By Aldon Stiles |Staff Writer|
The Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed that Apple has a legal obligation to access their customers’ phones when law enforcement requests them to.
Apple refused to access the phone of a defendant because they viewed it as a breach of privacy, according to Engadget.
Apple claimed that while it can technically bypass the locks on encrypted devices, the act of opening the physical phone to access information will break customer trust.
The DOJ claimed that because Apple licensed the software in their devices, they are in a position of ownership that allows them access to material on a locked phone.
Prof. Brian Levin, professor of criminal law at CSUSB, said that Apple is attempting to avoid being implicated in acts of privacy invasion.
“Apple wants to eliminate itself as the middleman with respect to the existence of ‘back doors,’” stated Levin. “But that would also enable criminals and terrorists to communicate without interference.”
A CSUSB student, who preferred to remain anonymous, felt that the DOJ was using flawed logic to bypass civil liberties.
She stated, “the DOJ is cherry picking the facts that conveniently support their cause. This argument of ownership by way of the software licensing agreement is a slippery slope to implicate Apple in a case where it has no involvement, and at its foundation has no more basis than that of ‘the sins of the father.’”
Levin agreed that there is a risk of a breach of privacy on the DOJ’s behalf.
“This is a difficult choice, but civil liberties have often been violated in the name of security,” stated Levin .