Apple’s Battle Against the FBI: Why it Matters

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If you’ve turned on the news in the past few weeks, you may have heard about the battle currently going on between the tech company Apple and the FBI, a battle that looks like it’s going to the Supreme Court.

This case, while it may seem small at first, is actually one of the most important privacy cases to come around in decades. The rundown of the case is this: the FBI wants Apple to create a backdoor to unlock the phone of one of the shooters from the San Bernardino attack from last December, and Apple has declined. Apple’s reason for declining rests in the fact that Apple believes that if they create a backdoor of any kind, it will be abused by both criminals and law enforcement.

So why is this such an important case, and why should you care? Well, there is one big reason why. The greatest reason as to why this case is so major is the precedent it will set.

If this case goes in the FBI’s favor, it will create a dangerous precedent that will give not only the FBI, but most tech organizations an absurd amount of power. You see, if the FBI wins and the backdoor gets made, the FBI can, among other things, request any tech company to place a backdoor on their products. This opens doors both to abuse not only from the FBI and criminals, but from other various tech organizations as well.

As Apple’s lawyer Ted Olson said with an interview with CNN: “You can imagine every different law enforcement official telling Apple we want a new product to get into something. Even a state judge could order Apple to build something. There’s no stopping point. That would lead to a police state.” This isn’t even counting how criminals will abuse the tech and get into people’s phones. That’s why you should care about this case, your privacy as a member of the United States of America is in jeopardy.

Thankfully, if previous cases are anything to go by, the Supreme Court will most likely side with Apple and the people. The court sided 8-1 against a law that could’ve let law enforcement secretly place GPS devices on suspects cars, and in the process claimed the data on phones should be kept private. And just last year, they defended free speech on the internet, so it looks likely they will side with Apple in this case. But that doesn’t mean that you should be complacent, don’t be afraid to speak up if you care for your privacy.