Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, has written a clear, candid op-ed on the real dangers faced by real people if law enforcement pressure succeeds in weakening encryption.
From the Washington Post:
They have suggested that the safeguards of iOS 7 were good enough and that we should simply go back to the security standards of 2013. But the security of iOS 7, while cutting-edge at the time, has since been breached by hackers. What's worse, some of their methods have been productized and are now available for sale to attackers who are less skilled but often more malicious.
To get around Apple's safeguards, the FBI wants us to create a backdoor in the form of special software that bypasses passcode protections, intentionally creating a vulnerability that would let the government force its way into an iPhone. Once created, this software — which law enforcement has conceded it wants to apply to many iPhones — would become a weakness that hackers and criminals could use to wreak havoc on the privacy and personal safety of us all.
From the beginning the FBI's game has been to play on fear and emotion while Apple has varied from completely rational to deeply passionate. This combines both rational argument and deep passion for the issues.
Craig Federighi simply, eloquently lays out why what the government wants isn't in hour best interests. And you can tell he means every word of it to the core of his being.
So, once again, absent civil rights leadership from the government, Apple is stepping up and providing it themselves. I'm sure Apple, like everyone, would prefer legislative action, but unless and until that happens, companies like Apple and the many, many companies that have come out to stand with Apple, are all of our best hopes.
Where do you fall on this side of the debate? Or are you simply of the belief we need to have that debate before we pick sides? Let me know!