Apple vs FBI, What’s the Whole Story?

Shortly after the San Bernardino shooting (a terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California), Apple and the FBI started working together to try to unlock the iPhones of the terrorists. The FBI made a little progress, but they couldn’t get much of the more sensitive data without unlocking the phone. The problem was that with the operating system that was installed on the iPhone, and ten incorrect guesses of the password would cause the iPhone to erase all of its data. The FBI then asked Apple to create a new operating system and install it onto the terrorist’s iPhone. This new operating system would allow the FBI to plug the iPhone into a computer and enter an unlimited amount of attempts at the phone’s password. Apple didn’t comply with this request for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, if Apple were to create such an operating system, there would be a much greater chance that anyone with computer skills could access this technology and hack into many other people’s iPhones. Secondly, if the government had access to this technology they could begin overstepping their bounds and monitor all the citizens of the US more intensely. Thirdly, if Apple created such a code for the US, what would they do if a country that is unfriendly towards their people asked for a similar code? They would be forced to create a backdoor for that country as well, which could be bad for citizens in those countries. Also, if Apple were to comply with this request, it would cost them over $100,000 and it would ruin their reputation for high-security devices, so they might lose a lot of customers. Once Apple refused to help the FBI hack the iPhone, the FBI took Apple to court using the All Writs Act (allows courts to use all resources necessary to obtain information). Apple is fighting this by saying that complying with this request would cause undue stresses on the company.

–Garrett Kennedy

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