The United States Justice Department says it has closed its case against Apple for refusing to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooters.
I wrote a column earlier in the month about the repercussions and legal precedent that would be established if Apple complied with the request. Most citizens were perplexed that these two giants could not work outside the courts to settle this issue.
Now that the FBI has supposedly broken into the phone, the agency is not telling Apple how agents did it. There is an arrogance on both sides that needs to be dropped.
This will not be the last time law enforcement and the private sector are asked to play nice with one another. For example there are more than a dozen phones that the Justice Department is trying to get into under the All Writs Act.
So as the title states, this battle may be over, but the war is from from done. The All Writs Act is from 1789, so when George Washington himself signed this act, he certainly didn’t imagined a world where there would be a device that could access all the collective knowledge of mankind via the Internet.
I suppose that is why we have so many lawyers so that we can accurately “reinterpret” what the Founding Fathers meant and apply their wisdom to the modern world. Apple has refused to comply from the start. The company’s official statement goes something like this:
“From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought. We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.”
There must be a new level of cooperation because technology is not going to get any less complex. In fact, new encryption methods to try to satisfy our need for privacy are popping up everywhere. That is why so many flock to the dark web as they are looking for anonymity online.
This case was about our civil liberties and our privacy online and in the digital world. Our nation is under attack by hackers in Iran, China and elsewhere
I predict a new army of “white hat” hackers will be hired by the government and private sector in the coming years as we try to find a way to work together and not let tech get in the way.
We need tech to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Blake Dowling is chief business development officer at Aegis Business Technologies. His technology column is published monthly on Wednesday. Contact him at email@example.com or at www.aegisbiztech.com Column courtesy of Context Florida.