The FBI & Apple Security vs. Privacy – Ethics Unwrapped

The FBI & Apple Security vs. Privacy

In December 2015, the FBI attained the iPhone of one of the shooters in an ISIS-inspired terrorist fire that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California. As part of the probe, the FBI attempted to gain access to the data stored on the telephone but was unable to penetrate its encoding software. Lawyers for the Obama administration approached Apple for aid with unlocking the device, but negotiations soon broke down. The Justice Department then obtained a court order compelling Apple to help the FBI unlock the telephone. Apple CEO, Timothy Cook, publicly challenged the court in an open letter, sparking an acute argument over the balance between maintaining national security and protecting drug user privacy .
Apple and its supporters, including top technology companies such as Google and Facebook, made the case on several fronts that the court holy order threatened the privacy of all individuals. First, according to Apple, the ordering efficaciously required the company to write code, violating its First Amendment correct to free speech by forcing the company to “ say ” something it did not want to say. previous woo cases had already established computer code as legally protected speech. second, such a back door, once created, could fall into the incorrect hands and threaten the privacy of all iPhone owners. finally, it would set a dangerous case law ; law enforcement could repeatedly require businesses such as Apple to assist in criminal investigations, effectively making technology companies an agentive role of government .
Representatives from both sides of the political aisle offered respective arguments in favor of the Justice Department ’ randomness efforts and against Apple ’ s position. Their central claim was that the U.S. legal system establishes constraints on the government ’ s access to secret information which prevent pervert of search and surveillance powers. At the same time, the jurisprudence still allows authorities to gain access to information that facilitates prevention and prosecution of criminal activities, from terrorism to drug trafficking to child pornography. Critics of Apple besides rejected the slippery slope controversy on the grounds that, if Apple cooperated, it could safeguard the code it created and keep it out of the hands of others, including bad actors such as terrorists or criminal groups. furthermore, Apple was accused of being excessively interest in protecting its brand, and even unpatriotic for refusing to comply with the court order .
ultimately, the FBI dropped the case because it was able to circumvent the encoding on the iPhone without Apple ’ mho serve.

Discussion Questions

1. What harms are potentially produced by the FBI ’ s demand that Apple help oneself it open an iPhone ? What harms are potentially produced by Apple ’ s refusal to help the FBI ?
2. Do you think Apple had a moral debt instrument to help the FBI open the iPhone in this lawsuit because it involved terrorism and a aggregate blast ? What if the case involved a different type of criminal activity rather, such as drug traffic ? Explain your intelligent .
3. Apple argued that helping to open one iPhone would produce code that could be used to make private information on all iPhones vulnerable, not only to the american government but besides to other foreign governments and criminal elements. Do you agree with Apple ’ s “ slippery slope ” argumentation ? Does avoiding these harms provide adequate justification for Apple ’ s refusal to open the earphone, even if it could reveal crucial information on the terrorist shooting ?
4. Politicians from across the political spectrum, including President Obama and Senator Ted Cruz, argued that engineering preventing government access to information should not exist. Do you agree with this limit on personal privacy ? Why or why not ?
5. ultimately, the FBI gained access to the iPhone in question without the avail of Apple. Does this development change your appraisal of the ethical dimensions of Apple ’ s refusal to help the FBI ? Why or why not ? Should the FBI share information on how it opened the iPhone with Apple so that it can patch the vulnerability ? Explain your reasoning.

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Referred to as the slippery slope, incrementalism describes how we unconsciously lower our ethical standards over time through small changes in behavior. Referred to as the slippery gradient, incrementalism describes how we unconsciously lower our ethical standards over fourth dimension through small changes in behavior .


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