The government wants Apple to develop malware to break the encryption on its devices.
The government wants Apple to develop malware to break the encryption on its devices. Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

Slate:

For years Apple has presented itself as a strong defender of privacy and encryption, and CEO Tim Cook has made it clear that these issues are important to him. Now the company seems to be walking the walk as the FBI seeks to access data on the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. Cook wrote in an open letter today that Apple is "opposing" a federal order from a magistrate judge in California to create a backdoor into the phone.

You gotta give props to Apple for affirming this oft-forgotten principle: Fear of terrorism—which is many times less likely to kill you than unstable furniture toppling over, a traffic accident, or a fatal police shooting—does not justify whatever curtailments of civil liberties or privacy that the government wants.

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In 2013, the Edward Snowden revelations of dragnet surveillance by the U.S. government opened up a rift between the government and Silicon Valley. Today that fissure is finally coming to a head. "We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government," Cook says.


Apple's in the news for a less laudatory reason, too: Selling bonds in order to pull a "financial engineering move that allows the company to delay paying U.S. taxes," according to USA Today. "By borrowing Apple gets cash to pay dividends and buy back shares of stock without hauling its billions stored overseas back to the U.S., which could trigger a tax event."