Trump recently Tweeted that Apple has refused to unlock two iPhones belonging to the criminals responsible for shooting at a Naval Base in Florida at Pensacola. Apple is being accused of not carrying out the patriotic duties in helping the US Department of Justice.
The US president, Donald J Trump’s Tweet, says, “We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements. They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”.
The Attorney General William Barr also accused Apple of not backing the FBI in unlocking the criminal’s phones.
Contrary to this, and interestingly, Apple has said that they have been assisting the FBI for backing up the data in the shooting case in Pensacola. They say that they have provided the phone’s data to iCloud servers. Apple also claims that they have handed over many gigabytes of data to the FBI, and the investigators seemed to be satisfied. But the FBI only notified them on Jan 6th about requiring additional data. This is after a month since the attacks occurred.
In 2016, the San Bernadino Shooting case, Apple had refused to unlock the criminal’s iPhones, and later on, the FBI solved the case by paying a third party to hack into the phone. But it created a legal fight with the federal agency and Apple at that time. But the reason why Apple actually refused to do this might be that the company did not have the system to unlock a customer’s iPhone, and they did not want to build a backdoor for this purpose because then it will be easier for the hackers to hack into the devices. It would thus compromise their security system.
During that time, most of the Americans agreed that Apple must help the FBI even if their personal data might be insecure. Trump is making uses of those sentiments of the citizen against Apple now.
The American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) gave out a statement supporting Apple in this matter. They said that the government’s demand is unconstitutional,, and it will weaken the security of millions of iPhones. “Strong encryption enables religious minorities facing genocide, like the Uyghurs in China, and journalists investigating powerful drug cartels in Mexico, to communicate safely with each other, knowledgeable sources, and the outside world. There is simply no way for Apple, or any other company, to provide the FBI access to encrypted communications without also providing it to authoritarian foreign governments and weakening our defenses against criminals and hackers.”
At present, Apple has developed its image as a private company, thus improving its stake over the past three years since 2016. It is also true that Apple has benefited from its relationship with Trump but not in a trade unless Trump agrees that Apple is the reason why he is delaying his proposed tariffs on phones and laptops.
Apple has not yet replied to the Tweet!