I invented the perfect safe once—a place where I could keep my precious things that was completely, well, safe against burglars—but I flushed the plans down the toilet because I knew the Feds would insist I build a backdoor into it… and the sewer system is the only system the Feds won’t sue for help retrieving the information from.
In other words: When did it become illegal in this country to build a perfect safe? Why try to hurt a company’s product and business plan for doing just that? It is hard to feel sorry for Apple, given all their other sleazy business dealings, but leave them alone on this one!
This is a problem that involves both ends of the horse. The feds can’t stand that they have this carrot in front of them—teasing them with data hidden within it. What they really have is the other end of the horse—data already flushed—and they can’t admit it because it looks so shiny still.
I believe the feds have a case for wanting to turn that crap back into the carrot… but I think they need to do it on their own. In other words: Don’t force companies to weaken their products just because you can’t stand the data is already effectively lost! Instead, do what spies do and prove the safe isn’t perfect. Throw some money, engineers, and hackers at it already and get back to spying.
Personally, I have to wonder if the feds have already cracked the iPhone linked to the San Bernardino terrorist attack—and the feds and Apple are just creating an elaborate smoke screen to help terrorists believe their iPhones are safe. That’s what I would do if I were a spy.