America’s Department of Justice is battling Apple in court over access to encrypted data. The case stems from a case involving Syed Farook and his wife who killed 14 people and wounded 22 others in a shooting spree on 2 Dec 2015. The couple were later killed in a gunfight with the police in California, USA.
US law enforcement agencies later recovered an iPhone 5C used by Farook. The phone (running on iOS 9) was locked with a passcode. The country’s domestic intelligence and security agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) believes the phone contains information that could help the ongoing investigation.
Although Apple has turned over digital data in its possession related to the gunman’s account, the authorities are demanding that the phone company unlock the phone as well. The security provisions built into iOS 9 mean the FBI can’t simply guess the passcode. If someone tries to enter passcodes again and again in the hope of eventually finding the right one, the phone may wipe its own memory after too many attempts.
As the battle between Apple and the FBI heats up over encryption, it is becoming increasingly clear that this is not just about one iPhone. The FBI wants to force private companies to give the US government special access to private citizens’ data—such as by building security vulnerabilities or giving the government a “golden key” to unlock our encrypted communications.
Security experts agree that it is not possible to give the US government what it wants without creating vulnerabilities that could be exploited by bad actors. These proposals jeopardize not just our private data, but the security of every technology in all countries that relies on this encryption.
Advisers of President Obama’s administration are divided on the encryption issue, but we at The Independent Singapore believe that all of us are stronger and safer because end-to-end and full-disk encryption exist.
We believe that if Apple can be compelled to create what would effectively be a master key to unlock this iPhone, then the barrier will be substantially lowered for any government -including the Singapore one – to order any company to turn its products into tools of surveillance—compromising the safety, privacy, and security of citizens.
We therefore, publicly affirm our support for strong encryption and the #SaveCrypto campaign.
Although we will not be a signatory to the #SaveCrypto campaign (as it is addressed primarily to the American President), we stand by the principles and demands of the campaign to reject any law, policy, or mandate that would undermine the security of technologies, and thereby ours.
We publicly affirm that we back the principles and values of the #SaveCrypto campaign, which advocates that the government should not erode the security of our devices or applications, pressure companies to keep and allow government access to our data, mandate implementation of vulnerabilities or backdoors into products, or have disproportionate access to the keys to private data.
Weakening encryption weakens the entire Internet. We hope that the American President, Barack Obama would unequivocally endorse strong encryption, and in doing, encourage other world leaders to do the same.Follow us on Social Media
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