Tim Cook should not be the only one who is furious.
Everyone on planet earth who owns a digital device and respects their own privacy should be feeling his pain too.
Tim Cook is the only man who will be able to make a difference and if he fails, this will set a precedence for all future cases and we will expect foreign governments making many requests. Before you know it, you will have law enforcement agencies checking phones of those who are related to or walked passed or even better, “might be” associated to a criminal/terrorist. The big brother state will be formally acceptable.
Fifteen years in the cybersecurity industry and this is the first time I feel we are about to see a shift in the perception of the industry and a downgrade of its importance. Governments are struggling to gain the right level of intelligence on those who cause a threat and it seems that the only way to to beat them, is to legitimise surveillance and hacking that if anyone else committed, we would see as illegal.
This is not the first time Apple have been pushed to the limit, in the summer of 2015 Apple were taken to court and requested to hand over iMessages for a case. They did not come out smelling of roses but they held their ground. The FBI have never let up since and have been waiting for a case they think they can win. Now in 2016, that such case has arrived and it is going to be a public battle. I do not agree with terrorists and feel for those who lost loved one. Unfortunately, those who lost loved one, are using these heart stings to gain control of an aspect of the digital world they struggle with — legally. Let us not forget the NSA are more than likely able to access these older devices (5s below) and as a UK national, I am confident that GCHQ has been doing this for many years too. But we are not meant to know about this or even believe it is possible.
What can the FBI do? Encourage the US government to do what the government of China did with IBM. Purchase a significant stake within Apple and drive their agenda forward by convincing shareholders it is the only way. There are also rumors of a new Bill being put through in the next few days, which could force Apples hand.
What can Apple do? Tim Cook has made his statement and over the weekend I would expect more support from other tech leaders and even maybe the odd government reaching out. Apple is the master at marketing and this is why they are one of the richest companies in the world. That team will be in full force to sway public reaction and take this to the supreme court if not force the FBI to find another route.