While he is right on some things, Donald Trump is wrong to condemn Apple for their unwillingness “to help” the FBI.
I can’t help but believe that part of Donald Trump’s appeal is similar to the attraction most American males feel toward football or action movies. Basically, men want to sit on the couch, eat chips, drink beer, and outsource the manliness and heroism that is rightfully theirs by rooting for a professional athlete or a fictional superhero. I think something similar is going on when Donald Trump says, “We should force them to do it. We should do whatever we have to do.”
There is no “we.”
What Trump means is that government agents who make their living from the earnings of taxpayers should force Apple to degrade their own product so that they can no longer be as competitive in the marketplace.
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The Republican presidential frontrunner on Wednesday night called the electronics giant “disgraceful” for rejecting a court order to give encrypted data from one of the San Bernardino attackers’ phones to the FBI.
“We should force them to do it. We should do whatever we have to do,” Trump said during an MSNBC town hall in Charleston, S.C., three days ahead of the state’s GOP primary.
By saying “we” he gives his listeners an immediate feeling of empowerment. When we take action we affirm our strength. But the words are obviously misleading. We aren’t doing anything except setting a precedent for allowing Federal agents, paid with tax revenues siphoned from us, to force us to degrade our own businesses. It is the opposite of power.
Furthermore, it is not illegal to sell devices that offer encrypted security. Apple sold a legal product and the government wants to force them to destroy the value of that product. The government is not demanding the content of those phones. Fortune is inaccurate in its reporting.
Apple does not have the ability to get the encrypted data from the phone. The FBI wants Apple to somehow figure out a way to access the information or disable the iPhone’s program to wipe itself when someone attempts to guess the codel
This may not be possible, in which case Apple is essentially being ordered to work magic.
But if Apple could figure out a way to allow someone to hack am encrypted iPhone, they would then have access to every iPhone.
As Rush Limbaugh explained so well on his show yesterday, once that knowledge filtered through the different levels of law enforcement, there is no way it would remain secret. Once again, national security would make us all vulnerable. IPhone users would become targets for hackers. Apple would lose money and the public would lose privacy to overreaching government, terrorists, and other criminals.
People keep touting Donald Trump as a businessman, but “business” is not as generic as people think. Trump made his fortune building casinos and other buildings and loves imminent domain. But never having operated in the tech sector, he shows no understanding of what it takes to sell communication and data storage devices.
Fortune claims that Trump’s response to Apple is an instance of “his strong-man hawkishness.” That’s ironic since Trump, to his credit, is the most outspoken anti-war candidate in the GOP field. It surprises me that Donald Trump is wrong on this issue. If he could see what would go wrong with “the war on terror,” then I don’t understand why he can’t see the problems of letting the government boss Apple around.