Apple Privacy Battle

In the internet area of the topic there have been some recent developments. Apple, well known hipster outfitters, is refusing to comply with an order to help the government get access to encrypted information on a cell phone that belonged to one of the San Bernadino shooters.

Cook’s response, posted early Wednesday on the company’s website, set the stage for a legal fight between the federal government and Silicon Valley with broad implications for digital privacy and national security.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym had ordered Apple to help the FBI break into an iPhone belonging to Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the Dec. 2 attack that killed 14 people. Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, died in a gun battle with police.

The ruling by Pym, a former federal prosecutor, requires Apple to supply software the FBI can load onto Farook’s county-owned work iPhone to bypass a self-destruct feature that erases the phone’s data after too many unsuccessful attempts to unlock it. The FBI wants to be able to try different combinations in rapid sequence until it finds the right one.

The Obama administration has embraced stronger encryption as a way to keep consumers safe on the Internet but has struggled to find a compelling example to make its case.

Cook said “this moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.” He argued that the order “has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.” He said it could undermine encryption by using specialized software to create an essential back door akin to a “master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks.”

There is a lot of speculation going on about the significance of this disagreement for overall digital privacy.

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