Apple has drawn a line in the sand, so to speak.
It is debatable as to what that line means and signifies, but there is a line nonetheless.
Earlier this week, Apple released a letter to its customers, explaining that the FBI is asking them to create a new kind of phone with a backdoor. A backdoor meaning it would give them a portal for surveilling "terrorists."
This all came about in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist investigation. There are details in this story still emerging by the hour, but one thing is definite: Apple has made a loud public statement opposing the very idea of stripping out essential aspects of its product that protect its customers privacy.
The FBI is using terrorism as an opportunity to get a foothold to something they've had trouble doing for a while. And making it a big public matter could be an effective strategy because there are still many Americans that all too willing to trade their liberty for safety.
Keep this in mind. Many people claim to be open to the FBI having remote access to their phones/computers, as long as it helps to protect them from "terrorists." The problem begins to pick up speed though when we develop a better understanding of their tactics and strategies. What they collect today from an innocent citizen could be used against that citizen 5-10 years from now.
If sometime down the road you do something that crosses them, they will use everything they can to make a case against you. Even if it was something that you said or wrote, privately, years ago. And they were able to do that because we granted them access to our private communications.
That is what it could look like. And you won't believe how the definition of "terrorist" could stretch. What if you were considered a "terrorist" if you supported an Independent or Libertarian candidate for President, and not a Republican or Democrat? What if you wrote on your Facebook page that you didn't agree with something the President said on TV? Could that make you a "terrorist" or a "threat" to national security? Stranger things have happened.
In summary, the FBI is proposing (trying to force Apple) to create a new kind of vulnerable phone that affects all of us. Even if you didn't care about NSA or FBI tracking and potentially building a case against you for the future, understand this- if you understood the phone the FBI wants Apple to create, you just wouldn't want it. I honestly believe that.
And remember, we're living in the physical world- nothing is 100% secure. Life comes with a degree of risk, and there's nothing any of us can do about that. But we should assume, demand, some "inalienable" right to protect ourselves, which includes our private thoughts. And "private thoughts" that we share are shared with the confidence that they will remain with those intended parties.
The bottom line is, in America, we have rights. As an American citizen, I have rights. Civil rights and constitutional rights. You, the government, your job is to protect my rights. Do not create legislation and policy that violate my rights.
I don't want to interfere with anyone else's "right" to live in fear and complacency, but I stand with Apple.