It's been quite a couple of weeks for Apple and the FBI. We learned last week of Apple CEO Tim Cook's thoughts after the FBI requested the company's help to break into a San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5c: "Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data." Without delay, Google's Sundar Pichai backed-up those sentiments as well.
Of course, being such a high-profile case, there just has to be a couple of oddities worth chuckling about, and there's no exception here. We're not sure which is more laughable - Donald Trump calling for a boycott of Apple while using an iPhone (and a Samsung galaxy on occasion), or the supposed ineptitude of the FBI agents that assisted in resetting the shooter's password and made Apple's job even tougher.
Throughout all of this, Apple has been heralded as some sort of hero for standing up against the big bad FBI, but the aptly-named Counterpunch has other ideas.
It's being argued that while Apple claims there's no back door to its devices, there actually is one of sorts, by way of auto-updaters. This might seem like a minor point, and one that someone who's grasping at straws might use, but lest we forget that malware leaked into the official Apple App Store last fall. With the FBI's massive budget, can we really assume that it couldn't get access to our phones the same way these malicious users did? If not the FBI, surely the NSA?
Giving more credence to this idea is the fact that a leaked memo this past fall from the White House shows an eerie proposal involving "provider-enabled remote access to encrypted devices through current update procedures."
It could be that right now neither the NSA nor the FBI have access to iPhones but can we really feel completely secure when such agencies have enormous budgets dedicated entirely to circumventing security?