On the Apple FBI Scandal…
In our brief one-minute campaign video (which can be accessed at this link: https://www3.nd.edu/~tbehren1/Projects/Project03Player.html), we introduced the FBI vs. Apple case regarding encryption. Although most people argue that privacy is not essential, because they have nothing serious to hide or that the security benefits outweigh the privacy concern. However, we decided that we would try to articulate that privacy is important, not only as an abstract idea, but also in practice. To bring this point to the table, we brought about the dangers to marginalized communities that a potential lack of privacy brings. If there were a legal way to access people’s private data, how would the line be drawn? Would it stop with one phone? What if local law enforcement also wanted access for the sake of security? Privacy is a necessity in marginalized communities like the LGBTQIA community. There are currently 32 states in which it is legal for employers to discriminate against LGBTQIA individuals. It is criminal to perform homosexual actions in some countries, with serious consequences. Many would argue that this has nothing to do with the current case, but it is an extreme scenario that emphasizes the need to respect privacy. If we don’t respect privacy now, we may find ourselves on a slippery slope, with unwanted repercussions.
I am not sure whether or not the right to have your data encrypted is a fundamental right, however I do believe it is really important. And if we have a precedent in our country that health data is necessarily held private, we as a community value privacy and should continue to value it. I also believe US citizens should be allowed to have technology that completely locks out the government.
I think encryption is very important, because it essential for privacy. Although I think people should be aware that data might not always stay private and that malicious users may gain access to it, I do not think that changes the fact that we as fellow members of the community and the government should respect people’s privacy, and in that vein, have a seriously important reason for violating it.
In the struggle between national security and personal privacy, I think that national security will most likely win. In the past, the government has put national security over human dignity, from really public acts like the bombing of Hiroshima to smaller hidden events that come out in whistleblower situations. My hope is that someday there will be lines that US government will not be willing to even consider crossing. Sometimes being the most powerful is not the most important, even if it puts us more at risk. I will stick by this conviction, and would even be willing to fight for it. So although I don’t have a concrete conviction about privacy, I believe it is important and we must treat the issue with the utmost respect.