The Right to Hack Your Life

by Ted Bauman
The Sovereign Investor

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the ongoing privacy battle between Apple and the FBI over an encrypted iPhone belonging to the employer of Syed Farook — one of the San Bernardino attackers. I asked what you thought, and most people agreed that Apple is right to resist … but a few people disagreed.

A favorite argument of the pro-FBI folks is that an iPhone is simply an extension of telephone technology, which, under current law, can be tapped with a warrant. The courts have ruled that telephone companies have to help tap their phone lines, so why is Apple any different? The FBI and Attorney General Loretta Lynch both make this argument.

I remain unconvinced. I think smartphones (and computers) are qualitatively different from all previous forms of communication, like letters, telegrams and telephones … so much so that the precedent the government seeks in the San Bernardino iPhone case leads in a very different direction — one that we should all fear.

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