Rational arguments — not cheerleading — is what’s going to protect the integrity of our pocket-sized computers.
It’s still not just about Apple. And it’s still not just about the iPhone. And it’s infinitely more important than hashtags and T-shirts. Apple’s opposition to the FBI’s demand that it create an alternative operating system that would aid in the unlocking of a smartphone connected to the San Bernardino terrorist attack may well be the most important legal fight since the development of the smartphone.
Because it’s not just about Apple. And it’s not just about the iPhone. It’s about all our phones, and all the operating systems that run them — and all of our data contained therein.
The introduction of Apple’s Motion to Dismiss, signed by seven lawyers on behalf of Apple, shows that Apple understands this pretty clearly.
This is not a case about one isolated iPhone. Rather, this case is about the Department of Justice and the FBI seeking through the courts a dangerous power that Congress and the American people have withheld: the ability to force companies like Apple to undermine the basic security and privacy interests of hundreds of millions of individuals around the globe.
“Not a case about one isolated iPhone.” … “The ability to force companies like Apple.” …
It’s about all the companies. And all our phones.
And that’s where reducing precedent-setting cases like this (and there’s virtually no way this doesn’t set some sort of legal precedent) to slogans and battle cries does little good. And #StandWithApple in particular ignores the argument — that the government can not and should not compel a private company to make a product that safeguards our digital lives less safe — and makes it a with-us-or-against-us popularity contest. There’s no place in a courtroom for fanboyism. A judge isn’t going to be swayed by a hashtag or a T-shirt or