An Apple a Day Keeps the Feds at Bay

AP Photo
The Associated Press

I sell things for a living, and like some people, when the Apple vs FBI standoff exploded, my eyes glazed over.  The technology of the back and forth can be overwhelming.

After extensive reading and researching, let’s break the argument down.  The Federal Government wants Apple to create a backdoor program to get into the iPhone of San Bernardino jihadi Syed Farook.  It is somewhat similar to the fire department having a master key to a building in case of emergencies. Apple prides itself on its customer’s security, and frankly, they don’t want to compromise their programming, potentially making it easier for someone to hack into their phones in the future.

Creating a program is not an easy task at all, according to one survey; an average app costs around $150 thousand dollars to develop. Now multiply that by a factor larger to create something that seemingly the federal government can’t do. The government has no right to ask a private company to undertake such an expense. We may force people to buy insurance, but we cannot force companies to create a product they don’t want to. Maybe this case will create that precedent?

Very few presidential candidates have addressed this case, which should be at the forefront of every discussion. Do we want to live in a society where the government can mandate and force a company to create a product that they don’t want to make? This seems to go against the kind of capitalist society we live in. Isn’t this case the a benchmark for free individuals not to be harassed by the federal government? Donald Trump has come out and spoken about the case vocally, calling for a boycott of Apple. It’s a disturbing position for any politician to take, let alone a Republican.

The next president will be dealing with more phone encryption cases, nominating Supreme Court Justices, and dealing with international terrorists. The big question for the folks in Silicon Valley is: why haven’t you endorsed a candidate? Many people are happy to be anti-Trump, or anti-something, but afraid to take an unpopular stance. It is important for people to research this case further and form an opinion, and quickly.

It’s understandable that people are upset and want Apple to comply with the federal government’s request, but complying means spending millions to create a program to break your most popular product, along with the violation of a few Constitutional Amendments. We cannot sit idly on the side. The Republican Party and the electorate must understand these issues. If not, we might as well just elect a Socialist and let him officially take over Apple without the pretenses.

Ezra Drissman is the Editor of The New Paine (