Recent news has made it evident that the FBI was successfully able to crack Syed Farook’s iPhone without the help of Apple. As a result, they have dropped their legal case against them. This is alarming news and only the beginning of a very long, hard, and incredibly terrifying battle.
I need to point out that the FBI did not crack Farook’s iPhone with a now classified method that they developed internally. They received help from an unnamed third party - and are not disclosing to Apple exactly how they did it. They have the power to patch a security vulnerability but instead, choose to leave us all open to attack.
The debate over encryption and backdoor access has only just begun. As more of our daily lives come online, from our self-driving cars to smart refrigerators, there is only going to be more harm that can be done by hackers. Right now, malicious hacks are limited to the digital world. They can still wreak immense havoc, but imagine what could be done if self-driving cars aren’t secure enough? Block roadways, crash vehicles, shut down cities… Hackers get legs - they move into the physical world.
When the FBI demands backdoors to be put into tech products it is not like they will be the only ones who can access them. Backdoors make it easier for everyone to get into a device. They are a very nearsighted solution to a larger problem. It’s like demanding that a King put in a small bridge for you to use to cross his moat when you believe you have the right to do so. Anyone can use the bridge, it doesn’t matter if you’re supposed to or not. Even if you put some guards on the bridge, now you only have to defeat those guards in order to render the rest of the moat useless and put the castle at risk.