Protestor

FBI’s Demand For Apple To Unlock iPhones Has Provoked Other Companies To Fight Back

The technology company Apple has recently engaged in a full-on legal battle with the FBI, doing everything they can to stop the government agency from accessing user data for the sake of counter-terrorism. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Apple has publicly spoken out against the controversial decision made by the FBI, and many other companies have rallied in support of Apple. And while it’s possible that the courts will ultimately side with the FBI and rule that Apple has no choice but to create software that allows for the NSA and other agencies to easily hack their way in, this public fight for privacy is causing many of the major companies who develop social communication technology to ensure that the FBI can never pull the same stunt on them.

FBI
FBI seal. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

As reported by The Guardian, Facebook, Google, and Snapchat are actively developing new security technology to better ensure the safety of user information, largely in response to the FBI urging Apple to unlock their smart phones. Facebook has announced plans to “expand its secure messaging service” WhatsApp to encrypt voice calls, as well as enhancing current security features. This means it should hypothetically be much more difficult for hackers, or the FBI for that matter, to listen in on user calls without their consent. In addition to the billion users of WhatsApp, Facebook also plans to increase security measures on the embedded Facebook messenger.

Google is also planning to beef up security, reportedly by finding a use for an email encryption technique they’ve been developing for some time now. Even the popular photo-sharing app Snapchat is working to double down on security in anticipation of an FBI victory.

While it may seem reasonable to give the FBI or the NSA exclusive access for the sake of preventing such horrific terrorist attacks as the San Bernadino shooting, companies like Apple have argued that what the FBI is demanding would make the services vulnerable to hackers with more malicious intent.

“Apple has never made user data, whether stored on the iPhone or in iCloud, more technologically accessible to any country’s government. We believe any such access is too dangerous to allow.”

Also, Apple believes their customers are entitled to absolute privacy, regardless of the noble cause the FBI is advocating for. Apple claims that the requests made by the FBI violate constitutional law, stating that the U.S. government’s “methods for achieving its objectives are contrary to the rule of law, the democratic process and the rights of the American people.”

Protest
FBI protest. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to the New York Times, this bold accusation against the FBI provoked an immediate response from the Justice Department.

“The Constitution and the three branches of the federal government should be entrusted to strike the balance between each citizen’s right to privacy,” said spokeswoman Emily Pierce. “The Constitution and the laws of the United States do not vest that power in a single corporation.”

In its final legal filing before it has to go toe-to-toe against the FBI in court, Apple asserted that “the Founders [of America] would be appalled” with what the FBI is demanding, according to NPR.

Apple is also doing its own fair share of bracing for the worst (an FBI victory), according to BGR. They are currently in the process of developing an iPhone that will ostensibly be impossible to hack. This would mean a device with built-in software that can never and will never be circumvented by any individual or government agency, including the FBI.

Tim Cook
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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