Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are about to enter a messy legal affair as the Cupertino tech company has refused to comply with the FBI’s demand to “break the encryption” of their iOS-powered devices.

This issue begun on December 2nd 2015 when a couple shot 14 people in the San Bernardino area of California. FBI personnel managed to recover a locked iPhone which they haven’t been able to crack. As such, they turned to Apple to assist them in cracking said iPhone, which Apple claims they could not do as there is no method to bypass the passcode on a locked iOS 8 powered iPhone.

Needless to say, the FBI weren’t particularly happy with Apple’s response. The authorities have since approached the US magistrate court and the court has ordered Apple to assist the FBI in overcoming the encryptions of iOS 8. In essence, the court, and by extension the FBI, is ordering Apple to create a backdoor for iOS 8.

Apple rebukes FBI's request to create backdoor for iOS 1

With the pressure now on Apple to deliver, Tim Cook has since posted a letter on Apple’s website saying that they will not comply with the demand. Cook states that creating a backdoor to iOS 8 will allow the US government to “intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge”. Apple isn’t alone in the battle between national security and personal privacy as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will be supporting Apple in their fight against the FBI. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has also spoken out in support of Apple’s stance on his own Twitter account.

Apple’s conflict with the FBI is one of many cases where encryption is under the spotlight. Not long ago, a California bill was introduced in order to weaken encryption standards. With the way things are playing out, it is highly likely that the case will be brought to the U.S. Supreme Court, and any decision made by the Supreme Court would affect how encryption and security for smart devices will be handled in the future. 

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Source : EngadgetArs TechnicaAssociated Press

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