Newsletter Issue #850: Apple and the FBI: Why Don’t They Understand?

March 14th, 2016

The fight over whether Apple should be forced to somehow unlock an iPhone 5c used by a terrorist — and clearly other iPhones — continues unabated in the media. What would normally be a matter that would be dealt with in court hearings, focusing on obscure technical issues, has played out in the public arena with statements from Apple executives, the director of the FBI, the United States Attorney General and even the President.

To be fair, President Obama didn’t actually discuss the case directly in his recent remarks on the subject at the South by Southwest music and tech conference in Austin, TX. Instead, he tried to be the great mediator, suggesting both sides get together and attempt to devise a solution that would protect individual privacy yet still allow law enforcement the opportunity to secure data that might help them fight criminals, perhaps prevent a possible terrorist attack.

Unfortunately, there are also examples of people talking past one another, and making statements that just aren’t so. That doesn’t help advance a dialog, although it would be better to settle things without having to consider the impact of a court order.

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