FBI Poisoning Apple

Apple chose to protect its millions of customers, but the government believes that they are hindering the investigative process.


Technology corporation Apple Inc. has refused to unlock an iPhone containing information pertinent to an investigation.

Taylor Terreri, Editor

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has been investigating the San Bernardino terrorist shootings since December. They have found an iPhone 5C that belonged to Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the killers, but they have not been able to open it and access the conversations that he had with the victims before the shooting. The FBI has accessed this basic information via typical phone records. To access the specific conversations, the FBI asked Apple to create a backdoor to the iOS operating system. However, Apple refused because it would pose a threat to their millions of customers. They sent out a letter to their customers explaining their decision to not create a way to override security on their devices. If Apple were to create the technique, it could be replicated over and over again, enabling hackers and criminals to break into not only Apple devices, but essentially any mobile device.

But this is not the only danger of creating a backdoor to the iOS system If the United States can ask for Apple to give them access to information like this, nothing would stop others from demanding the same power, which is what Kurt Opshal said about the issue. Also the government would be able to apply this technique to other phones. “It would be possible for the government to take this key, modify it and use it on other phones,” Opsahl said, “That risks a lot, that the government will have this power and it will not be misused.” With this, the government could have even more access to everything we do on our phones, and with the National Security Agency (NSA) scandal, lots of Americans don’t trust the government with their personal conversations and other information.

Despite this, some Americans do agree with the government and believe that Apple should have developed the software to help the FBI. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had something to say about this. “I agree 100% with the courts,” Trump said on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,””I think security over all — we have to open it up, and we have to use our heads.” While Trump does have a point about national security being a top priority, I’m not sure if he fully realizes how risky a backdoor could be. Apple has been very compliant with the FBI; they have given them all the information in their possession and even had their software engineers assist the investigators with the Apple products. If there was a safe way to break into the terrorist’s phone I’m positive they would have helped, but they very clearly stated that there isn’t. These are the experts on Apple software so it’s very likely that they know more on that than the FBI agents and politicians.

Personally, I don’t understand the controversy surrounding this issue. As I stated earlier, Apple has done the most that they can to assist the investigation, but they couldn’t create another option because it would be too dangerous. The engineers at Apple are experts in this field and the government should understand that this would be dangerous for millions of people throughout the world. Perhaps they could work with Apple more to try and find other ways to further investigate this case, but obviously I am not an FBI agent nor am I an executive software engineer at Apple. But if it would be easier for criminals to hack into my phone and millions of others, I believe this should definitely be avoided.