The Creation Of Cellular Back Doors

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On the creation of cellular back-doors; in regard to the Apple and FBI dispute The debate between libertarians and authoritarians regarding the violation of civil liberties to ensure national security is long lasting. It can be traced back to foundation of our country, but a new branch of the debate has just sprouted. This branch regards the breaching of cellular and electronic devices. Within the last 15 years the sale of cellular devices has skyrocket, according to Pew Research, with 91% of Americans now having this form of communications device. These cell-phone owners, whether they are aware of it or not, are in a crucial legal battle over their fourth amendment rights. The most recent debate was spurred following the San Bernardino terrorist attack, perpetrated by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik. After the attack the FBI launched their investigation in which they recovered the iPhone of Tashfeen Malik. The only problem was that the phone was encrypted and would take a substantial amount of time to crack by the FBI’s investigators. The FBI was issued a writ by the California court system, ordering Apple’s compliance in the FBI’s investigation. The writ, given the needs of the FBI, ordered Apple to hack into the iPhone, a skill they did not have due to the iPhone unique encryption. The FBI urged Apple to create a “back-door”, a sort of universal key that could be used to hack any iPhone. Apple argued that such a tool would be too dangerous to create and would put all iPhone users at risk if it fell into the wrong hands. The two had reached an impasse, an impasse which prompted me to ask the question of whether or not Apple should create the back door. After asking the question is began researching the positions regarding both s... ... middle of paper ... ...orld, and a tool to hack it would give the possessor the capacity to learn more secrets about more people than any mid-century police state could have imagined. If the FBI wins, in court or in the legislature, then it is almost inevitable that vastly more people will have their identities stolen; that more will see their intimate personal content leaked online; and that, in oppressive countries, more will be punished for political or religious expression. The FBI didn’t choose this case by accident. They want to be able to hack into anybody’s inner digital sanctum, as quickly and cheaply as possible. They chose this case because “terrorism” is the rhetorical talisman that turns off our ability to think rationally about what we stand to lose. In this case, we stand to lose a lot, starting with our ability to trust the updates on any of our internet-connected devices.

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