Tashfeen Malik and Farok Syed Rizwan

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Tashfeen Malik and Farok Syed Rizwan attacked the regional Region Center in California San Bernardino with explosives and weapons in December 2015, killing 14 people before being slain in a battle with authorities. According to police, Tashfeen voiced support for Islamic State militants on a Facebook profile under an assumed name. Unfortunately, there was little information available about the individuals with whom they may have spoken prior to the attack, as well as the purpose. During the inquiry, the FBI discovered Farok's iPhone 5c. It was a corporate phone owned by Farok's employer in San Bernardino. FBI had a warrant of searching the phone though the phone was protected by a password that FBI did not know. FBI then approached Apple to help them circumvent the security features of the phone a request which was vehemently opposed by the management of Apple. As a result, FBI went to court for a court order to compel Apple to cooperate a move which was not accepted prompting Apple to appeal the case (Grossman 1).

What FBI needed

FBI argued that they had already obtained some of the backup data of Farook on the iCloud account. However, the account was not updated in a more than a month’s period before the attack. This indicated that there is some crucial information that is still on the actual phone. The FBI was not able to access any information on the phone. Investigators could be able to assess the information shared through the phone like web searches, social media posts, text messages, and emails (Zakrzewski 1). However, some data like WhatsApp messages or iMessages is usually encrypted in the phone of the sender and get decrypted only after delivery while other data such as photos may never be shared to other devices.

Apple encryption is well executed that it’s tough to break which required assistance from Apple. When Apple was designing the security of iPhone, they intended to create a hard encryption which would be even hard for Apple to crack. A unique code usually protects the data to physical device and passcode which is set by users. Apple stated that without both codes, it was impossible to decrypt the phone. iPhone has three features. One is the auto-erase function which deletes the content of phone after ten incorrect entries, a compulsory delay between password entries after some failed trials and requires that the passcodes be entered manually rather than quickly plugging in the computer (Zakrzewski 1).

FBI wanted Apple to circumvent the security features so that they can be able to test the right passcode through brute force. The FBI had proposed that Apple could be of help by building software that could be loaded on and would allow FBI to test unlimited passcodes. FBI though that the software was a feasible one and could only be created by Apple not any other developer as it’s the only company which has security details to develop a software which can be pushed iPhones. Apple rejected the creation of such software as the company said that it would require a creation of the entire operating system of iPhone which is customized to lift security restrictions. Apple also argued that the move would breach the security privacy of its customers (Grossman 1).

In my consideration, the action taken by Apple can be either right or wrong. According to Apple Inc. FBI required then to write another code to bypass the security features. This is considered as entrenchment on right of free speech. Earlier cases, court cases had established computer codes as speech which was legally protected. Acceptance to unlock would again breach statement of marketing made by Apple as they had assured their customers that their data and information was safe. Apple also stated that if they allow the creation of bypass, it could be acquired on by wrong hands which could continue to harvest data of their customers without permission (Zakrzewski 1). Apple also argued that if they agree to what the FBI is allowing them to do would create a wrong precedent which will always require the company to unlock other devices in future affecting privacy of users (Grossman 1).

Apple added that the required tool would affect their security features which it has placed on its infrastructure. The company said that it had spent many years on developing the infrastructure to ensure that the data and information of its customers were safe. Moreover, Apple was concerned with software creation as it would make the company a criminal target. Apple also feared that the threat could not be manageable and would profoundly affect the data of any users affecting its reputation in the market (Grossman 1).

On the other hand, refusal by Apple to provide ways of mining data was compromising the security of the country. Considering that the iPhone belonged to terrorists who had lead to the death of 14 people and injury to many others, there was need of both FBI and Apple to cooperate in such a manner that there will be no breach of privacy to other users of Apple. Maybe the phone had essential information which could have led to arrest of other terrorists and prevent future attacks.

Considering that Apple had a high ground of refusing to assist FBI, there was the need to consider the security of the entire country. FBI and Apple needed to communicate inconsideration of issues raise both sides so that they could be able to find a way in which they could cooperate. This was necessary for the safety and security of the country as well as Apple Inc.

Work cited

Grossman, Lev."Inside Apple CEO Tim Cook's Fight with the FBI." Time. Web. October 12,

2015.Accessed November,2, 2017.

Zakrzewski, Cat. "Encrypted Smartphones Challenge Investigators." The Wall Street

Journal. Web. October 12, 2015.

Accessed December 3, 2017

May 17, 2023

Crime Government World

Subject area:

Murder Fbi California

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