PRO

There exists a fine line between individual privacy and national security. However, one thing is clear. The federal court order requiring Apple to create a new software feature that will be able to bypass the iPhone’s security features is something that has driven straight through that line and poses a threat to American rights.

Apple is under no obligation to help federal investigators unlock the iPhone used by the attacker who killed 14 people in San Bernardino. Yes, what happened was truly tragic and yes the government needs all the information it can get in order to prevent another incident from happening. However, the company is a third party group that is not involved in any way with the crime. They should not be forced to invent new software that aids the government just because federal investigators find it convenient for their case. Doing so would harm the company’s reputation; they would be sending out the message to their customers that their product no longer provides the privacy it once offered.

Many argue that the information in the iPhone related to the San Bernardino incident is crucial to learning more about the case. However, investigators should already be able to access information regarding the killer through the iPhone’s data linkage to iCloud or other social media platforms linked to the phone. There is no need to risk the security of many other iPhones just so that investigators gain a minor chance in obtaining relevant information.

And if such a court order would actually come to fruition, what would that mean in the future? Does that mean that whenever the government wants, it can just ask any random company to invent whatever they desire? Where would you draw the line between what crimes are important enough for such an order to take place? It is obvious that human rights are threatened. The success of a single order can be crucial in allowing the government to continue pushing its control over people’s daily lives all in the name of national security. Therefore, it is only right that Apple refuses now and serves as a model for all other companies and individuals to follow.

While security is indeed important to our lives, we should not have to forfeit our privacy and our rights for it. Apple is right in refusing to invent the software that will be able to unlock any iPhone. Such technology would be devastating once reaching the wrong hands. And despite the government’s insistence that it would be used for a single case, if they ask for it once they will ask for it again. Make no mistake about it.