By C.J. Peterson
Anyone who has ever purchased an Apple product has agreed to a series of “Terms and Conditions” when they activate their device(s). Tap “agree” and let the texting, Snap-chatting and Candy Crush begin. But the problem here is that most users do not know what actually lies in the document they have just virtually signed.
Following the December second terrorist attack in San Bernadino that left 14 dead, the FBI has taken particular notice of this legal contract.
In hopes to retrieve further information and evidence in this case, the FBI has filed a court order, requesting Apple Inc’s. assistance in unlocking the iPhone 5C reportedly used by the shooter Syed Farook. Fredrick was killed in a shootout with police directly following the attack.
Within the lengthy document, Apple users lies a particularly interesting stipulation.
The clause, located in the “Privacy” portion of the archive, states that “We (Apple) may also disclose information about you (the user) if we determine that for purposes of national security, law enforcement, or other issues of public importance, disclosure is necessary or appropriate.”
Due to the fact that only Apple has the means and technology to unlock the encrypted device, the FBI claims that they must cooperate due to national security risks and potential information may still lie on the phone.
Apple, in the wake of the legal action taken by the FBI, responded by hiring Ted Olson, former U.S. Solicitior General, as their new attorney.
In an interview with ABC, Olson said, “The law does not require Apple to do what the FBI is asking so far,” Olson said that “Apple can’t surrender our civil liberties”.
The ACLU has also gone on record, posting on their website, “This is an unprecedented, unwise, and unlawful move by the government. The Constitution does not permit the government to force companies to hack into their customers’ devices.”
Some argue that the potential breach of privacy is legitimate in terms of protecting United States citizens. But many are also concerned that this is merely the beginning of a slippery slope that could eventually result in the total loss of personal privacy.
This matter of public privacy could potentially result in the opening of “Pandora’s Box.”
With no decision having been made in the current stages of the lawsuit, the matter could move up to the Supreme Court if neither side decides to retreat.
So far it looks like it’s headed in that exact direction as Apple seems to have no plans on abandoning their defense of our civil liberties.