San Bernadino was just the tip of the iceberg.
So, big surprise (not,) it turns out the FBI can
unlock iPhones without much fuss. So what were they whining about this whole time?
Personally, my gut tells me the San Bernardino case was being used to leverage public opinion against Apple and other tech giants in an effort to gain unfettered access to all electronics and pry open alleged online privacy standards, and the ACLU has backed up that hunch with hard facts.
63 cell phone privacy cases, and counting
According to the ACLU
, what's really going on here has to do with the All Writs Act of 1789
, which empowers the courts to issue any written orders needed to enforce laws and decisions in other jurisdictions.
The ACLU goes on to explain that the All Writs Act has been used successfully since 2008 to force tech companies to unlock their customer's devices. To show this, they've created an interactive map
detailing upwards of 63 pending cases around the country seeking the same authority.
Privacy? We don't need no stinking privacy!
Personally, I don't believe we have any standards of reasonably expected privacy in this new tech era. If it's online, or on a device, then the FBI, CIA, NSA and that mythic self-aware super computer Hollywood dreamt up already has access to it.
Is there really any fool left out there who thinks our private lives are actually private?
If so, I have some snake oil you might be interested in.
What happened with Farook's iPhone in the San Bernardino case was nothing more than theater. The FBI can already access whatever they want, they just want more latitude to do it, because holding all the cards isn't enough. They want the joker, the box, the plastic wrap, the receipt and the credit card used to make the purchase.
Oh say can you seeeeee.....
I don't believe in the FBI's long reach because I'm a conspiracy theorist, but because I'm a proud patriot who believes in the greatness of this country, and I believe wholeheartedly, that our government is capable of all kinds of things that we can barely fathom.
And I'm (mostly) good with that, provided they follow Spider-Man's cardinal law:
With great power comes great responsibility
We severed ties with England to get out from under a corrupt monarchy's thumb, and as a nation, it's left us feeling very suspicious of our government's intentions. We want the right to bear arms, speek freely, and live as we choose. But is it all a facade?
"I've got nothing to hide"
It's a popular sentiment from law abiding citizens, but just because we have nothing to hide, it doesn't mean we should be an open book and invite prying eyes just because someone with a badge is asking.
Conservatives scoff at the ACLU as being liberal extremists, but the ACLU is an acronym for the American Civil Liberties Union, and they're looking out for all of us, not just liberals.
What's Next: Freedom is unmasked for the illusion it is
Like it or not, we're not as free as we like to believe, and the iPhone case proves that yet again. Each act of terrorism inches us closer and closer to voluntarily relinquishing our right to privacy, and as that precious freedom continues to bleed off, the facade becomes harder to uphold.
It's not so much a question of "what's next" as it's an undeniable fact of "what is" and history repeating itself yet again.
What's your take?
Are you okay with giving up your civil liberties for the mirage of safety? Do you believe we're all being watched?
Is that traitor Edward Snowden stuck in Russia because Priceline ain't got no flights out?
Where is this all headed and is it already too late to stop the flood gates? Post your thoughts in the comments below.
featured images: (c) Statue of Liberty, SugarMaiden, (c) iPhone Lens Dial Case, (c) Stefanoka, FBI Seal