The FBI and the Naval Base officers in Pensacola, Florida, have been investigating the shooting, which took place in December of last year. For any law enforcement official, it is a challenging experience to carry any investigation. That challenge becomes a nightmare when those who can assist in the investigations refuse to do so. Apple is one of those companies that could help close a case and prevent those like this case and worse from continuing.
It makes the job that much more difficult and leaves the case open even longer than it should have to be. In some cases, such as these, it leaves many unanswered questions to help authorities stop these types of crimes from happening again.
The FBI took the shooter’s iPhone from the scene of the crime at the Pensacola, Florida Naval base, and wanted to have the shooter’s two iPhones unlocked to reveal its contents. The contents within the phone would help the authorities gather more information as to why the shooting happened. If the authorities know why they may be able to stop another shooting from occurring within a military base.
When word got back to President Trump, he was furious and let out his frustrations on Twitter. He posted, “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!”
At the beginning of the week, Attorney General William Barr looked into the situation. He said Apple did not provide “substantive assistance” to the FBI “in unlocking the alleged shooter’s two iPhones.”
Apple released a statement Monday and said they gave a substantial amount of information to the FBI, which would help them in their investigations. They noted they would not come up with special software or a “backdoor” to grant the law enforcement agency more access to the phones.
Apple said late Monday, “We reject the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation. Our responses to their many requests since the attack have been timely, thorough, and are ongoing.” They also claim they gave “iCloud backups, account information and transactional data for multiple accounts.” But still refused to unlock the “password locked” phones.
There was a concern with legal issues on the invasion of privacy for similar cases. When a suspect is in custody or killed in a terror attack, they become a prisoner. When a person becomes a prisoner after committing a crime or an act of terror, they lose their freedom. In this sense, they should also lose all of their rights to privacy.
It is understandable if Apple decided to bid the request of the FBI, they would open a window to allowing those privacy laws to be violated. In a situation like this, everyone feels they should oblige. Whether in the act of kindness or wanting to do the right thing, Apple would be doing a public service. They obviously want to “obstruct justice.”
In the act of fairness, as President Trump mentioned in his tweet, he did help Apple like many other businesses on “TRADE.”
Cook worked for many years to have a friendly relationship with the president. Even though they were friends, Apple would have been caught up in the trade war with China. Since the products are made in China, the company would have felt the blow from tariffs.
When the agreements were made between America and China to end the trade war, President Trump called the new trade deal, “phase one.” Apple dodged a bullet when the two countries were able to work out a deal to avoid those tariffs. In doing so, Trump helped out Apple and many other companies that have products made in China. One hand should wash the other. It is a disgrace the well-known company will not help.
Apple released its latest statement saying, “We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys. Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations. We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.”