Gavel - LawCall

In December a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California killed 14 people and injured several others. To date, authorities have been unable to hack into the terrorist’s iPhone, which could give them invaluable information.

This week, a federal court ordered Apple to hack into the phone. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, is refusing to do so, even though in the past, the company has accessed 70 handsets for authorities since 2008. None of the earlier issues involved terrorism. So what’s the problem?

Apple is appealing the order to allow the FBI access to the data contained on the phone. The company has released a letter to its consumers assuring them that their private data is safe in spite of the fact that authorities complain the software is being used by criminals – and in this case, terrorists.

Apple’s reasoning: ‘forcing Apple to extract data absent clear legal authority to do so, could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers…and tarnish the Apple brand.’

The statement released by the company also says, ‘This reputational harm could have a longer term economic impact beyond the mere cost of performing the single extraction at issue.’

Syed Farook’s phone is a 5c with a four-digit passcode. If the passcode is entered incorrectly ten times, it prompts the handset to delete all data. Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik killed 14 innocent people.

Tim Cook is accusing the FBI of wanting the company to create a backdoor into the iPhone. The concern is that once you go there, you cannot go back, and if it gets into the wrong hands would be devastating.

What do you think? Should the government be allowed to access to our private data when there is a terrorist threat?


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