Thursday, February 18, 2016

Yay for Apple

It is amazing how a seemingly small thing can be so important. I am happy, today, that I own and operate Apple technology.

I applaud Apple Inc for standing up to the government's attempt to unlock and thereby discard our 4th Amendment right to privacy. I know there are many who think that in this particular instance Apple should concede--but where could it stop. I believe Apple, Inc, adequately stated their position in their February 16, 2016 letter to customers

Constitutional rights to privacy and protection are just that--rights. That the government could force a private company to develop software to assist the government in breaking into technology created by that same company and thereby access people's private records is ridiculous. The government already has agencies devoted to doing just that--for instance the FBI, itself.

This action threatens privacy on a global scale. And it threatens the economic viability of American companies in the larger worldwide market if they can be forced to turn over specialized software to overcome the security of devices, consumers worldwide will quickly begin buying from companies which cannot so easily be compromised.

In the past, to ensure privacy consumers could burn or shred documents to ensure they would not fall into the hands of unscrupulous people. There were not multiple copies of everything traveling around in cyberspace. Today, however, nothing ever really disappears in the world of the internet and the cloud. The only way to protect privacy and secure our lives from the forces of those who would steal our identities is through unbreakable encryption. As more and more companies and banks push us, the consumers, towards electronic receipt of financial documents, this problem becomes greater. More of our most important documents will be stored in cyberspace.

How quickly the computer breaches of the Office of Personnel Management which affected millions of Americans have been forgotten. Even our government has shown that it cannot protect our privacy.

It is too easy for people to think they have nothing to hide, when in fact there are criminal forces who would quickly exploit our naivety for their financial gain. Of course we have privacy to protect. If the U.S. government can overcome technology to access data are we ignorant enough to believe that criminals and even other countries cannot?

This is a new world of cyber security. We all must be extra vigilant to protect ourselves. Apple must not be forced to give up our individual security no matter the price.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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