As most of us should know by now, Apple is objecting to the FBIs request to help access. According to CEO Tim Cook:
"The U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”
Would you agree? Its really quite a debatable topic but it also couldnt be more juicier. Clearly its not just about pursing one phone, yet its about the larger issue of backdoor security The real question is here: What is more important? Privacy or Safety? Well frankly it may not be as simple as it seems, considering the extent of the possible outcomes of the case. But before thinking about that lets layout an analysis of the ethics of both sides:
WHY THE FBI's REQUEST MAY BE UNETHICAL:
It Hurts APPLE's Philosophy
Apple has STRONG views of consumer privacy. Which explains why Apple's products are protected by a computer code. So theres more to it towards just simply downloading games and apps.
All apps and games are scanned by the device for a digital signature tucked within the lines of code on the app. This way the device can detect forgery or tampering. All applications have a cryptographic autograph from the company which approves that its safe. What the FBI is requesting is for Apple to use that signature on the new software that would be used to track the San Bernardino shooter's iphone.
Apples has built firm security protections which protect customer data. By requesting Apple to create a software that would eliminate these security protections, the FBI would be asking Apple to set their values on consumer privacy aside. Which may not be too good for us...But would be good for the FBI thats for certain. How Apple sees this, it would force them to "diminish their brand".
- APPLE has already Complied with the Law Enforcement Once before
As recorded in the Justice Department's court filings, Apple has assisted the FBI in the San Bernardino case before. More than 70 times as a matter of fact.
Apple has given significant technical assistance with the San Bernardino case already; in response to a separate warrant, it gave the F.B.I. the iCloud back-ups for Farook’s phone (the most recent was from some weeks before the shooting). In the past, in response to court orders, Apple has helped the government extract certain specific information from older iPhones—perhaps seventy times, according to press reports.
- Davidson, The New Yorker
However despite both side's efforts, the same cant be done on the new IOS 9 system which the shooter was using at the time. In order to do so Apple would need to create a legitimate "ready-to-run" system software bundle that will allow investigators to. But as sources put it; " that is a desire, not a description of an existing, tested, software protection." Which is true.
Its asking ALOT, and may tamper with Apple's IOS System reputation.
In this case, the FBI is obviously asking for more than just a cryptographic signature or iCloud back-ups. What the FBI probably doesnt realize or really seem to be concerned about is how significant protecting data in IOS really is.
Every device has a built in IOS encryption in the hardware and firmware which consists of a Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit. crypto engine and the unique identifier (UID). Passcodes are important because they also become inextricably enmeshed with the UID to create iOS encryption keys that are more resistant to hacking efforts and brute-force attacks.Apple enables a complex level of encryption and does not permit it to be disabled. Workers also rely on IOS encryption if data protection is not enabled on the devices.
Since data protection was first introduced as a new feature released with IOS 4 workers been seeking to improve data protection. Frankly, accepting the FBIs request will be considered a step backwords for Apple. But could it be neccesary?
Apples is already a target to potential attacks.
Apple's IOS system is such an established operationg system that its supiriority leaves it a potential target to attackers. However Apples control over the IOS system only keeps Iphones and Ipads "fairly secure." One source says the strong reputation of the IOS security makes some Apple consumers "less vigiliant about security which makes them the 'prefect targets'". Tekserve CEO Kevin Hart even admits that "most businesses dont have this 'false sense of security'."
With these aspects mentioned above Bottom line, complying with the FBI possibly will leave Apple and its users vunerable. Perhaps for a short period of time.
Now here are some reasons why the FBI's request just might be ethical after all and why Apple may be___ for not complying.
Apple is risking blood on its hands.
“I’m a big fan of privacy; I love encryption…But if we get to a place in American life where certain things are immune from a judge’s order, then we are in a very different world.’’ - Stephen Larson
Theres no facts or info needed from outside sources to determine this. If Apple does win this case, which the shooter is deffinetly hoping for, that will leave an open vault for future attacks to slide through. Such as Brute-attWithout Apples compliance, there is doubt that the FBI will face gridlock in tracking the shooter, and perhaps other attackers, in the future.
IOS 9 will be replaced by a new system(6 months perhaps)
An interesting point was brought on by Stephen Larson, Attorney for San Bernardino victims and family members, that even after Apple would create the software to break into the shooter's phone, the current IOS system(IOS 9.2.1) would be replaced by a new system in 6 months anyway. Larson, whoes also am Iphone user, even added that even if Apple complies he wouldnt feel any less secure. But does that mean the REST of us shouldn't?
Apple DOES have the ability and MAY be able to Pull it off.
Despite the weight the FBI's request brings, Apple actually does have the ability to create the code of a system that would break into the shooters phone. Apple would need to create a new GovtOS. It wouldne be easy, and it would take sometime. Even if Apple does create the system it probably would need to be tested.
“Apple has the exclusive technical means which would assist the government in completing its search,” for a number of reasons. One is that iPhones look for a cryptographic signature before accepting operating-system software as legitimate."
Whoes Right Here?
Again, it isnt quite simple. Only thing we can do is to point out the the obvious and questions that remain:
Would the FBI's request "ultimately put all of its customers' data at risk"? :MOST LIKELY
If Apple complies would that bring the FBI a step ahead of the terrorists?: YES
Is the FBI's request asking for alot?: YES
Is it REALLY about one phone?: Not Quite. It concerns us ALL.
And the speculating questions remain:
Is the FBI's request "in conflict with the First and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution,"?:
Is CODE considered as SPEECH? :
What is more important? PRIVACY or SAFETY?..