A judge in California this week ordered Apple to hack the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, California, terrorist shooters, but Apple has pushed back, saying that such an action would qualify as an “unprecedented step” that could threaten the security of all Apple users. Now Facebook and Twitter have backed Apple in their dispute with the federal government.
This decision is certainly a complicated one for Facebook. Publicly supporting user privacy is the right stance for the social media giant to take in order to preserve and build user trust, but protecting the privacy of terrorists is extreme. In a statement regarding its support of Apple, Facebook was careful to note that it is committed to fighting terrorism on its pages while simultaneously fighting for strong user protection.
“We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services. We also appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe,” Facebook’s statement read. “When we receive lawful requests from these authorities we comply. However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.”
There’s already been a strong public backlash against Apple for refusing to hack the terrorist’s phone, so it’s an interesting decision for Facebook to throw their support behind the company so vehemently.
Readers: do you think Facebook is right to support Apple’s decision?