The 10 Most Shared Articles on Apple’s Ongoing FBI FeudBy Megan T. Brown on February 18, 2016
Hang on to your iPhone—Apple is embroiled in a fight against the FBI, which, according to the tech giant, wants to jeopardize its customers’ privacy. A California judge ordered the company to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters responsible for the killing of 14 people, an attack which is being investigated as an act of terrorism. CEO Tim Cook argues that an update to Apple’s firmware making it possible to retrieve information from the phone in question would open a back door for potential hackers to all iPhones. Here are the 10 most shared views on the order and Apple’s refusal to comply.
Many are saying a fight was inevitable, since encryption safeguards in Apple's and other tech leaders' devices have long been disputed.
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press via The New York Times
U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Eileen Decker says Apple's refusal to assist in obtaining access to the phone interferes with the "solemn commitment to the victims and their families ... [to] gather as much information and evidence as possible."
Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images via CNN
Google CEO Sundar Pichai offers a crucial voice to the battle, as Google's Android operating system also safeguards personal data through encryption.
Tim Cook summarized the company's concerns for the implications of the court's order: "And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect."
AP via NPR
Apple's prior willingness to assist the government in extracting data has left some questioning whether the company's stance is motivated by image more than principle.
Emil Lendof/The Daily Beast
Is this case really about extracting evidence from a single device, or setting a precedent with far-reaching implications for customers in future cases? Here's why the order is different from previous instances.
In addition to Pichai's support, Apple has found a friend in ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who applauds the company's defense of citizens' rights.
Does the U.S. District Court's order that Apple must provide "reasonable technical assistance" mandate the company's development of wholly new firmware?
The court order is considered dangerous in that it raises the question of who can made such demands. Can other governments expect hacking assistance from U.S. companies if they are forced to comply with their own government?
This stance is a perfect opportunity for Apple to position itself in contrast to competitors like Google, which relies heavily on user data mining to increase ad revenue.
Xu Kangping/Chinafotopress/Getty Images via Wired