To fight U.S. government overreach, Apple ditched secrecy for openness

“Over the past few weeks, as the legal battle between the FBI and Apple unfolded, so did the publicity war,” Julia Greenberg writes for Wired.

“The FBI argued that Apple’s assistance in unlocking the iPhone could help provide justice for the victims of the shooting, by potentially uncovering information about others involved and the events leading up to it. It insisted, at least at first, that it was simply a case of this one phone,” Greenberg writes. “Apple maintained the FBI’s demands not only threatened customers’ privacy and personal security, but also violated the company’s right to free speech. In the press and on social media, people took sides.”

“In late February, a Pew Research Center poll found that the majority of Americans sided with the FBI,” Greenberg writes. “Just a month later, after an outpouring of support for Apple — and the convenient revelation that the FBI could possibly, in fact, open the San Bernadino iPhone without Cupertino’s help – the court case is on hold, and Apple’s reputation as an ardent defender of privacy and security is stronger than ever.”

“How did Apple pull this off, when faced with the federal government’s onslaught and widespread public anxiety about terrorism, stoked in no small part by the San Bernardino shooting? In this case, it went off script,” Greenberg writes. “A company famous for its secrecy, and famous among reporters for stonewalling, opened itself to the media and the public in an unprecedented way to ensure that its side of the story was heard.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That the majority of Americans’ knee-jerk reactions was to side with Big Brother is frightening.

The American education system is, in general, woeful.

Thankfully, supporters of privacy, freedom, and the U.S. Constitution yelled long enough and hard enough for the FBI to magically discover there were other avenues to get into that iPhone in order to view those oh-so-vital photos of cafeteria trays.

FBI says it may have found method to unlock San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone – March 21, 2016
Apple CEO blasts teacher unions, says US schools are ‘unionized in the worst possible way’ – February 16, 2007

MacDailyNews Note: Today is Good Friday. As such, the U.S. financial markets are closed for the day and posting will be less frequent today.


  1. Along with others I was against Apple at first. When the new came out it sounded as if Apple didn’t do anything to help the FBI in a terrorist case. I think that upset a lot of people and is what everyone thought. Then Apple came out and gave their side of the story and then things changed, Apple bent over backwards to help the FBI in the case. The FBI is now asking for software to be created that shouldn’t exist! FBI and Gov. and any supporters are wrong!

  2. Plus I think it was stupid for the FBI…..they just told every terrorist if you want privacy, use an iPhone! But I doubt anything is on the phone to help in anything anyway. If they chatting they probably used third part encrypted communications on top of the iPhone anyway.

  3. No MacDailyNews Take, no, you have been told to hate the government, you have been conditioned, for over 40 years that the government wants to steal your freedom, that’t not the case. You see reds under your bed. I suggest you need a more mature understanding of the law. What’s not in your head is and always has been able to be taken by the courts. You fail that class in high school, or college. You, like so many others, only read the first half of the statement and pretend the rest of the sentence does not exist. 2nd Amendment is a great example.

    Now, every hacker from all over the world has one task, crack the iPhone, and get paid for it. Privacy? Why in the world would you try to sell people on “the government wants apple to write an government OS”. You know, or should know that would not be require to give the FBI the ability to access the encrypted data. The encrypted data can be easily cracked.

    Apple updates the OS all the time and they don’t rewrite the whole OS, come on.

    1. Bob, where have you been for the last month?

      Apple was trying to sell people on “the government wants Apple to write a government OS” because that is precisely what the FBI got a United States Magistrate Judge to order them to do. The order Apple complained of did not just generally ask them to help crack the phone; it quite specifically described the features of a modified operating system that Apple was ordered to write at the government’s behest.

      Also, you may have missed the rather critical detail that the government quite specifically denied that “the encrypted data can be easily cracked.” If that were true, they could not have invoked the All Writs Act to get the court order—the Act requires the necessity for a judge to intervene under exigent circumstances that would otherwise impair the court’s jurisdiction. It cracking the phone were so easy, the FBI would have been obligated to do hire someone to do it themselves… as they now, finally, have decided to do.

  4. Agree with MDN take. Education in America is uneven, to say the least. With a few exceptions K-12 education is poor to middling at best. Contrast that with the university system which runs the gamut from pretty good to world beating centers of excellence. Too many bright young minds are blunted and forgotten in the stew of mediocrity that is K-12. And they never get the chance or the motivation to go on to university – an absolute tragedy. I do not blame the teachers. The problems and causes run much deeper than that.

    We end up with a bifurcated society of the very well educated who will go on to live happy productive lives, and those who missed the education train and will struggle their entire lives just to make ends meet. And they are the majority!

    The country as a whole can limp along this way. The well educated will provide many jobs and create opportunities as best they can. But opportunities granted to the less well educated will be uneven and seem arbitrary and unfair. None of this is good for the long term health of a democratic society, especially as we bear witness to the rise of Donald Trump.

  5. When confronted with superior force (It’s the government, “might makes right” too often.) breaking with past behaviors can be a fairly good stratagem if properly executed. Given the number of amicus briefs filed on Apple’s behalf thus far, I’d hazard that Apple’s legal team will be even better prepared next time. (There will be a next time). How prepared the government will be is unknown (hubis: definition, see DOJ) , their desire to establish an extra-legislative “right” to compel a company to create something that was against their business interests is more than troubling.
    Given the relative ease at which government servers are hacked into by outsiders, that they seek to acquire even more information about the citizens of this nation is foolish and places individuals are risk. The government should seek to hold as little information on the average citizen as possible so that it can focus on protecting the secrets that are important to the security of the nation.
    Gluttony of anything is always ill serving to those who practice it..


    In late February, a Pew Research Center poll found that the majority of Americans sided with the FBI … proving that the majority of Americans are:
    A) Ignorant about Apple technology
    B) Ignorant about their own nation’s Constitution and the citizen rights it provides
    C) Yelling ‘TERRORISM’ into a vacant mind will produce a resounding echo.

    √ Cynicism justified.
    √ It takes a stupid citizenry to create a stupid government.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.