William Thien

An Observation on Apple Inc. vs. The FBI

Posted on: February 18, 2016

Quite nearly all of my writings have some element even if remote concerning the sensitive and delicate nature of privacy rights.

One of the more interesting developments on the technology front regarding that matter is the ensuing battle between Apple Inc. and The FBI.

If you happen to be one of the few people unaware of the situation, The FBI has requested Apple provide a “back door” to the encryption technology that enables the complete destruction of all data on an Apple IPhone if excessive attempts to disarm the encryption technology are made by an unauthorized user, somebody that does not have the code to disable the screen lock.

If more than ten attempts are made to deactivate an IPhone’s security, all data on the phone is automatically destroyed, lost, making an IPhone belonging to a terrorist for example useless as a form of evidence in an investigation or as a source of information to be used in the prediction and or prognostication of future terrorist or criminal activity.

The matter is in the hands of the courts and Apple has appealed a recent decision compelling Apple to comply with The FBI’s request. Media pundits are predicting the matter has the foundation for a landmark ruling by The Supreme Court should Apple take the appeal as far.

I would like to examine the matter from a different perspective, one perhaps not so seemingly lofty yet in my opinion more contemporaneously significant.

To myself, and I’ve written to this extent here on this matter previously, the fact that a corporation is resisting the government’s attempt to circumnavigate one of its most significant product features, the encryption of a private citizen’s personal activities and information stored on one of its products which is in fact significant in its own right, to me this entire episode may not be the most significant aspect of such a disagreement between Apple and The FBI.

What I believe is more significant, what has the greatest weight in the balance of privacy rights on that stage today, what might make this entire episode between Apple Inc. and The FBI a mere exercise in the arena of privacy rights is the constant and endless collection, dissemination, and use of a citizen’s private data by quite nearly all internet properties, all corporations, and media sites on the internet today.

One could easily conclude that the disagreement between Apple and The FBI is merely a blip on that radar, a small, infinitesimal speck of significance when compared to the massive collection and dissemination of the private data of US Citizens which goes on RIGHT NOW, continuously and without the express written consent of each and every citizen merely because they have visited a web site or logged into their bank account online.

Such collection of a private citizen’s most personal and private information, such distribution of that information in an unrestrained, wholesale context clearly and without any doubt whatsoever leads me to believe that this entire episode between Apple and The FBI is merely a smokescreen meant to conceal that very massive and pernicious activity. Even if that was not the original intent, that is how the matter is being played by the media, one of the greatest actors, in fact that actor often most complicit in such egregious behavior against the privacy rights of ALL US citizens.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us not forget this, too.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

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