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

Sleek and expensive, the Apple TV 4K will still delight the Apple faithful

Is Apple’s latest streaming set-top box a revolution, or too little too late? Find out in our Apple TV 4K review, and learn how this device wins in some big categories, but falters in others.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Home Theater

Make the most out of your new Apple TV with these must-have apps

If you're looking to turn your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K into an all-in-one entertainment powerhouse, we can help you get started with this list of the best Apple TV apps you can download.
Product Review

Fascinating Finney phone is crypto in a nutshell: Exciting, but also terrifying

The Sirin Labs Finney phone is to cryptocurrency what the iPhone is to Apple Pay. It facilitates the payment, processing, and exchanging of cryptocurrencies on a smartphone, and surprisingly does it in a user-friendly way.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Highlights from day 2 of CES 2019 outline future of tech

In our second day of coverage for the annual tech conference in Las Vegas, Greg Nibler and Maude Garrett welcomed guests from industry leaders like Verizon, Intel, and Microsoft and we went out on the floor to discover new tech.
Digital Trends Live

TEST

  dsfsadfas
Digital Trends Live

On the last day of CES, Digital Trends Live hands out awards and more

On the third and final day of CES, the annual tech trade show in Las Vegas, the Digital Trends Live team interviewed guests, dissected all the trends on display at the show, and gave awards to the very best tech.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Motorola flip phone, ads in space, smart umbrella

On this episode of Digital Trends Live we discussed trending headlines like foldable smartphones and advertising in space. We also sat down with Caleb Denison and Ronan Glon to talk about the world of tech post CES 2019.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Netflix price hike, Starsona’s celeb connections, and more

On episode 48 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler, Adrien Warner, and Drew Prindle explored the tech news of the day, including Netflix’s controversial price hike, and an interview with Digital Domain’s Darren Hendler.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: The dark age of streaming, booze delivery, and more

On the latest episode of Digital Trends Live, DT's daily morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Nicole Raney explored the biggest news from the tech world. On this week's episode: A massive data breach, the dark age of streaming, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Oscar nominations, the future of blockchain, and more

From Oscar nominations, to the latest Spotify and Uber features, there was a lot to discuss on this episode of Digital Trends Live. Journalist Rachel Wolfson also joined the show to talk about the future of cryptocurrency.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Double-folding phones, the best gaming laptops, and more

AirPod rumors and the latest news about foldable phones highlight Wednesday's episode of Digital Trends Live. We also sat down with Calvin Iverson to talk about how to travel on a budget and how millennials are changing the travel industry.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Scout, Soraya Darabi, and Joey Ricard

On episode 53 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle discussed the latest in tech news, including Amazon's new delivery drone, CRISPR babies, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook, flying taxis, and Tesla police car

On episode 54 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Caleb Denison discussed Facebook's plan to integrate Instagram, Boeing's experimental flying taxi, and more.