In a letter to customers Apple CEO, Tim Cook explains that the FBI is proposing to use a piece of law that’s over 200 years old- the All Writs Act of 1789. Forcing them to create an iPhone backdoor to aid in investigations.
The FBI want Apple to build a version of iOS that allows passcodes to be entered electronically. This would make it easier to brute force (attempt millions of passcodes at once) access to the phones of the attackers. The dangers of building such an operating system are that it could then be used again on any other iPhone.
“The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.”
– Tim Cook, Apple CEO
This isn’t the first time that old law has been utilized by the US government to rule on current actions. Edward Snowden was charged with two offences under the Espionage Act of 1917. Of course the Constitution is also old, old laws aren’t inherently wrong, but time goes on and technology outpaces law at every turn. The issue at hand here is not only the threat to the security of millions of Apple customers but this imbalance between technological growth and the laws attending to its uses. Examples from around the world are clear as day- politicians don’t understand technology and they don’t want to. The power of politics is cuckolded day in and day out by technology.
We applaud Apple for doing the right thing and fighting the FBI on what is shaping up to be one of the most important technological battles in years.