The FBI said it had no choice but to seek a court order to force Apple to create a backdoor into the iOS platform. But there are some facts of this case that — when seen together — paint a clear picture of the FBI creating and exaggerating the problem it says it can't solve without a backdoor into the iPhone.

 

As the Apple/FBI case heats up, the surveillance hawks continue to insist that backdoors into the encryption that protects smartphones are necessary to address the threat of terrorists and other dangerous criminals “going dark.” But one of the most respected voices in computer security says that “solution” is more dangerous than the problem it proposes to solve.

Representatives of both Apple and the FBI appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Over a period of five and a half hours, the committee heard sworn testimony about the underlying issues in the case of the FBI attempting — via court order — to force Apple to create a backdoor for the iOS platform.

 

 

There is a lot at stake in the case of the FBI demanding that Apple create new software to enable the agency to circumvent the encryption on the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. The FBI argues that the phone may contain information about his terrorist contacts. Privacy advocates and Apple argue that the software the FBI wants is a backdoor and would threaten the privacy — and liberty — of anyone using encryption on any device to protect their data and communications.

Donald Trump has waded into the battle between the Justice Department and Apple over smartphone encryption. The controversial presidential candidate has called for a boycott of “all Apple products until such time as Apple gives cellphone info to authorities.”