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Joseph Kaminski

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March 21, 2019

The Battle for Privacy

Recently, the FBI has asked Apple to break into an iPhone that belongs to one of the San Bernardino shooters. To create a “backdoor” to the encryption policies that Apple has previously set up to protect the privacy of their users.

iPhone users like myself have the option to set a security feature within their settings that have managed to stump federal agents — the ability to set your cellular phone to wipe all data stored on it if the pass-code is entered wrong a certain number of times. It’s a great system, really. A security measure to make sure important data — from credit card information and emails to selfies and text messages — stay out of the wrong hands.

It’s starting to look like George Orwell’s 1984 or Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, if you really pay attention to the world of tech. This battle for privacy has been going on longer than we’ve been paying attention to it. Eventually, if the federal government has their way, what privacy could be left when it comes to the technology that withstands yet borders the boundaries of constitutional rights? Televisions oftentimes come with web-cameras, cellular phones have GPS tracking on them, the world of tech could be used in menacing and malicious ways if there are no restrictions on the sacristy of privacy.

Apple Privacy

I stand with Apple and Google, the monopoly-dominating tech giants that I’d usually be against in terms of corporate greed. The federal government has no right asking for a backdoor to encryption that has kept iPhone users safe from hackers and thieves — something the government seems to be full of right now when it comes to Internet policies. Google, if you haven’t been keeping up with this, recently supported Apple on this case, but I highly doubt they’ll go anywhere close to where Apple is heading when it comes to court liabilities.

The government already has loopholes when it comes to these sorts of situations. So, why go straight to Apple and demand an encrypted backdoor that could lead to disaster?

Want the shooters phone messages? Go to the carrier! Sprint, Verizon, AT&T…it doesn’t matter! We already know they store phone messages for up to seven years! 

Want the emails? I bet this guy used Gmail or Outlook, the two most-common email providers in use. Guess who they’re owned by? Corporate shills Google and Microsoft — both of which have mandated restrictions when it comes to security and storage. I guarantee they’d hand them over to the federal government.

Want the search history? Google, bing, yahoo…it still doesn’t matter. Head on towards the corporate headquarters, knock on a couple doors, and you’ll have a case-study full of the domestic terror suspect’s search history.

In the amount of time we’ve spent debating about whether or not Apple should go through with what the government wants them to do, the government could have already gone to the middlemen (those of the carriers, the email hosts, and the search engines) and gotten all the information they need for this case. I highly believe the government is trying to bypass middlemen to make things easier and quicker and more authoritarian in the future.

Why go to the locksmith to make keys for individual homes when you have the universal skeleton key for every backdoor in America? Privacy matters, and I’m on Apple’s side (along with basically everyone else) when it comes to the battle for it.

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