Apple fighting FBI for our First Amendment rights

By Amaelle Caron

On Dec. 2, a terrible act of terrorism took place in the city of San Bernardino, California; there was a mass shooting and an attempted bombing. Fourteen were killed and 22 were severely injured.

Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were the terrorists that launched the attack on the Department of Public Health.

The day after the attack, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a counter-terrorism investigation.

On Dec. 6, President Obama gave a prime-time address from the Oval Office and defined the shooting as an act of terrorism.

The case is still under investigation. On Feb. 9, the FBI announced that they were enabled to unlock the iPhone 5C owned by the shooters, to look for information about the shooting and potentially other terrorists’ names.

After the announcement, the FBI asked Apple to create a new version of their software, iOS, to unlock the phone and be able to look for information.

Apple denied the request by arguing that what they asked for doesn’t exist and the firm has no desire to create what the FBI asked them to.

Apple argued that their priority is to protect the privacy of their customers — and creating such a thing could change the safety of the actual software.

After the public coverage of the controversy, the corporation posted an open letter on their website explaining how they helped the FBI as much as they could but couldn’t positively respond to their last request.

The public reactions to the case were mixed. Some thought that Apple should just do as the FBI said and help the government in their silent war against terrorism.

Others thought that it was going against the First Amendment of the Constitution and respected Apple’s choice to not help the FBI.

Soon after the big media coverage, The Guardian wrote an article about presidential candidate Donald Trump who asked, in one of his speeches, to boycott the multimedia firm.

After the speech, he tweeted from his brand new iPhone 6+ to boycott the firm as well.

Now, I think that it is important to remember that Apple’s decision of saying yes or no wasn’t an easy one. On one side, Apple could possibly help identify other threats such as terrorist names or next attack(s) on the U.S. grounds.

On the other it would create a software that would possibly be capable of entering any private Apple device by the government.

John McAfee, a libertarian candidate and cyber guru, said in an article from The libertarian Republic, “No matter how you slice this pie, if the government succeeds in getting this ‘backdoor,’ and our world, as we know it, is over.”

McAfee argued that the FBI is using this as an argument to hack more devices whenever they need it. The candidate also said that this hack device could be reversed and provides an open door for other countries to access U.S. confidential information.

The last line of the Apple’s open letter says; “And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”

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