2 Apr 2016

Apple vs FBI: the war over encryption

From This Way Up, 12:30 pm on 2 April 2016
Apple vs FBI

Apple vs FBI Photo: Flickr user Surian Soosay CC BY 2.0

After months of legal manoeuvring and Apple protests over the FBI wanting access to an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, the FBI has announced this week that it's unlocked the phone in question without Apple's help. So what was all the fuss about?

Kashmir Hill of fusion.net  has been following the story from the outset and analyses what the whole affair means for us tech users, in the context of an ongoing global battle over privacy and encryption.

"Do we want to have places that the government can't look? Do we want to have devices that can't be unlocked? The FBI director James Comey says it's like a car company building cars with trunks that you can't unlock. That's how the government sees it, and for technology companies they say once you build a backdoor into a device it's not guaranteed that only the government will be the one to use the backdoor; it could be used by hackers or by someone who means ill intent towards a user. A lot of times these are framed as privacy against security debates, but this is really security versus security. It's public safety as perceived and conceived of by the government versus by customer facing technology companies." - Kashmir Hill