FBI Asks Apple to Hack its Users in Connection to San Bernardino Shootings

Are Apple users at risk for a data breach by the government?

Adriana Lozano

Adriana Lozano

Feature Writer at RYSE
Adriana Lozano is a creative type with a passion for writing, fashion, traveling and art (not necessarily in that order). She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English in hopes to become a published writer and author.
Adriana Lozano

Since the unfortunate San Bernardino shootings, the FBI has been working closely with Apple in order to investigate potential terrorist leads through a confiscated iPhone 5c, belonging to suspect Syed Rizwan Farook. On February 16th, 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook released a letter addressed to its customers warning them about the United States government demanding the company to create a new iOS that will evade encrypted security features. In the letter, Cook stated that Apple has been compliant with the FBI’s demands, but now the company has been court ordered to create a “back door” to the iPhone that if possessed by the wrong hands, can lead to the ultimate security breach.

“…the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone… 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… And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

Apple has given major efforts in constantly perfecting its safeguard system but the creation of this software will only undo years of hard work and also put millions of iOS users at risk. The government has asked for the custom software to be of “a one time, one phone use” but Cook has refuted the request claiming once the software is created, it can be used multiple times and potentially be susceptible to hackers.

Cook asks for everyone to become aware of what the consequences are if the software comes to actualization and to define the line between cooperation and abuse.


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