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The Fight Between Apple And The U.S. Government Intensifies

The Fight Between Apple And The U.S. Government Intensifies

This week, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)'s decision to push back against a federal court order asking the company to unlock a smartphone used by a suspect in the San Bernardino terror attack made waves in the tech world.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that unlocking the phone would require Apple to create entirely new software capable of hacking into the encrypted data held on its iPhones. Doing so, he said, would expose the company's customers to a higher risk of data breaches and would essentially mean that Apple was creating a program to hack its own users. Such a program, he warned, would be too dangerous to create.

Privacy Concerns

His reluctance to comply and concern about the government overstepping its bounds when it comes to privacy represents a larger problem between all tech firms and U.S. lawmakers.

Related Link: Apple Vs. The FBI: Whose Side Are You On?

On one hand, U.S. lawmakers want to get ahead of terror plots and use social media and technology to do so. However, for tech companies, handing over the reins to their customers' protected data is a violation of their privacy and most are unwilling to do so.

Widespread Support

The larger debate between the tech world and the U.S. government was evident this week when execs from other big-name companies piped up in support of Cook.

Jan Koum, founder of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB)'s WhatsApp messenger voiced his support for Apple's decision not to comply with the court order saying, "We must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set. Today, our freedom and our liberty is at stake."

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent out a series of tweets on Wednesday in support of Cook's stance, echoing Koum's sentiment.

Outcome Paramount

It remains to be seen how the situation plays out, but the outcome is likely to have far-reaching ramifications on the tech world.

The fact that the request to access encrypted data is a part of the San Bernardino investigation could prove problematic for Apple, as the incident has been deemed an act of terror and the phone in question belongs to a known shooter.

However, Apple has been working to make the public understand that although this single case may be black and white, creating such a program would open the door to a grey area of other privacy concerns.

Image Credit: Public Domain

Posted-In: Jan KoumPolitics Topics Top Stories Markets Tech Trading Ideas General Best of Benzinga


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