U.S. News and World Report – Apple v. FBI

18 Mar

US News

Apple Employees: Just Say No

Coercing Apple engineers to create a backdoor to encryption could amount to involuntary servitude for the government.


The FBI is putting relentless pressure on Apple to hack the encrypted iPhone recovered from the San Bernardino shooters. For thwarting ongoing efforts to force technology companies to introduce backdoors for their encrypted products, Apple should be commended. All Americans need to pay attention to this battle, because it’s not free speech, due process or self-incrimination rights we should be worried about. What is really at stake is the 13th Amendment rights of Apple employees. Can the U.S. government force an individual – any American – to work for it?

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

The FBI is not asking Apple to turn over something in its possession, a power it certainly has, subject to due process. Rather it is trying to command Apple to create and surrender a hacked version of its iPhone operating system that will allow it to bypass protections, such as the phone deleting data after repeated incorrect attempts to guess the password. Also, who has to actually create this software? And under what power granted by the U.S. Constitution can the federal government force engineers to do so?

To read the rest of the article click here.


One Response to “U.S. News and World Report – Apple v. FBI”

  1. Andrew March 18, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    Bill, I think (hope) you know better than this. The FBI is NOT asking Apple to do any decryption, merely to disable the 10-tries-and-you’re-screwed feature. If it were otherwise, there would be no question that Apple is right, but asking for the opportunity to crack the safe, the safe in this case being both in the possession of the FBI and subject to a warrant is different from asking somebody to do it for you.

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