Apple’s recent struggles with the FBI over the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone aren't going away anytime soon. And if you haven't been following the drama, it's really time to get clued in, because it could have unending ramifications on the way we use the Internet. In short, the government wants Apple to create a back door to unlock the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook (which was, in fact, a work phone) so the agency can get a clearer picture of the shooters' motives and any possible information on more planned attacks.
Those who side with the FBI claim that Apple should be more than willing to go along with the government, since there could be important information on the phone that could help the agency with its investigation.
Opponents of the FBI feel that the government demanding this from Apple sets a scary precedent — how long until the government has direct access to all of our devices? And just how much power over our privacy are we willing to give the government in the name of security?
We’ve heard from Tim Cook, attorneys and plenty of presidential candidates on the matter, but most recently, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and one of the founders of the EFF, appeared on Conan to give his take. As you would expect, The Woz obviously sides with the civil liberties and freedom to privacy of the user, and points out that Apple creating a back door for the government could open a can of worms that could potentially destroy the tech industry as we know it.
To illustrate just how dangerous one program can be — no matter how secure the government thinks it is — Wozniak shared an anecdote with Conan about the a handful of times when he wrote a virus that could destroy entire computer systems in an instant. Knowing the potential destructive nature of such code, he told Conan he would always destroy it after writing it, because in the wrong hands you would be looking at a digital epidemic.
And that’s just his point. Sure, the U.S. government might come along with the best of intentions, but what about the other countries Apple works with? What about the hackers who get their hands on Apple’s government-sponsored “back door” program?
You can see Wozniak's thoughts in the video below: