Monday, February 22, 2016

Apple vs. FBI

Recently, one of the biggest stories in the news has been the conflict with the FBI and Apple. The FBI is insisting Apple allow them to break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, signed a public letter warning the FBI of the dangers this would bring. In summary of the letter, if Apple were to comply with the FBI and work with them to build "a backdoor to the iPhone" giving them the capability to hack into the San Bernardino shooter's phone; Apple believes the creation of this backdoor could lead to hackers taking advantage of the privacy and security of tens of millions American citizens through the creation of this backdoor technology. "No reasonable person would find that acceptable," says Cook in the public letter.

Last December, the married couple shot and killed 14 people. Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik were radical Islamists who supported ISIS. In the FBI's statement to Apple they did not ask them to redesign their products, to disable encryption or to open content on the phone. The statement, which was from a judge's order, requested Apple to only tailor to the particular phone of the shooter. Ironically, the same engineers who built the strong encryption into the iPhone are being asked to weaken it now.

The reason this has become such a big story in the news these past couple weeks is because of the intensifying debate between law enforcement and the tech industry over encryption. The cooperation by Apple with the FBI could lead to great strides in eradicating ISIS. However, at what cost of the American people? The FBI insists that the creation of this technology is only for a one time use purpose for this specific phone, but Apple disagrees saying in their letter, "once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices." Technology, and specifically our phones, have become a huge part of the everyday person's life. Some people have their whole life right in the palm of their hands with all of their information. Without evening knowing it all of the data on your phone could be taken by a hacker.

Of course, this could be the biggest advancement to date in the search to find a way to destroy ISIS at it' core. The only problem is with the creation of this technology, could we be harming ourselves even more domestically?

Perez, Evan, and Tim Hume. "Apple Opposes Order to Hack Gunman's Phone." CNN. Cable News Network, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.


  1. The whole FBI vs. Apple situation has been a huge current event in the news lately. Obviously there are two distinct stances on this matter. On one hand, Apple could allow for the FBI to access the particular phone in order to get the necessary information on it to possibly obtain intel on ISIS. If the FBI can actually find useful information on this phone, it could greatly improve the safety of the American people as well as help the efforts in putting an end to ISIS. In my opinion, the FBI should be granted access to suspicious devices for the betterment of the country's safety. One reason why people are against this is due to the possibility of privacy issues. Apple allowing the FBI to access iPhones could pose a problem to the security of other devices. Although this does pose a risk, I think the destruction of ISIS should be a top priority of the U.S. I think the FBI should be able to do what they need to do to make this country as safe as possible.

  2. This article poses two very sensible arguments. ISIS has been terrorizing innocent people, as well as Americans, for far too long. If Apple creates a way for the FBI to access the information on one of the cellphones of the San Bernardino shooters, the government could be one step further in ending ISIS and saving countless lives. Apples argues that by weakening the security system of one IPhone, they are creating the possibility for hackers to access this technology and use it to steal or harm the American people. The argument could be made that by weakening the security of the most popular cell phone in America, ISIS could have even more access to confidential information on the United States. Most government officials are using IPhones, which means that if it is possible to get passed security on one cellphone, it is possible to use it on all of them. The basic argument between Apple and the FBI is the discussion of ending terrorism at the cost of the security of the American people.


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