Binary Battle


The digital universe is all about pushing buttons. On, off, on, off,on, on, on, off, the binary code. If only one person in the world knows the secret code and won’t give it up, that person has too much power. There must always be someone bigger to keep power in check. The government has to be bigger than Apple, or any company when it comes to national security. And who, you might ask, is bigger than the government? We the peeps.

If Apple prevails in this case, it will be the go-to device, if it isn’t already, for all the terrorists living under the rocks in America. This from the New York Times: “The key question here is how far can the government go in forcing a third party to aid in surveillance?” said Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union.

New York Times commenter HJ of Albany, NY makes this reasonable argument: “This has become a rather unseemly dispute that calls for the finding of a middle ground. Yes, the federal government given the tools may well overreach in the name of public safety and their (sic) is a fair concern over that. To the extent the government wants to be handed the keys to unlock any iPhone at any time, Apple is right to oppose that.

However, Apple and much of the tech community goes too far is saying the government never should have access to the information on an iPhone. There are fair national security cases or criminal cases that warrant access on a case by case basis. To reject this in the name of absolute privacy is to enable the criminals and terrorists of the world. Would Apple really argue that privacy interests override access if there is a fair showing that it would save someone's life? I fail to see the reasoned basis why on a case by case basis Apple cannot under court order unlock a specific phone without giving the key to the government or any other individual or entity. That gives respect to both of the competing interests.”

I don’t know who HJ is, but he or she sounds like a level-headed mediator.

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© BOB ENGLEHART 2018 | All Rights Reserved.

Editorial and political cartoons by Bob Englehart