FBI says that Apple must help them, because nobody else can do it, to unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter. The complete story is quite more complex than this one-sentence summary, but there is **one part of it that, as far as I can see has received almost zero *attention so far ():
if the only entity in a given country who can actually monitor someone’s “private data and conversations” is ONE corporation, then who actually holds police power in that country, and is actually ruling it, is that corporation, not the official government.
This doesn’t automatically mean that Apple is wrong and FBI is right. It simply means that people should be much, much more aware that, when they all merrily use, on a daily basis, secret software and hardware only controllable by a few private corporations, they are granting huge power to those corporations.
This was already happening with copyright, as I wrote almost ten years ago:
“Once a personal diary, a contract or a business report have been saved inside a computer in a format which can only be read by one software program, never mind copyright! That document belongs to the developer or company who developed that program.”
now is happening with all kinds of communications, that is a non-negligible component of democracy and society. Isn’t it time to pay these issues much more attention?
(*) The only exceptions I’ve seen so far are Edward Snowden on Twitter, Bruno Saetta here (Italian) and Aral Balkan: “how bad is our democracy that we need a corporation to fight for our civil rights?” is the other side of the same coin shown here. If you know more mentions, please link them in the comments
Screenshot source: Apple VS FBI - Is Brute Forcing iOS 9 Passcode Possible?