The U.S. Government Wants Apple to Unlock Its iPhone — so Do the World's Authoritarian Regimes
The real problem with bypassing the iPhone's security features is bigger than violating the privacy rights of Americans. It's coming to terms with how governments around the world would react.
Michael Schrage: There’s a very famous phrase in the legal community — hard cases make bad law. And the circumstances that Apple and the FBI and the Justice Department find themselves in — certainly not by design; it’s a horrible tragedy that led to it — but this is a wonderful example of a very hard case. You have, without question, somebody who has done an evil, evil, murderous thing and they have used a device that contains information that might be not just marginally, extraordinarily useful to law enforcements all over the world, certainly to the United States in either solving aspects of this crime or preventing future atrocities from occurring. No question. Apple says that it is not — and this happens to be an Apple device — Apple has designed their devices so that people can protect their information. And now a federal judge has ordered Apple to help crack the phone and gain access to that information.
And Apple, in a very interesting letter from its CEO Tim Cook, has said well we don’t, we’re rejecting the judge’s order to help crack this. Why? Why? Because the problem that emerges is do people have any expectation or reasonable expectation of privacy when they use technologies on networks. By acceding to the judge’s request and the FBI’s request, a message would be sent to people all over the world — China, Europe, Latin America, the U.S. — that if a rule of law, if a judge — Chinese judge, Brazilian judge, Russian judge — says that thing that you’ve encrypted on your device: we want access to it. It would basically mean you have no privacy if a rule of law — and let’s be very blunt here: Chinese and Russian rule of law standards are different than American or British or German rule of law standards. Nobody could count on their devices to protect them in any other circumstances. To my mind, that is the definition of a hard case. I am extraordinarily sympathetic to Apple. I’m extraordinarily sympathetic to the FBI and the Justice Department. I am even more sympathetic to the families of the people who were hurt and killed in that attack, that terrorist attack. But the reality is this is one of those circumstances where there is no good answer. And whatever answer is chosen is the wrong one.
In the dispute over whether Apple should be forced to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, there is ultimately no satisfactory decision. Either law enforcement will be prevented from collecting essential information or a Pandora's Box will be opened, possibly allowing the world's harsher governments to collect their citizens' private data at will. The dilemma is captured by the famous legal phrase "hard cases make bad law."
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.
- A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
- Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
- The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.