Apple is pushing back on a controversial order by U.S. Federal Magistrate Sheri Pym to assist the FBI in developing a firmware that would allow them access into an iPhone connected to the San Bernardino shooting. While defeating terrorists is of the utmost importance, risking the security of millions of Americans seems counter-intuitive at best.
What the FBI is asking Apple to do is create a firmware that would bypass the iPhone’s PIN security feature, allowing them the ability to try any and all PINs until they find the correct one. Currently, the iPhone only allows a certain number of tries before it forces the user to wait before trying another. After ten unsuccessful attempts, the iPhone is wiped clean of data – a feature designed to keep our information out of the wrong hands. This could mean personal information, bank access, photos, and anything in between.
The FBI insists that the firmware would be created specifically for a single device, rendering it useless on other devices. On the contrary, security specialists have insisted that any method of weakening security could be analyzed and exploited by the wrong people. The real issue, however, is far simpler. If Apple complies, this opens the door for the FBI to request this process again – and to what extent? Once we have invaded the privacy of one person, regardless of circumstance, the freedom of all US citizens becomes endangered.