I didn't really comment on this matter until now due to the fact that it would seem rather automatic to anyone who's been following the developments regarding the NSA's data mining endeavours that privacy should be held to the highest standards in this day and age. That alone should give anyone pause regarding concessions of civil liberties.
For some reason, however, while listening to certain podcasts or reading various articles, people are still arguing in favour of handing over their freedoms, willingly, to the authorities. The same authorities that were the architects of the red scare, the Patriot Act, the Financial Crisis, etc. That last one I mentioned is pretty big considering no one has been arrested in the public or private sector in its aftermath, yet tens of thousands of lives now lie in utter ruin because of it. It should be glaringly apparent to anyone who's been invested in recent historical events that the government's and its institutions' track record has been catastrophic.
Allow me to elaborate on what the FBI is asking for here. It's not asking for A key to A lock. It's asking for THE key to ALL locks that are Apple devices. Now I've dealt with mobile devices, specifically their technology, on a professional level for over a decade now and from a security standpoint, their request is completely unacceptable. The infrastructure in which devices function, is still pretty much technology that was created over three decades ago. The lock analogy isn't even particularly good in this instance. Think of it more like leaving your front door to your house or your apartment, wide open. This is why Apple is saying no to what's proposed. Because it's insane for any company, who has the best interests of millions of clients, to do something so galactically stupid and irresponsible.
Apple has, however, cooperated by giving the FBI access to devices that didn't have such security measures in them in the past. It's also been cooperative in the present by providing them access to a user's iCloud account. People can and will argue that you can disable the sync with the iCloud environment as well as avoid syncing to a computer, which isn't an argument. There's another device that people can use to store information that's currently 100% secure at this time. It's called the human brain. If someone doesn't want you to know something, no amount of prying or court orders will allow you to access that information. People who are motivated to take this approach however, aren't people going through their day to day lives void of criminal intent. So why would anyone in their right mind give those who would want to harm them, like identity thieves, a wide open door to do so, for the sake of potential information that might have been stored on a suspect's device? Up until recently, Blackberry was the only company that had this level of security on their devices. There's a reason these were used exclusively in government offices. But because this level of security is now in the majority of the public's hand, this is now somewhat problematic?
Well, tough shit.