Freedom and privacy go hand in hand, especially in a nation of laws.
Your pursuit of happiness is often contingent on the government not being intimately involved with every little thing that you do. Overregulation leads to higher taxes, which leads to a poorer citizenry and fatter cats in Congress. In many ways, the best government intervention is no governments intervention at all. Allow We The People to do as we wish without fear of unwarranted snooping, and you’ll find yourself living in a new golden age of prosperity.
Trust me on that.
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But when the authorities find themselves pining for access to your very personal data and private information, then we have ourselves a major problem. We cannot be free, especially in this new world in which public opinion can make or break you, if your internet search history is available to law enforcement whenever they wish.
Apple, however, seems to feel differently.
Apple is creating a dedicated team to help train law enforcement officials around the world in digital forensics, the company said Tuesday in a letter to Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
The company is also working on an online portal, set to be operational by the end of 2018, where law enforcement officials can submit and track requests for data and obtain responses from Apple. When the portal goes live, police and law enforcement agents will be able to apply for “authentication credentials,” Apple said in the letter.
Apple said in the letter that it’s eager to adopt the report’s recommendations, including making upgrades to its law enforcement training program. This includes developing an online training module for police that mirrors Apple’s current in-person training, according to the letter and to details on the company’s website.
And why is this so worrisome? Let me lay out a hypothetical situation.
Let’s say that our current political climate devolves even further into violence, and we soon find ourselves truly fighting to save our nation. Desperate attempts will be made to classify Americans as docile or hostile in the eyes of law enforcement. In order to make this determination, the powers that be could be allowed access to your smartphone data by Apple. Let’s say they find that you read a number of articles that promote a Constitutional way of life for our citizens, and perhaps they see this as a threat. Maybe they’ll see that you ordered a new holster, or some shooting range eye protection while snooping through your phone. Do you think they are going to classify you as docile?
Our smartphones have become our interface to the machinations of corporate and political greed, and this river of valuable data is flowing unnaturally upstream to the Silicon Valley fascists.
This is dangerous in ways we have yet to even imagine.