Welcome to another edition of Apple Watch! Where I look at the aspects I find important in the case of Apple vs. the FBI.
There has been a lot of news recently in the matter of Apple vs the FBI over the unlocking of a company phone used by a dead terrorist. Much of that news has been boring and illogical. We’ve seen the FBI make statements, which Apple has called a “low blow” after Apple has continued to insist that the FBI is asking for a backdoor to all iPhones. Guess what, they haven’t.
In any event, Apple doesn’t want to open this phone. While they have helped authorities in the past time after time, they suddenly chose to stop, and chose to make an operating system which they believe gives them the ability to deny helping authorities in investigating crimes. There has been much discussion as to why, with people very divided on the subject. If you side with Apple, you tend to think that Apple suddenly cares about your security and privacy. Odds are, you think that they’re the only ones that do. If you side against Apple, it’s safe to say that you see this as little more than a publicity stunt. And the funny thing is, you can cite those that side with Apple as proof of this.
A week ago, I presented another theory as to why Apple might not want to help authorities in their investigation of the heinous crimes. My thoughts was that the anything-for-profit company may wish to turn a blind eye to crimes against humanity because helping our neighbors may simply be seen by Apple as a cost they don’t wish to pay. Granted, Apple is the most profitable company in the industry, and more than likely out of any industry, but they are expecting their sales to drop, and their profits to fall along with them.
My idea didn’t seem to catch many reader’s fancy. Most agreed with the idea it was all publicity, and one or two here still believe Cook to be the hero he portrays himself to be.
Today I was reading some news about the case. News that witnesses would be called to testify in the hearing. Two of these witnesses are Apple executives who made written declarations in briefs already filed in the case. As I was reading excerpts, I ran across it.
From Global Law Enforcement Manager Lisa Olle.
Olle argued in her declaration that creating the new operating system would be burdensome for Apple and would spark more requests from law enforcement. Apple would need to hire people “whose sole function would be to assist with processing and effectuating such orders,” she wrote in her declaration.
The more I think about the case, the more I think this is a major cause behind the issue. We know a large number of requests were coming in to Apple. We know that as smart phones land find their homes in the hands of more and more people, that the number of these requests will increase. There is no doubt that this has become a huge marketing ploy for Apple, yet I don’t feel that is what initiated the decision to stop helping authorities keep people safe. I certainly don’t believe users privacy had any effect on the decision. I believe that this decision was just like the decision Apple made to claim they are based out of Ireland in order to not have to pay taxes in the country they actually reside. The same reason Steve Jobs stopped all charitable donations when he returned to the struggling Apple in 1997. This decision was made to save money on expenses. And that is all.