Payback is a bi… except that’s not what this is all about.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation cracked the security for the iPhone belonging to radical Islamic terrorists in San Bernardino without Apple’s help. Now, the Department of Justice has ended their lawsuit against Apple. They don’t need or want their help anymore.
Now, Apple is scrambling to get the FBI to disclose how they and their third-party assistants were able to hack their lauded security measures. Security companies are even calling on the FBI to privately disclose how they did it.
“One way or another, Apple needs to figure out the details,” Justin Olsson, product counsel at AVG Technologies, told The Los Angeles Times. “The responsible thing for the government to do is privately disclose the vulnerability to Apple so they can continue hardening security on their devices.”
That is incorrect. The FBI should never disclose how they were able to do it. It has nothing to do with payback even though CEO Tim Cook said he would fight the DOJ tooth and nail to prevent them from being able to access the phone by forcing Apple to break their security measures. It also has nothing to do with national security; the idea that the government has a proven method to get into our phones should scare everyone other than the very liberal or the Neocons who want security to supersede individual privacy rights.
The reason that the FBI should not disclose their method is because the atmosphere of cat and mouse between Silicon Valley and Washington DC is the only proper way to ensure that the people’s rights are protected while also forcing the government to use proper channels to fight the threat of terrorism. It sounds strange at first, but hear me out.
Silicon Valley needs to fight to protect our privacy and the security of their devices. Being adversarial to the government forces two things: first, it rightly forces the government to take the necessary steps to achieve their homeland security goals without being given skeleton keys and back doors that trounce on our freedoms. Second, it means that Silicon Valley’s brightest foe is a powerful government entity rather than those in the shadows who intend to do us harm.
Unlike conspiracy theorists, I’m not one who believes that everything the government does is bad. Unlike most Americans, I’m not one who believes that the government does not have evil intentions towards its citizens regardless of their “righteous” causes. I’m in the mushy middle and keeping the FBI and Apple at odds is great for those who share my opinion. Think of it as metal sharpening metal. If Apple must fight the FBI to keep their devices secure and the FBI must go through extreme measures to fight their battle rather than flashing a badge and demanding data, then it’s the American people who are made the safest.
These types of exchanges are unnecessary on the surface, but when you dig a little deeper you’ll realize that this is exactly how things should be.