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Apple publicly opposes court order to unlock an iPhone

Apple’s publicly opposing a court order demanding the company unlock a iPhone 5C belonging to the San Bernardino shooter. The company would need to create a backdoor in the software for the FBI to get access to the encrypted data. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, wrote an open letter not only opposing the court order but standing up for users privacy.

The FBI is demanding Apple creates a custom firmware for the agency to bypass the passcode lock, and gain access to all the data. Apple’s doesn’t want to do this, but they’re worried the firmware would open the door to privacy and security concerns.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

This sounds like a tool the NSA would use to get access to iPhone’s across the world. The court case between Apple and the United States could become the most important court decision of our time. The court would decide if having a backdoor into software is need, and open up the door to violations in consumers privacy or decide Apple isn’t required to build the software but the FBI could try to access it themselves. Either way this case will likely go one for years as Apple continues to fight for consumers privacy.

You might think that giving the police any information from the San Bernardino shooters is a no-brainer.   The problem is each iPhone sold is encrypted locally and all information is store within the phone, meaning Apple doesn’t know a users passcode or store that information in the cloud. Of course the FBI doesn’t call the firmware for bypassing the passcode a ‘backdoor’. Instead they say:

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

No one company has said no to a court order like this before, so we aren’t sure where this will go. While I’m not a lawyer or fully understand our legal system, I do understand Apple has taken a stance against a very powerful system. If Apple were lose this case the company could still say it’s almost impossible to bypass the security features on an iPhone and ‘fail’ to create a system for the FBI .

With all the attention the open letter has gained and everyone owning a iPhone it’s interesting to see where the government decides to take this. Now they’re on the wrong side of the press, with Apple being praised for standing up to the system and protecting the consumer.

We’d love to hear what you have to say! Tell us what you think about the court order demanding Apple creates a firmware to bypass the passcode on the iPhone in the comments below!

 

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