Apple has constantly been asking the FBI and the U.S. government for details regarding how they unlocked the iPhone 5C used by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attack. Now Edward Snowden, the well-known former NSA contractor turned whistleblower, said he stands with the iPhone maker in its effort.
Snowden supports Apple plea
Earlier this week at a debate in New York, Snowden explained his perspective in opposition of CNN television show host Fareed Zakaria.
Snowden appeared virtually in the debate via Google Hangouts and said, “One of the points that was raised by Mr. Zakaria earlier was that he said, well, you know, Apple hasn’t really made any response, they haven’t made any stink, in response to this. Now, in fact, they have.”
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Snowden said Apple has challenged the FBI in court to force it to reveal the vulnerability it used to get into the iPhone in order to close it. He said the iPhone maker is doing this to protect the millions of Americans using these kinds of devices. Snowden thinks this is “proper.”
When the case is so exceptional that the FBI has to break the security of the device to get in it, then it merits these kinds of “exceptional circumstances,” said Snowden. The former NSA contractor said the iPhone maker should make sure to close the door behind it so that people, whether working at UNICEF or Starbucks are safe, do not face the same problems later on.
Apple is not selfish
Snowden also pushed back on the notion that it would be solely in the iPhone maker’s interest if the FBI reveals the technique used to unlock the iPhone. Apple is not doing this just for itself, but for the country, and “They’re doing it to help everyone in America who uses those products, who uses those services,” Snowden said.
During the debate it was very evident that the former NSA contractor was against the notion that the government should have lawful access to any encrypted message or device.
Apple lawyers were “researching legal tactics to compel the government to turn over the specifics” of the technique it employed to unlock the iPhone, reported The Los Angeles Times on March 29. The next day, Reuters reported that the iPhone maker, in order to force the government to reveal the information in relation to the New York case, could resort to legal discovery.