Everyone stfu and listen. Apple cannot create a backdoor for the FBI. Here’s why…

Now that I’ve used clickbait to get your attention, I can be polite :).

There’s a lot of press right now about “Apple vs the FBI”. And a lot of complicated posts about why either Apple or the FBI is right. Unfortunately, all of them (that I’ve read), assume you know about and understand tech. But, lets face it, most people simply use tech and don’t really give a shit about how it works. Because the underlying issues regarding this battle are techy, I’ll use simple metaphors so everyone can (hopefully) understand, regardless of your tech knowledge.

Those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a quick high level summary.

Following the attack in San Bernardino, California, the FBI wants access to a killer’s phone. However, the phone is encrypted and a security setting is toggled that will make the phone wipe all it’s data if the passcode is entered incorrectly 10 times. Assuming it is that simple, then yes, Apple should oblige.

However… Like everything in life, it is more complicated than that.

We can think of the phone as a house with booby-trapped doors (bad example given the scenario, but the concept is the most accurate one I can think of). Attempt to open the door 10 times incorrectly, and boom, the house explodes. If we get into the house any way other than through the door, we get blinded and can no longer see what’s in the house (the phone is encrypted, we can’t read the data).

So, how do we gain access to the house? We have to get in through the door.

But we can’t just keep trying to pick the lock, because if we mess up 10 times, we lose.

So, we go to the guys who made the house and ask them to make us a key that will grant us access to that house.

And now we have a master key to every single iPhone.

And they do. The builders (Apple) create that key and gives it to us. We use the key, it works, and all is well. Until we realize that the door to the house we just got into is exactly the same as every other door that was built by the builders.

And now we have a master key to every single iPhone… I mean house.

That’s the core problem. We can’t guarantee that the FBI will get rid of the key (or if they do, that they didn’t create duplicates). How do we stop them from using the key wherever and whenever they want?

If people are actually interested in what would happen if Apple complies (ex. what happens with Android and my other tech), I can write another post. It’ll get me riled up though, so I won’t unless people really want it.

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