Apple says No! It won’t give the government access to an iPhone phone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. The FBI’s request was “an overreach” that threatened the privacy of its customers.
Apple’s standoff with the feds has touched off an intense debate. And many public figures are taking sides — from technology bigwigs to politicians and business figures.
On the side of Apple are those making a privacy argument: If Apple creates a way to hack into its phones for the FBI, the technology could fall into the wrong hands and do a lot of damage.
People on the FBI’s side are making a security argument: Law enforcement must get into Farook’s phone as a critical part of its investigation into the San Bernardino terror massacre.
Tim Cook: They want us to ‘hack our own users’
Apple CEO Tim Cook: “The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.”
Edward Snowden: FBI win would mean ‘insecurity mandate’
Former NSA contractor and privacy whistleblower Edward Snowden: “An @FBI win against #Apple results in an insecurity mandate. A world where Americans can’t sell secure products, but our competitors can.”
ACLU demands records
American Civil Liberties Union: The ACLU and the Stanford Center for Internet and Society have filed a Freedom of Information Act seeking records that will show how the government has used a law called the All Writs Act to make devices manufacturers unlock phones on behalf of law enforcement. The organization says the public should be aware of just hot the government has used this statute to seek “such extraordinary authority.”
Libertarian Presidential Candidate cries lunacy
Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson: “#Apple is RIGHT. Handing the govt a potential passkey to millions of phones would be lunacy.”
Google chief stands in solidarity
Twitter CEO tweets support
Billionaire Mark Cuban says this won’t be a one-time request
Shark Tank‘s Mark Cuban: “Amen. A standing ovation. They did the exact right thing by not complying with the order. They are exactly right that this is a very, very slippery slope. And while the FBI is attempting to be very clear that this is a one off request, there is no chance that it is.”
Facebook backs Apple
Facebook said the government’s demands “create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.” The social media giant reinforced that it does comply with lawful requests from authorities, but “will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems.”
The New York Times Editorial Board says ‘Apple is doing the right thing’
“Writing new code would have an effect beyond unlocking one phone,” said a New York Times editorial, “If Apple is required to help the F.B.I. in this case, courts could require it to use this software in future investigations or order it to create new software to fit new needs.”
Donald Trump: ‘We have to use our heads’
GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump: “I agree 100% with the courts. In that case, we should open it up. I think security over all — we have to open it up, and we have to use our heads. We have to use common sense.”
Dianne Feinstein: ‘We have a duty’
United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat: “I believe that as a government we have every responsibility and duty to see that Apple provides that information. And here we have the first court order of a phone owned by the county in which a terrorist act has taken place. And I believe very strongly that this — that Apple should voluntarily agree to it.”
U.S. senator: Why ‘protect a dead ISIS terrorist’s privacy?‘
Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican: “Apple chose to protect a dead ISIS terrorist’s privacy over the security of the American people. Apple is becoming the company of choice for terrorists, drug dealers, and sexual predators of all sorts.”
Manhattan prosecutor: It’s about justice for the 14 victims
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance: “Criminals are using the devices to communicate with each other and to store information that is relevant and, often, proof of their crime. So, in this era, if you’re going to actually be able to prove cases in courts of law, you’re going to have to have access to the digital communications.”