Apple Should Not Hack The iPhone, Really Good Reasons

iphone hacking

As the war of words wages, and slow-motion litigation is used for promotion and commotion,  we wanted to weigh with our perspectives from a consumer and retail stance.  Let’s just start by saying its a bad idea to force Apple to build a backdoor into hundreds of millions of iPhones.

First, since the NSA already logs all calls of everyone in the United States pre-emptively, the government has a record of all the phone calls and text messages coming and going in and out of that phone.  If there was something there – presumably the NSA or FBI would already have run down those leads.

Second,  it’s not just opening one phone – once that code is written,  hundreds of millions of iPhones can be hacked – that is something we really don’t want the government – ours or others – to be able to do.  And once the backdoor exists, every government on the planet is going to cogitate reasons why it has a “legal need” to get a copy of that backdoor.   Every district attorney in the United States will be lining up for the same thing.  This is like opening Pandora’s box.  Heck, whatever Pandora kept in her box would likely have been just as precious as what we keep on our iPhones.  Financial account access is just the tip of the iceberg.

Third,  the government has not been very good about keeping things secret.  Over twenty million personnel files of government employees have been stolen.  That includes social security numbers, phone numbers, family member information and much more.  If our government can’t keep that kind of data secret, it surely cannot keep anything else a secret.

Fourth, the IRS is constantly being scammed into sending out bogus tax refunds.  This is going on even now.   It’s clear that our government doesn’t have the smarts and capabilities yet to protect any kind of data for the long haul.
From a retailer’s perspective, mobile shopping and ordering apps are growing by leaps and bounds. These are the wave of the future and these apps are how many consumers prefer to buy.  Business keeps America on payroll.   It doesn’t pay to mess with the retail market or our economy.
Jeremy Gumbley, CTO/CSO of Creditcall who has 20+ years of technical and security experience in the payments space,  shared some thoughts on this matter.

“Backdoors don’t differentiate among the government, terrorists, state sponsored cyber criminals or organized crime.

Obama’s recent rhetoric at SXSW was a crowd pleaser, but to the wrong crowd. The President’s stance on the Apple/FBI saga completely missed the mark among the tech-savvy attendees at the conference, and this represents the bigger challenge at hand – regarding how politicians and the general public don’t understand the technical intricacies of the privacy vs protection issue nor the repercussions around creating any backdoor access to data.

The concept can be likened to TSA approved locks which are approved because the TSA have the special key to open them but now as a result so does any criminal or casual bag thief.

Giving the master key to government officials poses a greater risk to the people’s freedom, as once an access point is created, this can be exploited by other governments (think corporate espionage for economic gain), blue chip criminals looking to grow their black hat hacking careers, or terrorists. Creating a backdoor to access data in order to ‘protect the people’ is very likely to backfire in ways that we probably cannot imagine.

When we think of our mobile devices as an extension of our own minds, filled with personal and private information, such as photos and messages to friends and family, why would we want to hand this over to anyone other than the intended recipients? Backdoors open this up to not only the government but also anyone else with potentially more nefarious intentions.”

No doubt, that in a few years hackers will be able to penetrate current technology.  Clicking on the image above will show a poignant video from Last Week Tonight, with John Oliver offering a dozen more reasons why a back-door technology into the iPhone is a very bad concept, not the least of it is a clip of a device for sale on eBay that can break into to old iPhone technology.
The bottom line is that, unfortunately, our government cannot maintain the secrecy of confidential data. Over and over again it continues to suffer breaches.  With a half a million subcontractors like Edward Snowden having access to top secret files, as well as millions of official government employees with security clearances having access,  there’s no telling where or when confidential data will be leaked.
Tens of millions of confidential documents have been stolen from government servers in the last five years.  Until our government can go for a full decade without losing gobs of confidential data to hacking, spoofing, internal abuse and error –  let’s keep the lid shut on both Pandora’s box and Apple’s iPhone.  No one in their right mind would give a drug addict the key to a pharmacy.  Similarly, the US government needs to stop losing millions of top-secret documents before we give it access to more.

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