Facebook and Twitter just stepped in to support Apple in the phone encryption battle with the FBI. Both the companies agree that encryption of user’s data is a dangerous attempt by the government, and they “stand with Apple” and will “aggressively fight” attempts to weaken encryption.
Cupertino-based US technology giant Apple is facing a bitter legal battle with the FBI, which asked the company to create software that can encrypt information on an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers.
Earlier this week, a federal magistrate ordered Apple to help the FBI to unlock the iPhone by creating a new version of the iPhone operating system and decrypting the message stored on the phone.
Apple declined to hack its system despite repeated requests from the agency – which might compromise users’ privacy in the future.
Under these circumstances, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, wrote an open letter on Thursday that was hailed by the other technology companies in Silicon Valley.
“The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.”
On Wednesday on Twitter, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, the biggest rival of Apple, made a public statement through a series of tweets supporting Apple over the legal battle. He also raised a question and asked if this “important issue” should be publicly discussed.
Tim Cook, in his letter, raised concern that this repeated effort from the government to force technology companies to share information could lead breach of user privacy.
“While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”
Apple generally uses its encryption technology to hide information and protect customers’ personal data. The industry lawyers also raised their concern that this will weaken digital security and create a loophole for cybercriminals.