An FBI demand that Apple unlock an iPhone risks setting a dangerous precedent that could have a chilling effect on human rights, the United Nations rights chief warned Friday.Apple vs. the FBI: Inside the Battle Snowden Calls "The Most Important Tech Case in a Decade" - YouTube
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s intervention came after Apple’s largest rivals backed the tech giant’s bid to resist the US government demand seeking to access the iPhone used by one of the attackers in a deadly rampage in San Bernardino, California in December.
“In order to address a security-related issue related to encryption in one case, the authorities risk unlocking a Pandora’s Box that could have extremely damaging implications for the human rights of many millions of people, including their physical and financial security,” Zeid said in a statement.
He warned that the FBI order would “set a precedent that may make it impossible for Apple or any other major international IT company to safeguard their clients’ privacy anywhere in the world”.
http://democracynow.org - A major debate over privacy and online encryption has erupted after the computer giant Apple announced it will resist a court order to help the FBI break into an iPhone recovered from one of the San Bernardino shooters. Citing an 18th century law, federal prosecutors requested a court order to compel Apple to assist the investigation in unlocking the phone of Syed Rizwan Farook. In December, Farook and his wife killed 14 and injured 22 others in San Bernardino. On Tuesday night, Apple CEO Tim Cook published an open letter to customers announcing his company’s decision to fight the court order. "Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them," Cook said. "But now 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." We speak to Alex Abdo, staff attorney at the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.Google and Apple, once enemies, unite thanks to the FBI
Google, like its tech peers, may be concerned that the court of public opinion is still undecided on Apple's privacy campaign and, perhaps more importantly, that they each have court cases of their own to worry about, according to industry watchers.Twitter, Facebook support Apple in its fight with the FBI
"Frankly, I suspect they all have court cases going and can’t be seen to comment in a way that could be seen as a comment on their own cases," says Fatemeh Khatibloo, an analyst with Forrester Research who focuses on privacy and consumer data issues.
Reps for Google did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
As Apple CEO Tim Cook insists that his company should not be forced to help the FBI weaken security on an iPhone (Not sure why that matters? Get an explanation of the key issues here.), a few more companies have stepped forward in support. Yesterday Google CEO Sundar Pichai issued a carefully-worded statement, followed today by a statement from Facebook to USA Today, and a one-liner from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Facebook said that requirements to weaken security would create a "chilling precedent," while Dorsey simply said that he stands with Cook and Apple.
EFF to Support Apple in Encryption Battle | Electronic Frontier FoundationThe Dispatch, Episode 3: Apple and the FBI
What you need to know about Apple's fight with the FBI
Why You Should Care About Apple’s Fight With the FBI
The 227-Year-Old Statute Being Used to Order Apple to Endanger Your Privacy, Explained
The FBI and Apple are fighting over modern technology using a very old law. A 227-year-old statute, created at the same time as the federal courts themselves, is now at the center of a showdown about privacy.The FBI wants Apple to write custom software that will help the FBI break into a seized phone. Apple doesn’t want to do that, because it would be creating a serious security flaw in its own privacy protections, a flaw that could be exploited to hurt its millions of customers. Depending on how the All Writs Act is interpreted by a judge, Apple may have to comply.
So what is the All Writs Act? “Writs” is just an old-timey word for “formal order.” It was part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which created the federal court system. George Washington signed it into law. It’s Founding Fathers-level old.
Old, but not long. This is the entirety of the statute giving Apple so much grief:
(a) The Supreme Court and all courts established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.
(b) An alternative writ or rule nisi may be issued by a justice or judge of a court which has jurisdiction.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 944; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, § 90, 63 Stat. 102.)