I do not like terrorists. I think what those two people in San Bernadino did last December places them in a special circle of hell. I mourn for the families. What they’ve lost can never be replaced. I don’t, however, think I owe it to them to erase the Fourth Amendment.
Ammo-centric Americans say things like what happened is a price we all have to pay because their particular interpretation of the 2nd Amendment says so. Here’s what the 4th Amendment says:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Well, I think it’s unreasonable to require Apple to write software to reverse engineer what they wrote to be private so the State can read what it decides it wants to read. That’s the only issue here. Apple wrote the operating system in such a way that even it can’t access a locked device. Now the Justice Department is arguing that there is no such thing as secure privacy.
Tim Cook is right. If they develop the code to unlock this phone, it will happen more often for an ever-widening number of reasons. Just look at the history of intelligence gathering! Can anyone ever name a time when an intelligence agency ever said: “oh, no. That’s going to far.” This is yet another case where that joke with the punchline “we’ve already established what you are, now we’re just haggling over the price” is relevant. Develop the code? Then it’s then up to the government to decide when Apple will be compelled to use it. Warrants? Yeah. Read up on the FISA courts. National Security Letters are pretty amazing things. You aren’t allowed to talk about them when you get one.
The fact that the FBI is resorting to a “think of the poor families” strategy demonstrates that this isn’t a one-time-only thing. It’s an every-time-we-can-get-Fox-News-to-scare-you-about-brown-people thing. Folks, these are the same people who who think security theater in the airports means something. These are the same people who hounded Richard Jewell into the grave. And I’d like to hear what they’re so sure they’re going to be able to extract from the phone that they couldn’t have gotten from the iCloud backup. If they’d not changed the password. Gee. Think it might have been a good idea to get the backup THEN change the password?
What do they think they’re going to find? “Note to self: here are all the people who helped me….” Reports at the time indicated that the couple attempted to destroy personal electronics. They weren’t successful in all cases. Hmmmm. Think most of the operational data might have been on those? We don’t know that there’s anything on that 5C. This is a fishing trip.
Apple is a multinational company. If they submit to this, they have to submit to the same requests from China, from Russia, from freaking North Korea (though I doubt cell service is very good there). You trust all them?
I’m sorry all this happened. Requiring Apple to crack the phone crosses a line that shouldn’t be crossed.