A court battle that really is about an American’s choice of privacy is about to start. The FBI vs Apple battle has clear lines being drawn. But the battle does not stop with Apple, the Whatsapp software is also under fire and faces similar legal action by the US government.
In the USA you could be arrested for walking down the street naked and exposed, but is that really any different than the Government wanting to have access to your private communications and files. As with most people, the occasional nude selfie or intimate photography can be found in more than a few smart phones. Even some innocent nude keepsake photos or videos of your young toddlers splashing about in the bath may be on your phone. Those innocent photos in the hands of someone in law enforcement looking to make a name for themselves could very well be instrumental in getting you charged with child pornography if they had access to your private files.
So in a way we are talking about a double standard. Years ago in upstate New York the local law enforcement took issue with people using Citizen Band (CB) radios to warn other drivers of speed traps. They managed to get the case into court citing that people need to pull over and stop if they were to use the CB radio. They cited distraction and other driving hazards as the cause. When the judge was ready to rule he call the lawyers up to the bench indicating he was to rule in favor of the police siding with the ban on using the CB radio while driving. At that point the lawyer representing the police no doubt smiled. However the judge continued by saying the ban would also be extended to any vehicle that had a 2 way radio including police, fire, ambulances and so on. the Judge said there was no superior human ability to use an official radio over a CB radio. Needless to say that smiling lawyer for the police quickly had a talk with their client and the case was withdrawn before the judge ruled.
So in a way that is what this is all about. People that see Edward Snowden as a criminal for exposing just how deep the NSA was digging and showing what they could do no doubt take sides with the Government. Those that see Edward Snowden as a hero felt violated by the Government, so Apple and other companies took notice. It is a safe assumption the same people who see Edward Snowden as a hero also side with Apple about strong security and encryption. At Last check that was a significant majority. That comes back to the double standard that the Government wants to know what you are doing, but not willing to have it the other way around.
It is important to note that in general terms Edward Snowden only exposed what the NSA was doing and not the data they collected. However in the case of Julian Assange from Wikileaks, he exposed the same type of private stuff the Government wants to know about you. So what is good for the goose is not good for the gander according to the Government.
But it goes past that as well. In the case of FBI vs Apple, apparently the FBI has also asked for the source code for Apple OS saying that if Apple will not cooperate, they will do it themselves. If that happens that means nothing would stop the FBI from doing what the NSA was doing and more. Turning on your phones camera without your knowledge is just one example. The only clue people would have is the battery would start to drain faster. They could look at all your private chats and read all your email. They even could potentially upload their version of the Apple OS on your phone silently without your knowledge as they would have access to all the things that prevent that from happening. If that is the case you may as well strip naked and walk down the street if the FBI gets their way.
Part 3 coming soon