Tags: apple | FBI | privacy | slavery

Apple vs. FBI: It's About Slavery, Not Privacy

Apple vs. FBI: It's About Slavery, Not Privacy

Friday, 19 February 2016 09:32 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Apple is resisting FBI orders to break security features in an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. A lengthy court battle is likely.

The technology industry and privacy advocates stand with Apple (AAPL), and rightly so.

Much is at stake in this fight. Our tech companies are already losing export business due to the perception our intelligence agencies can monitor communications.

As for privacy, a “back door” vulnerability, once created, will never disappear. Hackers and terrorists will exploit it. The result will be less “national security,” not more of it.

Those points alone are enough to hope Apple wins, but people are missing a more fundamental issue. The FBI wants to put Apple employees in a form of slavery.

Slavery? Yes. A federal magistrate, at the FBI’s request, has ordered Apple to build a new software product and then give it to the government for free. What do we call this if not slavery?

“Apple” as a company won’t do the work. Individual human beings who work for Apple will have to build what the FBI wants. They will spend shareholder money doing something that arguably hurts their company, and certainly won’t help it.

Being forced to work without pay against your own self-interest is the definition of slavery.

Suppose the air conditioning breaks at your city’s FBI office. You are an air conditioner technician. A judge, at the FBI’s urging, orders you to fix the FBI air conditioner, at your own expense, and ahead of all the other sweaty people who need your help and will gladly pay for it.

That is a rough parallel to the Apple case. If it isn’t slavery, it is at least robbery.

If the FBI can order Apple to build free software, can the Pentagon order Lockheed Martin (LMT) to build free fighter jets? The same principles apply. Only the scale is different.

If you think that’s crazy, then you should support Apple’s fight against the FBI.

At the rate it’s going, our own government is a much greater threat to freedom than ISIS is.

Time is running out to stop them. We need to draw a line.

Patrick Watson is an Austin-based financial writer. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickW

To read more of his insights, CLICK HERE NOW.

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At the rate it’s going, our own government is a much greater threat to freedom than ISIS is.
apple, FBI, privacy, slavery
Friday, 19 February 2016 09:32 AM
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