Apple Vs. FBI battle over mobile encryption case is getting interesting. If the unthinkable happens, we have brave Apple engineers ready to act!
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is boldly warning Apple that it might compel the company to hand over the source code of its full iOS operating system along with the private electronic signature needed to run a modified iOS version on an iPhone.
The source code!? The DOJ proves with this very request that they should stay within their scope of work. The idea that handing them the source code won’t open up a cyber security free for all is such a naive request that it should be enough to stop this whole disagreement.
This warning is If Apple does not help the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) unlock iPhone 5C belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is evident on his part, saying that the FBI wants the company to effectively create the “software equivalent of cancer” that would likely open up all iPhones to malicious hackers.
Apple engineers who actually develop the iPhone encryption technology could refuse to help the law enforcement break security measures on iPhone, even if Apple as a company decides to cooperate with the FBI.
Reports of Apple Employees being ready to Quit their Jobs.
The New York Times report claims that around a dozen of the engineers may refuse the work or even “quit their jobs” if a court order compels them to create a backdoor for the very software they once worked to secure.
“Apple employees are already discussing what they will do if ordered to help law enforcement authorities,” reads the report. “Some say they may balk at the work, while others may even quit their high-paying jobs rather than undermine the security of the software they have already created.”
Apple previously said that building a new backdoored version of iOS to satisfy the FBI’s demand would require up to a month of work and a team of 6-10 engineers, naturally Apple’s top software engineers.
Apple employees said they already have “a good idea who those employees would be.” They include:
A former aerospace engineer who developed software for the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.
A senior quality-assurance engineer who is an expert “bug catcher” with experience in testing Apple products.
An employee specializes in security architecture for the operating systems powering Apple products including iPhone, Mac and Apple TV.
The FBI wants Apple assistant to help the authorities bypass security mechanisms on the San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone 5C so that they can extract data from the phone.
Given that the San Bernardino case is currently working its way through the courts and that no one is prepared to stand down, the possibility that Apple might have to comply with the orders is probably years away. Which makes this an even harder battle for Apple as the public opinion could change in the upcoming years.
Let’s all hope that the public will remember what this could mean if the government can get into any iPhone at will. GPS, Apple Pay, passwords, cameras, website history, location rituals, etc are all on your phone, and your phone is usually on you.