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The FBI Gnaws at Apple Security

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.–Tech giant Apple released a message to their customers this week that has since made waves among the community that owns and loves its products. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook took on the responsibility of reporting the information in a long post on the company’s website.
In the message, Cook explained encryption, the process that protects users from hackers trying to steal their information. He explained that even the executives who are at the top of the company do not even have access to encryption due to the fact that it holds our most private information.
The message was prompted by an issue that arose from the San Bernardino shooting back in December. This horri

Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Gaona
Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Gaona

fic act was planned and followed through by two terrorists. An internally-locked smartphone was recovered from the scene.
Although Apple has given the Federal Bureau of Investigation all information they needed up until this point for the San Bernardino case, this does not seem to be enough for them. The FBI now wants the information on that recovered phone for their remaining investigation of the shooting. This is because it could provide more insight into who the shooters were in closest contact with and what they told others about their malicious plans.
Cook explained, “The FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software—which does not exist today—would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”
Ever since the Apple iPhone was first created and released in 2007 by the late Steve Jobs to massive success, Apple has created dozen of different devices, including the Apple iPad, iTouch, and more. There are now millions of users worldwide who use these tech commodities to keep files, send emails, handle banking, and more. This week’s statement gives many of those Apple customers worries as to what the future holds for their privacy as smartphone users.
“It’s an invasion of privacy,” said Monmouth University student and smartphone owner Jessica Kavanagh. “I completely agree with Apple that the FBI should not have the right to take anyone’s information whenever they please.”
Cook’s message is in fact potentially life-changing for all smartphone users. If Apple is forced to comply with the FBI’s demands, soon anyone might be able to reach our private information in an easy manner—especially if they get their hands on that new decryption technology.
All in all, this is a huge privacy problem that has arisen and gone viral in just a few days. This is not only an ethical issue for Apple but an issue for the government in terms of what they are asking from Apple. The average person might be able to hack into any device they want to, creating an unsafe environment.
Customers reading Apple’s news release can take comfort in Cook’s understanding and protective tone, which reassured them that they do not wish to accept the FBI’s request. As Cook describes, “The implications of the government’s demands are chilling.” In many ways, it crosses the line for the majority of people who own an iPhone.