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My thoughts on Apple and the FBI

This is an excerpt of a letter that I wrote to Mr. Trump in reply to his knee-jerk "Boycott Apple" comments. I agree with a lot of what he has said in the past and I like the fact that he is not endebted to campaign donors. The fact that the establishment hates his guts is almost reason enough alone to throw my full support behind him. However, I think when it comes to things he doesn't know, he really should admit the limit of his knowledge and seek the advice of people who specialize in such things. Technology does appear to be a weak spot in his personal pool of experience.

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However, I completely disagree with you about Apple. I don't like most of their products, I wouldn't pay the premium they want to charge for most of them. On the other hand, Apple is the only company offering that type of device that can take the stand they have taken because they are only one that doesn't data-mine their customers. They are the only ones selling that type of device where you are actually their customer and not their product. They don't know what's on your device and kept private, nor do they care and they don't have a key to get in. When you set your pass-code, only you know it, even Apple cannot access your device without your permission. So it's not a matter of just giving the FBI a "security number", there is no such thing. What FBI has actually asked for whether they will admit to it or not and I am completely certain they already know this or else they're too stupid to tie their own shoes, is in fact a new version of IOS with a back door or a master key that would open ALL iphones, ipods, ipads or any other device that runs IOS.

Unfortunately, most people don't know enough about technology to understand this. There's a reason they chose THAT phone when there have been hundreds of cases of investigators that have been stymied by this same issue. There is a huge emotional component when you're talking about an act of terrorism and leftists and socialists always go for that emotional appeal because they cannot argue on facts and reality, they always lose when they do so. Look what happens when you try to have reasoned debate about anything. They almost immediately resort to ad-hominem attacks, character assassination and name-calling. It's also unfortunate that Mr. Trump has fallen into the exact same trap they use for everyone. I would humbly suggest that Mr. Trump look at what people who do know, understand and work daily in technology are saying about this. Every single one of the major American technology players has come out in support of Mr. Cook and Apple on this because they understand the implications of it.

The federal government hates the fact that we peons and peasants can have anything that they cannot access or listen in on and they are basically trying to get rid of the last refuge we as a people have, strong encryption. If Apple were to give into this demand, it would destroy the utility that people are willing to pay a premium for, simple privacy of any data that stays on your device. Not to mention that the U.S. market is not their largest customer base anymore. China is, and it's growing by about 14% annually. So Apple may not have the most pure of motives for doing this, but they are still doing the right thing by protecting our right to keep our private stuff private whether it is bank records, tax records, medical records, calendar appointments or anything else that people do not want to share.

You cannot let the worst people in a society dictate what most law-abiding people's rights are and make no mistake, the 4th amendment is a natural right for all. If the government wants to search someone's device, let them get a warrant for it, submit that warrant to the person who owns the device and then deal with whatever level of access that person can give them. In this case, the only person who knows how to get into that device is dead, at government hands, not too likely he will be able to supply the key unfortunately. We pay a lot of money to the FBI to do what they do, so let them do it and give us our money's worth. We don't need to destroy one of the most valuable companies on earth, which also happens to be the only one that values it's customers privacy.

An anciliary point is that this is also a First Amendment issue. Computer code is considered speech, there was a supreme court ruling that declared it so. The government, under the first amendment has no more right to compel someone to speak than it has to limit their speech. Implicit to the right of freedom of speech is the right to choose not to speak. This would very much include forcing them to write code to undermine the security that they built into their devices that people rely upon to enforce their right of privacy in a world that values personal privacy less and less.

TLDR: Apple is right, the FBI is wrong. What they want would undermine the utility and security of ALL devices that run IOS and give criminals (the government included) a free pass into those devices that right now they cannot look into easily. I say this not as a customer of Apple, but as a person who loves his country and values the small amount of freedom and privacy we have left.

P.S.

If you really want to "Make America Great Again" then remember this. Our constitution is the recipe for what made the society that had the highest level of personal freedom, personal wealth and personal success of any society in the history of mankind. The past few decades where the constitution has been ignored and literally defied have been the least productive and seen the largest loss of the middle class that built this country. Economic mobility is at an all-time low because people have forgotten.

To quote Benjamin Franklin:

“I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”


This, in essence, is capitalism. If you allow a person to do for themselves, through enlightened self-interest they will provide for themselves as well as having a surplus that they can share through employment of others. This very trading of specialization in goods and services along with the enlightened self-interest of capitalism catapulted us within a few decades from being a new country struggling to find it's place in the world to THE beacon of hope and freedom of the world. The policies of the past few decades has managed to not only ruin our reputation within the world community, but also to rot and corrode the very structure of the society that built that beacon.

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I know, some people will read the first part and basically say "WTF ... Trump" and believe it or not, I started out as a huge skeptic. My view at first was that he wasn't serious but his involvement would force conversations to be had and issues to be raised that we would never see from the establishment on either side. Over time, I have found that he voices more things that I agree with and seems relatively consistent in his opinions that he states. This does not mean that a person's viewpoint cannot change over time, especially as they gain more information. My own opinions of things have altered over the years as I have gained age and experience. When I was younger, I was much more liberal in my views and only with age and experience did those views change. When a person starts working for a living and paying taxes it's quite amazing how much their viewpoint will alter based on their involvement and paying into the system. When you have skin in the game, the outcome becomes much more of an issue for you. Personally I have not had the influence of the two most significant civilizing factors in most men's lives, I am unmarried and have no children, so I have definitely taken longer to reach the place I am at idealogically than a lot of people do.


Personally I would have been much more likely to support Cruz until some of the things he has done lately. I abhor dishonesty and feel betrayed by someone who I believed respected the people of America and the foundations of it's system. Some of the tactics he and his people have chosen I find very distasteful and it will take some careful consideration of the evidence and circumstances.
Post Merge: Today at 12:21:33 PM
As an addendum, the following link on the EFF website references the court case that makes this a First Amendment issue. https://ilt.eff.org/index.php/Speech:_First_Amendment

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