U.S. government officials already decry the encryption in iPhone and Android smartphones. Today, following more attacks, that rallying cry grows stronger. Officials say government law enforcement needs to be able to detect and prevent crime. But at what cost?
Reductio Ad Absurdum
Today’s world is full of a dizzying array of technological advances that help to secure our private information from attackers and hackers, whether they be nefarious or government sponsored.
Data on your iPhone is encrypted and without your password (or, in the extreme alternative, your finger) that data is mostly off limits to most authorities and everyone or anyone else.
That includes text messages where the norm is now full on encryption, and law enforcement authorities do not like that advancement, despite the privacy and security it provides to iPhone and Android smartphone users.
Bad guys can use the same encryption to avoid being tracked while they plan their doomsday deeds. Government official and law enforcement authorities argue that by being able to track everyone they can prevent such actions, or more easily find those who commit them.
That’s where the balance tips; less privacy means more security. Maybe. As yet, there’s no real proof of that, but the logic is obvious. Here’s a problem I have. Who monitors the monitors? It’s not as if government officials and members of the law enforcement community have a stellar record caring for the needs of those not engaged in the planning or executive of various and sundry despicable acts.
Where does it end?
What if technology existed that could read a person’s mind. Using mind-reading technology could prevent crimes before they happen, while they’re being plotted. Minority Report and pre-crime detection come to mind. Is it a crime to plot a crime in one’s mind? We may have freedom of speech but do we have freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, freedom of communication?
Yes, this may be a bit of reductio ad absurdum, but I want more privacy and more personal security; not less. If Apple can find a way to keep what I know, think, do, write, and view away from anyone, all the better.