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Discussion Case: To Lock or Unlock Your Phone: Personal Privacy or National Secu

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Management | 0 comments

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Discussion Case: To Lock or Unlock Your Phone: Personal Privacy or National Security In 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. a married couple, opened fire at an office party in San Bernardino, Calitornia, Killing 14 people and injuring 22. Law entorce ment officials believed these were acts or ideologically motivated terrorism. A [eW hours later, Farook and Malik died in a shootout with police. The subsequent Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe led them to Farook’s iPhone SC, which had been issued by his emplover., the countv sovernment. Although countv Olucials ave the FbI Dermission to examine the phone, they did not have Farook’s passcode. The phone had a feature that would automatically erase all stored data atter 10 unsuccesstul password attempts. The FBI then asked Apple. maker of the iPhone. to help them circumvent the customer’s data encryption. But the company retused. Apple CEO Tim Cook claim ed that consume: privacy must be respected. He argued that compliance with the Fbl request ” would violate Apple S First and Filth Amendment rights: it would compel Apple to write computer code that undermines the company’s views on consumer security and privacy. The Fb1 maintained that the government had an overriding interest in Obtaining intor- mation on the phone to protect the public from turther acts of terrorism. During the Farook investigation. FBI director James Come explained. There has to be some solution that will allow us with lawtul authority to be able to have the company unlock the device We have to find a wav to helo these companies understand what we need. whv we need it, and how the can help. while still protecting privacv rights and providing network secu- rity and innovation.” A harsh critic of Apple’s position, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas. expressed the opinion that ADDle chose to protect a dead terrorst’s privacv over the secu- rity of the American Deople. Apple’s retusal was based on the opinion that to comply with the FBI’s wishes would require Apple to create a separate operating system for Farook s phone and all future ver- sions of the iPhones. The new system, which would run parallel with the existing software. would not have the same level of security and privacy protections. Once the parallel oper- ating system was created, contended Apple, Criminals and Toreign governments could Cir- cumvent the security of an phone simplv by typing in the device’s identification number. Apple’s CEO (unlike his predecessor Steven Jobs, who had avoided weighing in on polit- 1cal or controversial issues) said that the company saw privacy as a tundamental human right and one of its core values. “We will not shrink from this responsibility. we need decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy,” said Cook. Nearly all the world’s smartphones run on software developed by Google or Apple According to court records, Google had been ordered to help federal agents open cell- phones m seven dutterent states. Although the outcomes of these spectic cases were not publicly known, federal prosecutors said that until late in 2015, when Apple began resist- ing such etforts, it was routine for judges to approve such requests Eventually, the FBI’s request came before the courts. The Justice Department argued that its request was limited to Farook S phone and it was not trying to set a legal precedent, hut it also admitted that there were 13 other pending cases in Which the government was seeking court orders to force Apple to help it extract data trom Phones. In Februarv 2016, a federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI circumvent the pass code protection system on Farook’s phone based on a broad application of the All Writs Act of 1789. This act attorded the federal government widespread authority to access information based on national securitv. Apple’s Cook said the company would oppose the In a strongly worded letter to Apple customers posted to the company’s website Cook called the order an unprecedented sten which threatens the securitv of our custom- ers with “implications far beyond the legal case at hand.” In a court filing, Apple claimed “This isn’t a case about one isolated iPhone. No court has ever authorized what the govern- ment now seeks, no law supports such unlimited and sweeping use of the judicial process and the Constitution forbids it.” The day before the FBI director and Apple’s top lawyers were to testify before Con- gress, a federal judge in New York sided with Apple in a related case. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein rejected the Justice Department’s argument that the 18th century All Writs Act gave prosecutors the authority to compel Apple to help investigators bypass the passcode-protection system on an Apple 1P hone seized in a drug investigation • He said the critical issues of 21st century privacv and technology should be decided by today’s law- makers, rather than by reinterpreting an old law. Around this time, the media reported that an outside partv had demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone that, if successful, would eliminate the need for assistance trom Apple. “This suggests that the very thing that Apple teared alreadv exists in some torm and it exists outside the walls of Cupertino Apple’s home , said attornev Edward McAndrew. A month later, the FBI announced that it had cracked Farook’s iPhone and was dropping its legal case against Apple. A Justice Department spokesperson said, “While this particu- lar phone IS no longer an issue, the broader Tight over encryption-protected technology 1S likely to continue. It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law entorcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public satety. And the controversy may intensity in the tuture. FBl director Lomey announced In April 2016 that the secret technique used to unlock Farook’s iPhone SC. for which the b renortedv paid more than o million. would not work on newer 1phone models. WO years later, Apple announced that it was planning an 1Phone update that would electively disable the phone’s charging and data port–the opening where users plug in headphones, nower cahles and adanters -an hour atter the phone 1S locked. This change was seen direct response to government efforts to unlock phones without the owner’s permission. “If we go back to the situation where we again don’t have access, now we Know directly all the evidence we’ve lost and al the kids we can’t put into a position of satety, said Chuck Cohen of the Indiana State Police task force on Internet crimes against children Sources: “FBI Director: Apple, Google Active ‘Above the Law’ By Locking Users’ Phones,” Daily Caller, November 3, 2014, dallycaller.com; U.S. and Apple Dig In for Court right Over Encryption, The Wall Street Journal, February 1/. 2016, www. wsi.com: “Apple Files Motion Opposina Order to Unlock iPhone.” The Wall Street Journal Februar 25. 2016. wwwwsi.com Judge Sides With Apple in NY. Drug Case Involvinq Locked Phone.” The Wall Street Journal, February 29, 2016, www.ws/. com: “US Savs *Outside Party’ Could Unlock Terrorist’s iPhone ” The Wall Streat Journal March 22 2016 wwwwsi.com: “US to Keep Pushina Apple to Unlock iPhone in New York Case.” The wal Street Journal April 8. 2016. wwwwsi.com: and “ADle to Close iPhone Securitv Hole That Police Use to Crack Devices” The New York Times June 13 2018 wwwnutimes.com Discussion Questions 1. In the dispute between the FBI and Apple, which side do you support and why? 2. How would you counter the arguments offered by those on the other side of this debate? Are there any circumstances 1N which you think the government S right to intormation should take precedence over an individual’s right to privacy’ 4. Should any technology firm be allowed to create a privacy protection system that is so impenetrable that it could never be overridden, regardless of the government’s need tor this information! 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