This week we learned that the FBI was able to hack the iPhone of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook, reportedly with the help of an unnamed third party.
Hats off to the FBI and to the hacker who assisted the government in accessing Farook’s phone. As a result the FBI dropped its case against Apple, Inc., the makers of the iPhone.
Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, murdered 14 people and wounded countless others.
Apple should be ashamed of themselves.
There is a limit to the right to privacy just as there is a limit to the right of free speech. How do we weigh the safety of the general public on one side with the absolute right to privacy?
With decency and common sense, that is how. Technology is progressing so fast and it could end up being our worst enemy.
I am all for an individual’s right to privacy.
When that right could place the public in harm’s way or hamper the investigative efforts of law enforcement, doing the right thing should be paramount.
As a corporate entity many say that Apple had no choice. It has an obligation to its shareholders or more importantly its customer base. China is said to be Apple’s biggest market in the future. I am sure that was in the mind of Apple executives who were probably thinking about the adverse reaction assisting the FBI would have on the business relationship with China.
Juxtaposed with the fact that China engages in state-sponsored hacking and has been involved with the theft of US secrets and corporate espionage over the years, one could see that China’s money would take precedent over a US terrorism investigation, at least in the eyes of Apple.
Law enforcement has the constitutional right to obtain search warrants and court orders when conducting investigations. That is the rule of law.
If this incident with Apple is an example of things to come with how private technology companies will respond to legal law enforcement requests for assistance, we are headed down the wrong path.
Terrorists, drug dealers, human traffickers, child pornographers and all rest of the criminal scum may be rejoicing over Apples decision.
The same people who are supporting Apples decision in not cooperating with the FBI are most likely the first ones who blame the government every time we have another terrorist incident and raise the question; how come the government didn’t know?
Encryption is a valuable tool in protecting one’s personal information. But it does not supersede the greater good or jeopardize public safety.
What this week proved is that in reality, no matter what any corporation would want you to believe, with technology there really isn’t any such thing as total privacy.
If it is electronic, digital or analog, it can be hacked. There will always be someone out there who is just a little bit smarter than the next person.
In this instance someone or some group decided to do the right thing, stepped up and stood tall.
The FBI now has the secret that Apple said they did not have, at least for the present time.
I hope the governments endeavor was fruitful and the terrorism investigation was enhanced.
Doug authored over 135 articles on the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Massacre, more than any other single journalist in the country. He investigates stories on corruption, law enforcement and crime. Doug is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former police officer, deputy sheriff and criminal investigator. Doug spent 20 years in the hotel/casino industry as an investigator and then as Director of Security and Surveillance. He also spent a short time with the US Dept. of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration. In 1986 Doug was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. In 1992 and 1993 Doug testified in court that a sheriff’s office official and the county prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence during the 1988 trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of his wife. Doug’s testimony led to a judge’s decision to order the release of the man from prison in 1992 and awarded him a new trial, in which he was later acquitted. As a result of Doug breaking the police “blue wall of silence,” he was fired by the county sheriff. His story was featured on Inside Edition, Current Affair and CBS News’ “Street Stories with Ed Bradley”. In 1992 after losing his job, at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Doug infiltrated a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont fortune heir and his wife. Doug has been a guest on national television and radio programs speaking on the stories he now writes as an investigative journalist.