Thursday, February 18, 2016

Applause For Apple

Security and Liberty

By guest columnist, Stephen Mills of Peace Officers and Liberty - 
  At the request of the FBI, a Federal Judge recently ordered Apple to create an operating system for the I-Phone with a backdoor allowing them to hack into the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.
  While I applaud the efforts of the FBI to fully investigate the shooting and identify any terrorist associates of the shooters, there are some huge legal, constitutional and ethical problems with this order.
  If the operating system was already developed and available I would have no problem with the Judge ordering Apple to provide it to the FBI; but to order a private corporation to create a product they would not otherwise build, not to mention one that’s creation is not in the best interest of the private corporation is paramount to government slavery.

Federal Explanation

  The judge is using the All Writs Act as the legal justification for the order. In a nutshell the All Writs Act gives the judiciary the ability to issue writs and warrants in their respective jurisdictions within the principles of law. It has been used in the past to order companies to access information through software backdoors that were already present. This is no different than a judge ordering a file cabinet company, which retains a master key to all their cabinets sold, to take their master key and, unlock the filing cabinet. The difference in the order to Apple is they are ordering Apple to go figure out how to make a key they don’t possess and has never been made, put it in a lock that doesn’t exist so the government can access the information inside. This is not within the principles of law as required by the All Writs Act. If Apple loses this appeal it means a Judge can now issue a writ forcing anybody to do anything as long as they feel it’s necessary to obtain what the government wishes to obtain.
  This software if developed would undermine the security of the I-phone. Yes, criminals specifically utilize I-phones because of this enhanced security, but so do thousands of everyday citizens who don’t want their private information stolen as well.
  The FBI states this is a onetime software development that only they will use to install on I-Phones taken as evidence. Their argument is there is no need or requirement for the software to be installed on everybody’s phone. The problem with this thought is once the software is out there it’s out there. There is no way to turn back the hands of time. The creation of this software is the same as creating a master key, it can be used on any phone, anywhere at any time, by anybody who possess it.

Constitutional Litmus Test

  Officer Steven Mills is a military and law enforcement veteran from Western Oklahoma. He's dedicated his vocational life to protecting the people he serves.

  Officer Mills is also committed to helping the public understand their rights and responsibilities regarding liberty and security.
  Peace Officers & Liberty is a part of the effort to increase mutual respect and teamwork of peace officers and citizens.
  The idea that this is constitutional as a National Security concern doesn’t stand up to the litmus test. There is no doubt that terrorism and investigating acts of terrorism is a National Security concern, but how making millions of Americans more susceptible to cyber attacks, to include government officials using I-phones, makes our National Security more secure I have no idea. You haven’t solved a problem; you have created a new problem.
  Requiring Apple to build a back door into security software is no different than requiring home builders to build a door that can’t be locked into every home. There is no way to guarantee only the police with legal authority to enter will be the ones to utilize the door.


  I applaud Apple for standing its ground and fighting this order which both undermines the security of the nation and the privacy of its citizens.
  If the government wants a single use back door for the I-Phone, they need to develop it themselves. If the Government wants to force a private company to create a product they don’t wish to create, maybe the U.S. Flag over the capital needs to be replaced with the Chinese one. At least then there would be truth in advertising.

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