Apple security and the FBI

Caroline Campbell

Associate Features Editor

Apple sold more than 13 million Iphone 6 and Iphone 6s, although Apple sales are increasing, they are slowly sliding down a slippery slope. Currently, there is a battle between Apple and the FBI.

The controversy began when Syed Farook, with the assistance of his wife, murdered 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif. in December 2015. While investigating this case, the FBI requested Apple to reveal the passcode to Farook’s iPhone 5c that was found on the scene and Apple refused the court order.

Due to the phone having the latest operating system, after ten wrong tries to the passcode, the data from the phone erased securely. Thus, the FBI is asking Apple to create a new operating system, a “back door,” where they can successfully hack into Farook’s phone without erasing the data by giving them an infinite amount of tries.

However, Apple is putting their foot down stating that if they create this program, it can not only be used by law enforcement, but by other hackers and “bad guys.” Many argue that because Apple does business internationally, they would have to make this software available for every government including the Russians and Chinese. But many are stating that it is a National Security issue and the FBI has right to ask for this program.

According to Apple’s website, “The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe”.

So it is a debate between a right to privacy and National Security. The argument has many up in arms and even taking the presidential campaign by storm. Many candidates are stating that they will boycott Apple if they do not comply with the FBI and Apple’s response is that they will see the FBI in court. Personally, I believe that Apple’s stance will not hold in court. Due to the emotional ties and the National Security argument and they will be forced to create a “backdoor.” However, through this fight Apple is creating a buzz and starting a conversation that is not only affecting the U.S. but also impacting their status globally.

Cook is in essence stating that their customer’s privacy is above all else. Allowing many to hold trust in the company. Although, there is backlash, many people feel that the government through NSA and other entities hold too much power of technology and data, creating a fear of the government overstepping bounds.

Through this controversy, Apple is creating the idea that their customers will have their privacy fully intact—giving not only American citizens, but various citizens a thing they hold dear, privacy.

Although, I may not agree with how Apple is handling the situation, they are making their mark and going forward may be able to utilize this controversy in marketing and public relations strategies that can ultimately boost their sales and reputation.

To see Cook’s full statement, please visit http://www.apple.com/customer-letter/.