Apple vs. the Law

Source: New York Times, Room for Debate, September 30, 2014

The director of the F.B.I., James Comey, recently criticized Apple and Google for encrypting new smartphones’ data and rendering it inaccessible to law enforcement, even with a court order. “What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to hold themselves beyond the law,” Mr. Comey said. But shouldn’t companies put their costumers’ security and privacy concerns first? How much should tech companies cooperate with the government on data access? …

Debaters:
Securing Our Data Should Come First
Alex Abdo, ACLU
It is shortsighted to believe that making all of our information more vulnerable will somehow make us safer.

Don’t Create Virtual Sanctuaries for Criminals
Ronald T. Hosko, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
The virtual sanctuaries built and marketed by some technology companies will not only attract ordinary Americans seeking to protect their private communications, but also criminals and conspirators.

Holding On to a Small Measure of Privacy
Faiza Patel, Brennan Center
Compared with the sea of information the government can obtain through various means, what’s saved directly on our iPhones is but a crumb.

Data Access Shouldn’t Be Up to Companies Alone
Stewart Baker, former Homeland Security Department official
With Apple’s new encryption, probable cause and a warrant will be of little help to the police who seize a suspect’s iPhone and want to search it.

Encryption Restores Trust in Technology
Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Open Technology Institute
When technologies come to market with security and privacy baked in, they help users navigate an increasingly opaque digital landscape.