Apple CEO and FBI Director square off in battle of wills over iPhone encryption

It’s February 22, 2016 and the battle between the FBI and Apple continues to ramp up as US citizens finds themselves polarized on the issue.

In case you haven’t been following: The FBI wants Apple to help them crack open the iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of two terrorists involved in the recent San Bernardino attack, reportedly to gain insight into the couple’s motives and organization efforts.

Apple says that while it is sympathetic to the FBI’s plight, helping them crack open the phone essentially creates a backdoor that can’t be undone, leaving its encryption vulnerable, and setting a dangerous precedent.

Today, we’re seeing more folks move quickly to opposing sides of the issue.

On the FBI’s side we have lawyer Stephen Larson, a formal federal judge who is representing an undisclosed number of victims from the San Bernardino attack in an effort to force Apple’s hand, claiming the victims deserve to know why this happened, and that he’ll fight for them for free.

On the other hand is digital rights group, Fight for the Future, which is staging multiple protest rallies against the FBI outside Apple stores in more than 30 cities across the US, claiming what the FBI wants is tantamount to turning the clock back to a time before Fourth Amendment warrant protections existed.

Meanwhile, FBI Director James Comey published an Op-ed today, claiming the scope of its request is not nearly so grand as Apple suggests, pointing out that all it wants is the ability to try to guess the iPhone’s password without the phone essentially self-destructing. Presently, an iPhone will erase all its stored data if someone unsuccessfully guesses its password too many times.

Comey further posits that encryption technology evolves so fast that being allowed this single instance on what is already considered an old phone isn’t such a big deal, and won’t endanger anyone’s privacy rights.

Apple CEO Tim Cook countered today, saying that the FBI should drop its demands. Cook went on to call on congress to create a commission that would “discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms.”

With Apple being accused of “protecting murderers” this is certainly a PR nightmare, but Apple is standing strong, unwilling to budge from its position on the matter. To be sure, this issue is going to carry on for some time, and carries with it plenty of implications. We’ll be keeping you up to date on matters as they develop. In the meantime, please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Finally, the world’s largest mobile tech show, Mobile World Congress, is well under way in Barcelona, and Digital Trends has a crack team of experts on the ground getting you up-close looks at the hottest new products coming out of the show. So far, we’ve seen LG’s impressive and modular new G5 phone, Sony’s Trio of Xperia X phones, Samsung’s anticipated 360-degree VR camera, and LG’s cute, Star-Wars like spherical robot.

And of course, we’ve got some more hands-on time with HTC’s Vive VR system, which Deputy Editor Jeff Van Camp is quick to tell you is his absolute favorite. Be sure to check out our feature to learn what makes it better than the rest, exactly, and of course check in with us often this week to keep up on the latest news coming from the big show.

Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Home Theater

An acclaimed Apple analyst says the new AirPods are coming in 2019

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Marriott data breach, Android Auto, and more

Changes to Apple Music, as well as the second largest corporate data breach in history, highlighted today's episode of Digital Trends Live. We also sat down with filmmaker Pete Williams to discuss his latest film, The New Breed.
Digital Trends Live

Director Pete Williams on making a documentary about social entrepreneurs

Director Pete Williams stopped by the Digital Trends Live studio to talk about his new documentary, in which he follows social entrepreneurs as they try to solve the world's problems through capitalism.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: YouTube Premium and drones that fly forever

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler welcomed Laura Major from CyPhy and Ben Lee from Rootstrap to the show. Plus, the future of YouTube Premium after news that the streaming giant will be offering exclusive content for free.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: HyperloopTT’s Dirk Ahlborn discusses the future of travel

We chatted with HyperloopTT's Dirk Ahlborn about the newest way to travel. The Hyperloop travels at nearly the speed of sound and has already been commercially approved in China and the UAE.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: A runaway Tesla, new Airpods, and Hyperloop updates

On episode 28 of Digital Trends Live, host Greg Nibler and guest Adrien Warner explored the biggest tech news of the day, including rumors of new Airpods, a police chase involving a Tesla, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa-enabled Billy Bass, ‘Gear.Club Unlimited 2,’ and more

Alexa-enabled fish and Boring Company lawsuits highlighted this episode of Digital Trends Live. We also welcomed Chris Rosario to talk about Gear.Club Unlimited 2 and Ian Williams of Deadstock Coffee joined the show from Tokyo, Japan.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Harlem Globetrotter Big Easy talks new app, favorite gadget

We welcomed Harlem Globetrotter Nathaniel Lofton to talk about how he became a Globetrotter 14 years ago. Big Easy also told us about the brand-new Harlem Globetrotters app that is now available on Android and Apple.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: First 5G phone, Batcole Foundation, and a new data breach

Tuesday on Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler discussed trending topics such as the Quora data breach, and Jeremy Kaplan was joined by Katie Linendoll from the Batcole Foundation to discuss the benefits of AR and VR in hospital rooms.
Digital Trends Live

Filmmaker Justin Ching talks about empowering underrepresented voices

Justin Ching, filmmaker and founder of production studio J-school, believes it is important to empower underrepresented communities to tell their own stories. He appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about his journey and J-school's…
Digital Trends Live

Pro4Ma CEO Liz Dunn explains the retail trends of Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Black Friday is a day of sales, but also of chaos. Pro4MA CEO Liz Dunn appeared on Digital Trends Live to discuss the shifts she has seen in Black Friday weekend, and what they mean for consumers.