Pew survey: More than half of Americans think Apple should comply with FBI

“As the standoff between the Department of Justice and Apple Inc. continues over an iPhone used by one of the suspects in the San Bernardino terrorist attacks, 51% say Apple should unlock the iPhone to assist the ongoing FBI investigation,” Pew Research Center reports. “Fewer Americans (38%) say Apple should not unlock the phone to ensure the security of its other users’ information; 11% do not offer an opinion on the question.”

“News about a federal court ordering Apple to unlock the suspect’s iPhone has registered widely with the public,” Pew reports. “75% say they have heard either a lot (39%) or a little (36%) about the situation.”

“The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 18-21 among 1,002 adults, finds that almost identical shares of Republicans (56%) and Democrats (55%) say that Apple should unlock the San Bernardino suspect’s iPhone to aid the FBI’s ongoing investigation,” Pew reports. “By contrast, independents are divided: 45% say Apple should unlock the iPhone, while about as many (42%) say they should not unlock the phone to ensure the security of their other users’ information.”

Pew research survey: Apple vs. DOJ iPhone dispute“However, independents who lean toward the Republican and Democratic parties – unlike those who identify as partisans – hold very different views. By a 58%-32% margin, independents who lean Republican say that Apple should unlock the iPhone,” Pew reports. “By contrast, 55% of Democratic leaners say Apple should not unlock the iPhone, while 34% say that they should.”

“Across age groups, adults ages 18-29 are divided over what Apple should do: 47% say the company should unlock the iPhone, while about as many (43%) say it should not unlock the phone to ensure the privacy of its other users,” Pew reports. “Among adults age 30 and older, somewhat more say Apple should unlock rather than not unlock the San Bernardino suspect’s iPhone. By a 54%-27% margin, those 65 and older think Apple should unlock the phone; 18% do not offer a view.”

“There are only modest differences in views across levels of educational attainment over whether Apple should unlock the iPhone,” Pew reports. “Those who have heard a lot about the dispute (39% of the public) hold similar views as those who have heard less about it. About half of both groups say Apple should unlock the iPhone to aid the ongoing FBI investigation, while somewhat fewer say they should not unlock the phone to ensure the security of other users’ information.”

“Smartphone owners are more likely than those who do not own a smartphone to say Apple should not unlock the San Bernardino iPhone,” Pew reports. “Half of those who own a smartphone (50%) say Apple should unlock the iPhone, compared with 41% who say they should not unlock the phone. Among those who do not own a smartphone, 52% say Apple should unlock the San Bernardino iPhone, compared with just 33% who say Apple should not do this.”

“Among those who personally own an iPhone, views are about evenly divided: 47% say Apple should comply with the FBI demand to unlock the phone, while 43% say they should not do this out of concern it could compromise the security of other users’ information,” Pew reports. “Among those who own a model of smartphone other than the iPhone, 53% say Apple should unlock the phone, compared with 38% who say they should not.”

Methodology here.

MacDailyNews Take: The left side of the bell curve coupled with a handful of the poorly educated (those who failed basic American history, if they ever took it at all) = 51%.

What’s left of the right side of the bell curve is in the minority. Hence the state of the country today.

God help us all.

Idiocracy wasn’t just a movie, it was a prophesy NSFW (Language):

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg backs Apple versus U.S. government in iPhone security dispute – February 22, 2016
Tim Cook’s memo to Apple employees: ‘This case is about more than a single phone’ – February 22, 2016
Snowden: FBI could hack San Bernardino iPhone without Apple’s involvement – February 22, 2016
Why did the FBI direct the San Bernardino Health Department to reset Syed Farook’s Apple ID? – February 22, 2016
Apple posts open letter: ‘Answers to your questions about Apple and security’ – February 22, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple is still fighting Big Brother – February 19, 2016
Apple: Terrorist’s Apple ID password changed in government custody, blocking access – February 19, 2016


    1. So following this survey, it is clear that public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of law enforcement which is quite reassuring!

      My preference will always be providing regulated access to law enforcement over unregulated, total control of private corporations (i.e. Big Data).

      1. You don’t understand the issue or the technology. This is no longer about compliance, it is about ability. Apple attempted to help the FBI but law enforcement changed the password to the account making the information irretrievable.

        As for the “back door”, let’s make everyone make everyone less secure. Sounds pretty stupid when you say it like that, doesn’t it?

        Your reassurance is also a bit premature because only 10% of Americans believe the government is responsible enough to have control or access to one’s data.

        P.S. Big Data is a buzzword and even then, you used it incorrectly.

    2. That half are Android phone users that didn’t care that they were being hacked when they got a cheaper crap phone. We bought the iPhone to keep our information safe.

      1. I don’t know enough about statistics, but I do remember from other surveys that what seems to lay people be abysmally small sample sizes are in fact statistically valid.

