Facebook and Twitter today joined a large group of Tech companies that are backing Apple’s fight against the FBI in regards to the San Bernadino case.
The judge ruled Tuesday that the Cupertino-based company had to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to the government in recovering data from the iPhone 5c, including bypassing the auto-erase function and allowing investigators to submit an unlimited number of passwords in their attempts to unlock the phone. Apple has five days to respond to the court if it believes that compliance would be “unreasonably burdensome.”
Basically, the FBI is demanding Apple create a version of iOS that would let it crack the passcode on the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. Something Apple calls ‘a dangerous precedent’.
Facebook announced it’s support by releasing a statement to USA Today,
“We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services. We also appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe,” the statement reads. “When we receive lawful requests from these authorities we comply. However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had this to say:
— Jack (@jack) February 18, 2016
Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, weighed in. In a series of tweets shared this afternoon, seemingly sided with Apple, saying the FBI’s request to enable a backdoor “could compromise users’ privacy.”
He went on to say that while Google understands the challenges law enforcement faces and supports providing access to data based on valid legal orders, that’s “wholly different” than ordering companies to “enable hacking of customer devices & data,” something he says “could be a troubling precedent.”
The FBI has demanded Apple do three things, which are as follows:
1. Eliminate the auto-erase function that wipes an iPhone if the wrong passcode is entered 10 times.
2. Eliminate the delay that locks the FBI out of the iPhone if the wrong passcode is entered too many times in a row.
3. Implement a method that would allow the FBI to electronically enter a passcode using software.
Apple and other technology companies believe that it sets a precedent that could lead to similar unlocking requests in the future or a general demand to weaken overall encryption for electronic devices.
Other companies that have come forward to stand beside Apple are:
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)
and even Edward Snowden, who has stated that ‘this is the most important tech case in a decade’
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) February 17, 2016