Facebook and Twitter Announce Support for Apple in Backdoor Dispute With FBI

Both Facebook and Twitter today joined the ranks of a growing number of tech companies announcing support for Apple's decision to oppose a government order that would require it to weaken the security of its iOS devices. The FBI is demanding Apple create a version of iOS that would let it crack the passcode on the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, something Apple has called a "dangerous precedent."

iphone5c-header
In a tweet shared this afternoon, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey thanked Tim Cook for his leadership and said the company stands with Apple. In the tweet, Dorsey also links to Cook's strongly worded open letter that calls the FBI's software request "too dangerous to create."


Facebook announced its support through a statement shared with USA Today, which says the company will "fight aggressively" against government requirements to weaken security. Facebook says the FBI's demands "would create a chilling precedent."

"We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services. We also appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe," the statement reads. "When we receive lawful requests from these authorities we comply. However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies' efforts to secure their products."

The dispute between Apple and the FBI centers around the FBI's request for a new version of iOS that would disable certain passcode security features on the shooter's iPhone 5c. The FBI has made three demands of Apple, which are as follows:

1. Eliminate the auto-erase function that wipes an iPhone if the wrong passcode is entered 10 times.
2. Eliminate the delay that locks the FBI out of the iPhone if the wrong passcode is entered too many times in a row.
3. Implement a method that would allow the FBI to electronically enter a passcode using software.

While the government has suggested the software tool will be used to unlock only the device in question, Apple and other technology companies believe that it sets a precedent that could lead to similar unlocking requests in the future or a general demand to weaken overall encryption for electronic devices. Tim Cook has called the FBI's demands an "overreach" by the U.S. government that would "undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect."

The implications of the government's demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone's device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone's microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Apple has gained a number of backers over the course of the last few days. Google CEO Sundar Pichai previously announced support for Apple, calling the FBI's request a "troubling precedent" in a statement released yesterday. Apple also has the support of WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum and several advocacy groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Apple customers have created petitions and are attending rallies held in support of Apple's willingness to fight for privacy protections.

Update: In related news, Apple has received additional time to respond to the court order levied against it earlier this week. The judge who ordered Apple to help the FBI break into the iPhone had given the company 5 days to oppose the order, which has now been extended to February 26. Apple is planning to fight the court order.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Goatllama Avatar
93 months ago
Its hard for me to care about their support on this. They both give out information to the government without hesitation. I
Abducted mid-post!!! :eek:
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
logicstudiouser Avatar
93 months ago
Sad that private companies are more conscious of our rights than our own government.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiiDSmoker Avatar
93 months ago
Awesome. **** the US government for trying to spy even more on their own citizens. We would be in uproar if this was China asking for this.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Porco Avatar
93 months ago
Today it is the data on our smartphones.

Tomorrow it is the thoughts in our brains.

The principle of a right to privacy is an important one that will one day affect everyone unavoidably if technology continues to advance. Better to fight for the principle of privacy now, when it's about smartphones, rather than later, when it's about our brains.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Trik Avatar
93 months ago
It should be noted that if the San Bernardino Department of Public Health had been using some sort of Mobile Device Management for the phones that they owned, this could have all been avoided.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paradox00 Avatar
93 months ago
And the terrorist win once more thank you REPUNDANTS!
The terrorists win when you're so scared that you willingly give up your rights and your privacy in exchange for promises of protection against them. Terror, it's in the name, don't bow to it. Frankly, weakening phone security won't stop terrorism, it would just change the tools they use to communicate.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Apple Announces WWDC 2023 Event Taking Place June 5 to 9

Wednesday March 29, 2023 9:58 am PDT by
Apple today announced that its 34th annual Worldwide Developers Conference will take place from Monday, June 5 to Friday, June 9. Like WWDC 2020, 2021, and 2022, WWDC 2023 will be an online event for the most part, and it will be open to all developers at no cost. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple will provide online sessions and labs, which will allow...
iPhone 15 Pro Buttons CAD Leak

iPhone 15 Pro Low-Energy Chip to Allow Solid-State Buttons to Work When Device is Off or Out of Battery

Wednesday March 29, 2023 1:54 am PDT by
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will use a new ultra-low energy microprocessor allowing certain features like the new capacitive solid-state buttons to remain functional even when the handset is powered off or the battery has run out, according to a source that shared details on the MacRumors forums. CAD-based render of new solid-state buttons on iPhone 15 Pro models The source of this rumor is ...
CarPlay Phone Call

General Motors to Phase Out Apple CarPlay Starting This Year in EV Transition

Friday March 31, 2023 8:43 am PDT by
General Motors (GM) will phase out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in its vehicles starting this year, shifting to a built-in infotainment system co-developed with Google (via Reuters). GM owns Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC in the United States. It will stop offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto starting with the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer, which goes on sale this summer. The company plans ...
iPhone 15 Pro Multi Purpose button Mute Switch Feature Green 2

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Feature Multi-Use Action Button Instead of Mute Switch

Wednesday March 29, 2023 7:28 am PDT by
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models are rumored to feature a customizable Action button like the Apple Watch Ultra, according to a MacRumors forum member who leaked accurate details about the Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro models last year. The source claimed the Action button will replace the Ring/Silent switch that has been included on every iPhone model since 2007. They did not...
iOS 16

iOS 16.4 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 8 New Features

Friday March 31, 2023 8:55 am PDT by
Following six weeks of beta testing, iOS 16.4 was released to the public this week. The software update includes a handful of new features and changes for the iPhone 8 and newer. To install an iOS update, open the Settings app on the iPhone, tap General → Software Update, and follow the on-screen instructions. Below, we have recapped eight new features and changes added with iOS 16.4,...
iOS 17 on Phone Feature

Three New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Following Apple Music Classical

Thursday March 30, 2023 7:13 am PDT by
With the Apple Music Classical app and an Apple Pay Later early access program now available, the list of previously-announced iOS features that have yet to launch is beginning to shrink. However, there are still a few features we are waiting for. Below, we have recapped three more iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, including an Apple Card savings account for Daily Cash,...
apple mixed reality headset concept by david lewis and marcus kane

Kuo: Apple Mixed-Reality Headset May Not Appear at WWDC as Mass Production Pushed Back Yet Again

Thursday March 30, 2023 4:50 am PDT by
Apple has again pushed back mass production of its mixed-reality headset and the device may not appear at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today said. Apple headset concept by David Lewis and Marcus Kane In a tweet, Kuo explained that Apple "isn't very optimistic" about whether the headset will be able to create an "iPhone moment." As a result,...