Its a rare day indeed that I agree with Republican Darrell Issa… but his interview on NPR this morning was fantastic.
ISSA: Look, the government lies. Understand – this may be NPR – but the government lies to you. I have spent 10 years representing the people of California. And I have seen governments, both Republican and Democratic, lie. If you want to promote the fact that your listeners can have all of their data remotely taken by their government at any time if they happen to get a FISA judge in secrecy to give them an authorization to do it, go ahead.
Issa went on to criticize the FBI and basically call them liars for claiming what they want Apple to do is give them access one time, to one phone. Rather, according to Issa, the FBI wants the ability to unlock any iPhone, anytime. Issa strongly criticized the FBI for asking for far more than they need and endangering the privacy of all Americans. Issa went on to explain at least one way the FBI could hack into the phone without destroying data.
Read the full interview here.
Issa’s right, at least on this issue. New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance said his office is locked out of 175 iPhones in various investigations. The same 175 phones Issa referred to in his interview, arguing that if Apple were forced to create a backdoor, the technology would and could be used on numerous other occasions. Read the entire NPR interview here.
Based on the rhetoric on both sides it appears almost certain that this issue won’t end in a magistrate’s court in southern California. The long term ramifications from any court ruling are so significant that both sides have incentive to appeal any rulings all the way to SCOTUS. Its an interesting issue how the current 8 member could would rule on such an issue. Normally one thinks of the conservative judges as more likely to help law enforcement. However Justice Kennedy is often very concerned about individual privacy rights and preserving those rights. It seems unlikely he would view the FBI’s position on this issue favorably.