On December 2, 2015, a Pakistani couple carried out a terrorist attack at a banquet in San Bernardino, California. The attack left 14 people dead and 22 injured. The couple fled from the scene, but were pursued and killed by the police in a shootout 4 hours later. The two were confirmed to have pledged allegiance to the Middle Eastern Terrorist group known as ISIS over social media, but did not carry out the attack under their orders. In other words, the attack was not carried out by ISIS, but the couple was inspired by them to do it. An iPhone was found, belonging to the couple, that was suspected to have information related to the attack on its hard drive. Apple was asked by the FBI to open the phone, but Apple could not due to its encryption. In a statement published on February 16, 2016, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said, ”We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. 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.”(Cook). The FBI has asked Apple to create a new form of the iPhone operating system (iOS) that would have a weakness in the code (and therefore would allow access into the phone) and install it in that one iPhone. Apple refused to do so, due to the fact that there is no guarantee that
a.) The FBI would only use it for only this case, as they stated, or that
b.) It would fall into the wrong hands, allowing evildoers to access the contents of every iPhone in existence.
Honestly, I think that the attack itself was a terrible act, one that should be considered as terrorism. I also think that if there is data on the phone that could be vital to the security of the people of the United States, Apple should develop that software and install it onto that phone. After the data is retrieved, Apple can supervise the FBI to make sure that they dispose of the software properly. This would be to make sure that the software does not fall into the wrong hands, what with all of the cyber-criminals surfacing these days. That would be bad. Of course, that raises the question, what if there isn’t any information on the phone? So what if there is nothing on the phone? There is a reason for suspicion, (Come on, it was a terrorist attack) so the phone should be investigated, even if it ends up that there is not any information on it. Now I ask you readers, what are your thoughts on this incident? What should Apple and the FBI do about it? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.