I recently posted this on Medium, which I’ve begun gravitating to for my blogging. In the last 36 hours or so, it’s garnered a couple of thousand views, which kind of blows me away, and has also turned my Twitter Mentions feed into a smoking garbage fire. I’m re-posting it here for posterity.
Following a long fight with the feds, Apple’s Tim Cook issued a sharp public retort to the FBI yesterday in the form of “A Message to Our Customers”:
The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.
The whole letter, which is not that long and worth reading, goes on to state Apple’s objection to the FBI’s request to essentially create a new, custom version of iOS that they can use to defeat the security on a recovered iPhone 5C from the San Bernardino terrorists.
The real crux of this question, of course, turns on the core of one of the tech industry’s biggest current controversies: government access (or “surveillance,” depending on your framing of the issue). Should the government — in whatever its form — be able to gain access to data on your smartphone?