Photo courtesy of MCT Campus
After the San Bernardino massacre on Dec. 2, 2015, the FBI lawfully acquired the cell phone of one of the suspects containing unknown information. This has caused a fierce legal battle between the FBI and Apple Inc. due to the fact that Apple is refusing to provide the key that is necessary to access the data on the cell phone because of privacy and security concerns.
“We’re doing this because we think that protecting the security and the privacy of hundreds of millions of iPhone users is the right thing to do,” Apple worker Mark Berman told the Washington Post.
The FBI soon became aware, after legally obtaining the cellular device, that they would need the key to access the information on the phone. Currently the FBI has the ability to access the phone. The only downside to this method is that it damages the information. This means that the only reasonable option that would not damage any information on the phone is at Apple’s control.
Even though the phone belonged to one of the San Bernardino suspects, the FBI is not sure that there is valuable information on the phone. Although the idea that there could be valuable information is the reason that the FBI is still pushing.
Although Apple can successfully extract the information that could be vital to collect the necessary information to prosecute the guilty, they have refused to provide the key claiming that it would jeopardize the privacy and security of all of Apple’s products. This could damage the credibility of the company, decrease their overall business.
At this point in time, the United States Federal Court has ruled that Apple has an obligation to provide the necessary information. Apple has not given up the key.
Since the key could potentially damage Apple’s product security and therefore reputation the government could not force them to provide the key. Under the 13th Amendment of the constitution, theoretically if the government did force Apple to hand over the key it could be considered a form of slavery.
The legal battle will continue until a resolution is reached, but up to this point the possibly valuable or possible invaluable information remains locked within an Apple iPhone.