The rights of Americans have been the country’s most treasured pursuit. To able to live in such a free nation has put a lot pressure on the government to protect our life styles. Our values as Americans have made us a target for terror to instill disbelief in our liberty. However, as Americans we stand together against those who oppose our rights. When analyzing the events at San Bernardino we understand that those who disagree with our way of life use it to their advantage to pursue a reality that does not already surround them. The FBI has made a request with the department of justice that would alert the world of technology consumers. A request that requires Apple to access information on an iPhone used by a terrorist. This request has brought the question of private security verse public security to the public.
Yaozong Ma in his article “Apple’s Conundrum: The Immutability of Liberty vs. Security,” claims “A cornerstone of the FBI’s argument was the All Writs Act which allowed courts to “issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.” Essentially, All Writs Act provides justification and authorization for courts to craft, enact, and implement orders which compel individuals to perform acts provided that reasoning is both necessary and legal. This shows that the FBI believes that they have the legal means to ask for assistance from a third party.
Craig Timberg and Greg Miller in their article “FBI blasts Apple, Google for locking police out of phones,” report the motives of FBI Director James B. Comey wanting Apple to comply with their request. Comey states that, “He could not understand why companies would market something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.” His reasoning is based on the assumption that apple only caters to the top percent of people who can afford their products. Protecting their private information is what made their company so great to their customers. He defends his stance on protecting the public; moreover it is such a hard stance he forgets that private privacy is just as important to the public. Apple has been known to sell the most exclusive hardware since the beginning of their company. Handling this situation can predict the future of the company.
Felix Wu in his article, “No Easy Answers in the Fight over iPhone decryption.” examples why the FBI’s request is undeserved of a warrant. He states, “Apple’s primary constitutional argument was that compelling its assistance would violate the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. The argument is seductively simple, almost syllogistic. Step one: courts have previously recognized computer code as a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. Step two: the Supreme Court has long held that the government can violate the First Amendment not only by restricting someone’s speech, but also by compelling someone to speak. Ergo, forcing Apple to write code that it did not want to write would be compelling it to speak, in violation of the First Amendment.” No company should be forced to be responsible for the fallout caused by their product. The company itself has no connection to the events that lead to the creation of the warranted evidence.
Rebecca Knight, in her article “National Security or Consumer Privacy, A Question even Siri couldn’t answer.” states several other reasons as to why Apple should not be involved with a FBI Investigation. She claims, “Apple’s argument was that Congress, not the courts, should determine when a third-party must be compelled to assist in investigations conducted by the government. Apple contended that if the technology that the Government wants were to be created, millions of people would be at risk of having their personal data hacked at no fault of their own but rather as a consequence of Farook’s act of terrorism.” Knight believes, “Legally, Apple argues that the Order had no statutory basis and violated the Constitution. First, Apple contended that its connection to the underlying case was too far removed to compel assistance.” According to Apple, the technical assistance sought would be much more vast and complicated than simply pushing a few buttons, as the Government seemed to believe. Apple argued that the Government did not demonstrate that Apple’s assistance was necessary to effectuate the warrant. Moreover, the Government made no showing of whether or not it sought or received technical assistance from other federal agencies with expertise in digital forensics, which could negate the need for Apple to create a backdoor into the iPhone. This lack of motivation allows Apple to devalue the FBI’s request for assistance. Next, Apple argued that compliance with the Order would violate the First Amendment and the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Specifically, the Government asked the court to compel Apple to write new software that would eliminate safety features built into the iPhone in response to consumer. Knight continued by saying, “Apple contends that the Order amounted to compelled speech and viewpoint discrimination. Under established law, computer code is treated like speech within the meaning of the First Amendment. Thus, whenever the Government seeks to compel speech, the First Amendment is triggered. Compelled speech can only be upheld if it is narrowly tailored to obtain a compelling state interest. In this instance, the Government could not meet this high standard. Finally, Apple argued that investigating terrorism was a legitimate interest; the government only produced speculative evidence that Farook’s iPhone might contain relevant information. Without the right boundaries to connect Apple to investigation, complying with the FBI should to be a business transaction rather than a court order. However, Apple has no plans with allow the FBI to gain access to their encryption code. They wish to stand alone as an American company trying to protect the privacy of the American people.”
Yaozong Ma. “Apple’s Conundrum: The Immutability of Liberty vs. Security.” International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Review | IJHSSR. 8 Oct 2016. Web. 8 Nov 2016. <http://www.ijhssrnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2.pdf >.
Craig Timberg and Greg Miller. “FBI blasts Apple, Google for locking police out of phones.” Columbia Public Schools / Home. 25 Sep . Web. 8 Nov 2016. http://www.cpsk12.org/cms/lib8/MO01909752/Centricity/Domain/5012/FBI%20blasts%20Apple%20Google%20for%20locking%20police%20out%20of%20phones.pdf
Felix Wu. “Law and Technology No Easy Answers in the Fight Over iPhone Decryption .” Sep 2016. Web. 10 Nov 2016. http://static1.squarespace.com/static/52095f5de4b0bc18c96d1924/t/57d6075944024343d19e1fc5/1473644381121/Wu+-+2016+-+No+easy+answers+in+the+fight+over+iPhone+decryption%282%29.pdf>
Rebecca Knight. “National Security or Consumer Privacy? A Question Even Siri Couldn’t Answer.” University of Cincinnati College of Law Scholarship and Publications | University of Cincinnati College of Law Research. Sep 2016. Web. 10 Nov 2016. <http://scholarship.law.uc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=ipclj>.