I’m going to start by saying that I do NOT support any terrorist action, terrorist groups or individuals, I believe they should be shot down before they can implement their terrorist plans. But what I do take exception to is the systematic dismantling of our civil liberties ever since 9/11 by our own government.
Soon after that dark day on 9/11/2001, George W Bush signed the USA PATRIOT Act, which means “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act” into law. This allowed for mass surveillance of any person without probable cause in complete secrecy with little oversight. The PATRIOT Act also allows for any person to be detained indefinitely without any actual evidence, that person just has to be a suspected terrorist, nothing more.
See the video below for a more eloquent description of the USA PATRIOT Act:
The US constitution’s 4th amendment states:
[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The PATRIOT ACT allows law enforcement to circumvent the 4th amendment, making it pretty much redundant. Maybe they could impose similar Draconian bills to the 2nd amendment? We kick up a shit-storm when our guns are threatened, but most accept the loss of their liberty because they are under the delusion they’re protected, when in reality, the PATRIOT act did very little to find any actual terrorists.
To my point, my per-amble went on a little longer than intended, I believe that Apple are right to refuse and challenge the ruling that the company should create software that would neutralize the encryption on one of the San Bernardino terrorist attackers iPhone. I’m sure that Apple can create and flash an alternative iOS system that disables the pass code and wipe device functionality after 10 attempts, but I do not believe a company should be forced to hack a customer’s device at the behest of law enforcement.
I’m under no illusion that Apple is more concerned with their business strategy than unlocking this specific device. But I believe that if Apple does unlock this specific iPhone, it will lead to ever increasing requests by law enforcement for Apple and other technology companies to circumvent encryption on customer’s devices. Once the precedent has been set, it’s a slippery slope to technology companies being forced, probably by another law to hand over customer information at the whim of law enforcement.
The United States of America has the slogan “The Land Of The Free”, how can we be free when half the country is being spied upon on a daily basis without any probable cause? How can we be detained and our personal property seized just under suspicion of being a terrorist, no actual evidence is required?
And you know the worst thing, it’s what the terrorists want, they want people to have their liberty reduced. Every day people’s lives are effected by the very actions that are designed to counter terrorism, which has been unbelievably unsuccessful, the NSA even tries to justify their actions on their website.