The San Bernardino case has stirred up a lot of commotion these days and has got FBI on one side with Apple on the other side. FBI has requested Apple to unlock the iPhone 5c of the accused gunman of the San Bernardino court case. In response to that request, an open letter [ link at the bottom] signed by Tim Cook [ext link] has been posted by Apple on its official website. In the letter, the Cupertino company says that the FBI court order can risk the security of its customers, and that it may result in implications much beyond the court case at hand. This public response is the start of the communication between FBI and Apple.
Image : Apple’s Open Letter to its Users
According to Apple, the company has complied with valid warrants that were needed for the San Bernardino case. But the unlock request from FBI is something that Apple says is ‘too dangerous to create‘. FBI has requested Apple to make a backdoor to that particular iPhone 5c. The letter continues to say that the court wants the company to make a special version of iOS that would be void of many important security features. Apple says that the order is unprecedented and is forcing the company to expose its customers to a major security risk.
An excerpt from the open letter :
So basically, the government requires Apple to produce a special version of iOS just for this particular case. And Apple says that there’s no way to make sure that the custom code won’t fall into wrong hands, which would pose a threat to user privacy [ like the recent Celebrity iCloud Hack ] and might give digital attackers a very solid weapon. According to Tim Cook, the government is basically requesting Apple that it hack its own devices and ignore the decades of security enhancements that have been provided in iOS for customers’ security.
Image : Spy on your iPhone
FBI is using the All Writs Act [ext link – wiki] for demanding Apple to unlock the iPhone. The FBI right now wants Apple to enable PIN-brute forcing by creating a special iPhone software. But Cook states that the same legal justification could be used in future without anyone’s knowledge to get access to call logs, messages, emails, or even the microphone and camera of the iPhone.
In conclusion, Tim Cook’s open letter [ext link – Apple] claims that the FBI wants to compromise the liberties and freedoms that the government needs to protect in the first place. Let us know your views in the comment section below.