Posted by: JDM..... | March 1, 2016

Apple Inc. is right…

the FBI must acknowledge that fact….

For several months now, technology giant Apple Inc. has been in a stare-down with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in what may turn out to be one of our country’s most significant tests of the spirit as well as the letter of the Constitution.

Apple is arguing that providing the government with the ability to access to a phone belonging to the deceased terrorists who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California last December would compromise the security and safety of similar devises world wide.

The government wants access to the phone to learn if it may contain locater information about where the terrorists were during 19 minutes of the pursuit before they were killed.

When applying the “Why? ” test to each argument, Apple wins hands down. They are protecting their proprietary interests and the interests of the public in a world wide digital environment that is fraught with danger and vulnerabilities. The government seeks to compel a private corporation to provide it with the ability to access private information anywhere, anytime, while at the same time promising it only needs the ability to crack a specific single phone one time. The “Why? ” remains unsatisfied. The alleged value of whatever information may or may not be on the phone is unknown. In other words, the FBI wants to go on a fishing mission and expects Apple Inc. to provide the gear and a boat.

Far more significant is the issue of power and control. When our country was formed, it was largely in response to excesses of the British monarchy, wherein the interests of the government were universally believed to always be primary over those of the people. A government was put together with the intent to make it responsive to the governed rather than to an elite and privileged governing body.

That principle has been under attack since before the ink was dry on the documents declaring it. Adapting to new and unprecedented situations and circumstances is understandable and necessary, and that, I believe, has been the usual standard. That is not in question. What does come to mind, however, is that even the most phlegmatic entity has moments of perceived threat when the “norm” may be temporarily shelved in order to eliminate the troublesome details between here and there. This is one of those times.

The interests of the people, in this case Apple Inc., prevails by definition, but it must be acknowledged by government. To override that protection, to impeach the fundamental concept in any but the most dire of circumstances, would be a tragedy.

The principles of freedom and liberty are constants regardless of circumstances and environment.

Government, in this case the FBI, feels that its mission of providing safety and national security is equally inviolate.

Both have valid points, but there is inordinate potential in this essentially preadolescent Age of the Technological Revolution for the government to oppress the people in its efforts to protect it.

That’s putting it in the polite form. In reality, those in power may be subject to “tunnel vision” under pressure. On the other hand, “Tunnel vision” in the interests of freedom and liberty has been repeatedly validated throughout history as essential.

 

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