractor who blew the whistle on US-government led electronic spying programs that span the entire globe. The documents he leaked showed just how massive the spying operation is.
Speaking at Common Cause’s Blueprint for Democracy conference via video link, Snowden said that the FBI’s claim of only Apple having exclusive technical means to unlock the iPhone is BS. He later tweeted a link to a post on the American Civil Liberties Union website to provide “one example” of how the FBI could have bypassed the iPhone’s auto-erase function on its own.
The FBI is essentially demanding Apple write software that will undermine the very protections it has placed inside iOS. Whether or not it can do that is a different matter, Apple is not even willing to entertain that thought as it doesn’t such a precedent to be set where governments can ask it to breach a user’s phone.
There’s support for both parties, some believe that Apple’s stance is right and that it shouldn’t be forced to open that iPhone while others say that tech companies should comply particularly when acts of terror have been committed. It’s not as simple as that, though, and the debate isn’t an easy one. There doesn’t appear to be an end in sight as both Apple and FBI are refusing to back down as of now.