Technology vs. Government Policy: Who Wins the Fight?
By Eileen Gazzola, Staff Writer
Apple has progressed tremendously over the past decade, and it is not stopping anytime soon. Government policy and technology sometimes find themselves in disagreement as evidenced by Apple’s rapid expansion and subsequent conflicts.
Currently, Apple has used encryption technology that protects users information on their iPhone. However, the FBI wants to gain this otherwise unauthorized access. They have tried many times to break into phones- and failed. This is why they are asking Apple to create a special version of iOS that allows the unlocking of the iPhone of a criminal or terrorist, and they are using the All Writs Act Law of 1789 to argue their point. This is being run through the federal court. They mainly want this access so that they can break into Syed Farook’s phone, and for other similarly watched individuals.
However, this could be a slippery slope if the FBI wins the case. Other states and federal judges will face the same problem wherein governments demand the same access. This brings to the table controversy regarding privacy and how much control the government can have over personal information.
But, we do not have to worry about this just yet. Apple has not given in to this demand quite yet and they are still producing iPhones that are strongly encrypted and cannot be broken. The government, too, cannot crack the codes.
Creating a loophole for the government to use as a peephole into personal information can cause less obvious problems too. It requires technology providers to change all of their products, in addition to having the government change their laws regarding privacy and information access.
As for the future, hacking into computers and iPhones will only get more difficult due to new technology of quantum computers. This type of computing is different from digital computers, because instead of formulas using 1’s and 0’s, these computers will use qubits, which can represent many values at the same time.
It will be interesting to watch who is crowned victorious in this battle. Either Apple will compromise the privacy of its customers, or the government will gain access an even larger and more fragile sum of digital data.