        1. but, but, but those pollsteez (the ones who are polled by the pollsters) were the only ones that answer a land line or shop at *enter chain store here*

          wait until the kids wake up and vote!
          (oh yeah, happened four years ago and then again, eight years ago too !-)

        2. Sure, the stats are valid. But, you have to look at it contextually. Does that population sample make sense when, according to the latest numbers from the Department of Labor, there are over 310,000,000 people in the U.S. Now, compare that 1002 with the 310,000,000. Is that 1002 a good representation of the 310,000,000. I would argue no, as most people here have argued here. It’s statistically insignificant when you look at it contextually.

      1. I called both of thier headquarters and asked where they stood on the issue….crickets….

        Do the same…oh, Sanders office dosen’t accept phone calls only emails…

      1. No scandal here worm, many republicans use persobal email including Colin Powel.

        Youre just scared she’ll win, ehich is so easy with the brain dead Repulicans that she’s up against.
        And thats the best you dogs can produce??? Ha.

  1. Yeah, and over 97.84% of Americans don’t know a damn thing about our country, our history and 82.9% don’t know who their local governor is, either… so, polls are as stupid as the people they are polling. Also, 99.993% of statistics quoted are made up on the spot, but the ironic thing is they’re pretty accurate.

  2. Hardy a shocker. Every year, hundreds of political science undergraduates do a field research project by setting up a table at a shopping mall and soliciting the passersby to sign a petition calling for the repeal of the Bill of Rights (they just give the wording of the amendments, not the title). Every year, hundreds of people denounce the First Amendment, among other things. It is hard to get people excited about freedom when the incursion only seems to affect other people.

    As Pastor Martin Niemuller said,

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    1. NO!!!
      He’s “winning” in the Republican race, but when that “win” is with only 30%… Once those against him unite behind one candidate against him, he’ll fail. Finally. And there is NO WAY he would beat any of the Democrat options, even crazy Bernie.
      It IS scary, though, that over half elected Obama. Twice. SMH

      1. I’m not so sure. George Bush supposedly had an IQ of 92 and was pitched as the conservative Christian that you could have a beer with. He won two Presidential elections.

        Flash forward to today and Donald Trump is getting the majority of the vote from the non college educated Repulican constituency. 60% of adults in the US do not have a bachelors degree or more. Trump and Sanders use fear and intimidation to convince people to vote for them. This tactic is especially useful against the unlearned and the elderly.

  3. It would be very interesting to see the exact questions asked, and in what order.
    It is very easy to skew such polls especially with such a small sample size simply by the phrasing of the questions in a way to get the answers you want.

    What is the margin of error? If it is +/- 5% or more, which is very possible, then the stated results are meaningless as the “over half” could easily be “less than half”.

      1. You should read the article before exposing your ignorance (a popular pastime of yours, we know). Had you bothered to look, you would have read:

        “Pew Research Center is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder.”

    1. I wouldn’t give a lot of weight to this poll. Nothing against the people at Pew, I just think this is a difficult topic for polling. Most people don’t know a lot about the technical details of this case or encryption in general. Depending on how the question is asked the answer could be quite different. On top of that the San Bernardino incident is still fresh in our minds. Give it another six months and the answer could change.

  4. Calling half of the population (equally split between left and right) stupid is a weak position MDN. If you weren’t so focused on tech you might realize that polls and media coverage are very powerful tools in shaping public opinion, not objectively reporting it. If they made the question “do you think Apple should aid the FBI to unlock the phone even though it will weaken the privacy of tens of millions of Americans and lead to invasive government violations of our rights” the results would be different.

  5. NPR reported this morning that Apple has previously complied with the Federal government to hack into iPhones of at least 70 individuals. Apparently, Apple and Tim Cook just found religion regarding individual liberties, privacy, and security. I guess we should all feel better than Apple has seen the light, but I wonder if Apple will be apologizing for its sins of the past.

  6. Perfectly fitting for capitalism, half the people living in utter ignorence, ready to take on whatever shitty job you can throw at them at the same time competing for ever lower wages and if exercising the possibility of voting just supporting the boldest and biggest lier. The rest of the world shudders…

  7. WTF, MDN, does the truth mean NOTHING to you?

    Any objective reading of this poll indicates that the real idiots are conservative Republicans, but you just ignore the data and blame it on moderate/liberal Democrats and independents. By significant margins, it is Republicans who want to force Apple to create a backdoor into the subject iPhone. The Republican-leaning independents are the worst, followed closely by Republicans in general. Democrat-leaning independents are the best – in fact, they are the ONLY group that opposes the government order.

    But, MDN, you just keep on making stuff up…

    1. WTF, Ralph M, does the truth mean NOTHING to you?

      NOWHERE above does MDN “ignore the data and blame it on moderate/liberal Democrats and independents.”

      But, Ralph M, you just keep on making stuff up…

  8. And people read fiction such as “1984” and laugh at the very thought. This could never happen here they say. When you give away your privacy to your government…ultimately these powers will be abused!

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