Trump, The Worm In The Apple

The terrorists who murdered people in San Bernardino before they were shot to death by law enforcement left behind an Apple iPhone and the FBI can’t crack into it. It seems the encryption in place will not allow the FBI tech folks access to the phone. The FBI wants Apple to access the device.

Apple claims it cannot do so unless it creates some kind of back door access that would affect all other iPhones. It seems Apple really did a bang up job of securing their phones after a lot of public outcry about privacy and the assistance given by the government to many tech companies.

Apple made a point when it launched its new security to tell us they could not access an individual’s phone. At that time government protested and is evidently using this phone to make its case.

The issue here is a big picture issue. Apple says it can’t access the phone without building a means that would allow access to all phones. This, of course, is what the FBI (read government) wants. The government does not like the idea that it can’t access your stuff. I know there will be promises that this is just one phone and they would never use the technology to access other phones but they lie. We have seen far too many instances of surveillance overreach by the government. Stingray is one little thing they have developed and overused even allowing local police to use it provided they keep it secret.

Government will always abuse any tool or power it gets. They always justify it (or should I say rationalize it) by saying they are trying to keep us safe or that it is for the greater good but the reality is they want power and control and the San Bernardino terrorist attack provided the catalyst for the FBI to gain access.

Look, there might be important things on the phone that would help round up other terrorists but that alone is not a reason to develop something that would allow access to millions of phones that belong to people who have done nothing wrong. If accessing this phone at the expensive of others is deemed acceptable then what will stop them when the argument is eavesdropping on all of us is OK because they might find a few bad guys while doing it?
Donald Trump threw his hat into the fray over the phone by declaring Apple should do what the FBI wants and people should boycott Apple until they acquiesce. When asked by commentators at Fox about how the back door could be used to access even his phone the Donald said if it meant more security he was OK with it. Security was more important than liberty, in the mind of the Donald.

Donald, a Founding Father of this nation had something to say about people like you:

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Ben Franklin

The quote may well have dealt with security and taxes during the French-Indian War but the words are well adapted to our civil liberty. If you Donald are willing to give up your liberty (as you stated when you said it was Ok for the government to have access to your phone, and by extension all of ours) because it was for security then you really deserve neither.

The ends do not justify the means in this case and if Trump thinks they do then he might as well be quoting Rules for Radicals.

There are plenty of tech experts in this country and no doubt a number of them have the ability to hack into that particular phone. If the FBI wants to pay one such person (one has already offered to do it for free) then that is up to them.

To leave all of us vulnerable to unwanted and unconstitutional violations of our privacy because of one phone that belonged to a terrorist is not a tradeoff worth considering.

Maybe, just maybe, if you believe in liberty you should consider boycotting Trump instead of Apple…

Cave canem!
Never surrender, never submit.
Big Dog


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