NPR’s David Greene talks to former national security official Richard Clarke about the fight between Apple and the FBI. The FBI wants an iPhone that was used by one of the San Bernardino shooters unlocked.
From the transcript:
RICHARD CLARKE: For nine years, I was the senior counterterrorism official in the U.S. government. And I went to bed every night worrying about terrorist attacks. Had I done enough to stop a terrorist attack that might be out there that I don’t know about? I know what the counterterrorism feels like because I was there. But I also operated within limits. And within the United States government, we’ve decided long ago that there are limits on what we’re going to do in the war against terrorism. Under the Obama administration, for example, we’ve said we’re not going to torture people. You know, we could, at the far extreme to make the FBI’s job easier, put ankle bracelets on everybody so that we’d know where everybody was all the time. That’s a ridiculous example, but my point is encryption and privacy are larger issues than fighting terrorism.
GREENE: But can you just explain why you would compare, you know, a company helping the government design a way to unlock an iPhone to something extreme as torture and ankle bracelets? I mean, that sounds like a very extreme jump.
CLARKE: No, the point I’m trying to make is there are limits. And what this is is a case where the federal government, using a 1789 law, is trying to compel speech. And courts have ruled in the past, appropriately, that the government cannot compel speech. What the FBI and the Justice Department are trying to do is to make code writers at Apple – to make them write code that they do not want to write that will make their systems less secure.
CLARKE: Well, I don’t think it’s a fierce debate. I think the Justice Department and the FBI are on their own here. You know, the secretary of defense has said how important encryption is when asked about this case. The National Security Agency director and three past National Security Agency directors, a former CIA director, a former Homeland Security secretary have all said that they’re much more sympathetic with Apple in this case. You really have to understand that the FBI director is exaggerating the need for this and is trying to build it up as an emotional case, organizing the families of the victims and all of that. And it’s Jim Comey and the attorney general is letting him get away with it.
GREENE: So if you were still inside the government right now as a counterterrorism official, could you have seen yourself being more sympathetic with the FBI in doing everything for you that it can to crack this case?
CLARKE: No, David. If I were in the job now, I would have simply told the FBI to call Fort Meade, the headquarters of the National Security Agency, and NSA would have solved this problem for them. They’re not as interested in solving the problem as they are in getting a legal precedent.
Read more and listen to the full interview here.
MacDailyNews Take: Boom! The more prominent people speaking the truth on Apple’s behalf, the better.
Hopefully, if this country is still working correctly, the only legal precedent set will be plain to the FBI, DOJ et al. that they have no right to demand of anyone what they’re demanding currently.
Adhere to the U.S. Constitution. Oppose government overreach.
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