What’s Really at Stake in the Apple Encryption Debate

by Julia Angwin – The government has never been allowed to create a “backdoor” to encrypted devices. Now, it’s trying to force Apple to build one The FBI’s much-discussed request to Apple can seem innocuous: Help us extract six weeks of encrypted data from the locked iPhone of Syed Farook, an employee of San Bernardino health department who spearheaded an attack that killed 14 people. Most people believe Apple should comply. But the FBI is demanding a lot more than the data on a single phone. It has obtained a court order requiring Apple to build custom surveillance software for the FBI – which computer security expert Dan Guido cleverly dubs an FBiOS. Once that software exists, it is inevitable that other law enforcement agencies will approach Apple seeking to get it to use the FBiOS to unlock iPhones in other investigations. Already, Apple says it has received U.S. court orders,...

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