Telecom in the News: The Apple Encryption Battle

If you’ve had your eye on the news lately, or maybe even just if you’ve been scrolling through Facebook, you’ve probably seen at least one headline about Apple’s battle with the FBI about iPhone encryption surrounding the San Bernardino shooting in December. We’d like to take this blog post to offer a brief summary of the situation and how it impacts the outlook of telecommunications and technology privacy in the future.

A Brief Summary

The FBI has been battling with tech companies for a while now over encryption and technology privacy. When the San Bernardino shooting suspect’s iPhone was recovered, the information was locked inside with a passcode. Last Tuesday, the FBI formally requested that Apple write a custom version of iOS built to override many security features of the iPhone, giving the FBI a “backdoor” into the data on the phone. The following day, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an open letter condemning this request as a threat on the privacy of its customers, explaining that once the technology to override Apple encryption exists, it can be used over and over, and not just in this one instance. Here is an article from Vox that goes into much deeper detail if you have the time and curiosity to learn more.

What It Means for Telecom

Technology privacy is a very hot-button issue in the world of telecommunications. This case is simply the most current and highest profile battle in a much longer and more drawn out attempt from the FBI and other security agencies like the NSA to gain backdoor access to our personal pieces of tech. As the battle continues on, telecom experts should be aware of the privacy issues, what may or may not be changing, and how that affects our customers.

We’ll leave it up to you to formulate your own opinions on the issue. Do you think Tim Cook should let the FBI into the San Bernardino suspect’s iPhone, or do you think he’s got a point in projecting the long-term security of Apple products if he were to follow through with the FBI’s order? Let us know on social media (linked below) or in the comment section of this post! We’d love to hear from you.

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