Security or Privacy: Apple vs US Goverment

On 2 December 2015 there was a tragic massacre in St. Bernardino. In addition to the 14 innocent victims one of two assassins has also lost his life, whose iPhone 5c has remained on the ground, blocked with  access credentials set.

The FBI, in order to be able to access the data present on the mobile phone, has asked the collaboration of the technical staff of Apple. The request foresaw the realization by the Apple technicians of a software able to bypass the safety systems to provide a secondary access to the data in the device. The company of Cupertino has set a clean refusal to the question defining it, quoting CEO Tim Cook, “an excess from the government of the United States” and “a step without precedents that  threatens the safety of our clients and has implications that go over the legal case in question.”

Apple, which had collaborated with the government during the first phase of investigations, has affirmed “now the US government  has asked us something that we simply don’t have and that we consider too much dangerous to create.”

“In the wrong hands this software would have a potential instrument to physically unlock any iPhone in possession of someone. And while the government can think that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

A taking of strong and clear position for the respect of the privacy of its own clients.

The federal agents have, however, asked and obtained by the Court the issuance of an order that  forced Apple to produce this software, an order that became then unnecessary because the FBI has communicated to have solved the matter in a different way. For now we  don’t know with certainty who has contributed to the success of this operation but the FBI has succeeded to bypass the iPhone’s protections, probably using a foreign society.

The story has lifted innumerable questions on the correctness of the used methods and for the intervention of the judicial authority.

Because of the revocation of the injunction the matter has not been deepened to juridical level but it however constitutes a serious precedent.

It also remains to understand how the knot of the divulgation or not will be solved about the method used for overcoming the systems of protection of the telephone of which Apple would want to have knowledge.