Yesterday, Apple posted a letter to its customers. This letter talks about the current San Bernardino terror case and what it means for all of us. The U.S. Government is asking Apple to build a backdoor into the operating system. Currently, there are parts of the devices even Apple is unable to get access to. The government wants to change that so only they can get into them. But that’s not how back doors work.
The backdoor into your phone is like the door on your house. You can walk in the door. You can lock the door. You can add another door to it but it’s still a door anyone can use. This is a hugely important issue. Encryption gives us privacy. In this age where every last private detail is up for sale, I appreciate Apple taking a stand.
For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers’ personal data because we believe it’s the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.
Apple doesn’t need to know the contents of my iPhone.
The FBI is requesting a backdoor be built into the iPhone/iPad operating system. This would allow anyone to bypass all the security features on those devices.
Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.
The U.S. Government wants access to iPhones. Now you may not think that sounds so bad. But once a backdoor is opened, you can’t close it.
The U.S. Government will have a backdoor to get access to iPhones and bypass all security features of the device. Does that sound good to you? Law Enforcement should have this access to fight terror and apprehend criminals, right? That’s great! I’m all for catching criminals and fighting terrorists. But what about this?
The Chinese Government will have a backdoor to get access to iPhones and bypass all security features of the device.
ISIS will have a backdoor to get access to iPhones and bypass all security features of the device.
Hackers will have a backdoor to get access to iPhones and bypass all security features of the device.
There is nothing to prevent others from using this same backdoor to get access to your phone. Once the U.S. Government can walk in, so can China, or Iran or ISIS or Anonymous. Anyone with the technical ability can find and access the backdoor and all of your private information is now public.
Once you make a door, that door is open to anyone. Right now, that door is a steel-enforced concrete wall. Don’t smash a hole into it and install a door.