One of the most heated debates and views shared in the past few weeks has been on how to balance US security and privacy laws to empower a free society.
The use of the internet as a platform for many innovative devices such as the smartphone has revealed that nations are in a deficit of laws that will effectively deal with brass-bound encryption of personal data. This is truer when it becomes obvious that, encrypted information may also help to stop terrorists' plans and attacks around the globe and protect US security.
One of the most heated debates and views shared in the past few weeks has been on how to balance US security and privacy laws to empower a free society. The discussion also centers on how to enable our society to use technology efficiently and to defend the national security of nations all around the world against terrorism
FBI, Apple Face Tough Choices on US Security and Privacy
Recently in the United States, the Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI), requested Apple to help in an ongoing investigation of the San Bernardino attack that occurred on US soil many months ago. The company is asked to break an encryption code on the phone of the perpetrators. Apple has argued that unraveling such encryption will need the building of new software which may also become a master-key for hackers and compromise the privacy of iPhone users around the world. The company is, therefore, unwilling to give in to the FBI demands.
As the debate unfolds, Apple shows a determination to present its case to the US congress where it hopes to allure lawmakers to see the dangers of obeying such orders. Other tech companies are also siding with Apple, citing a counter-productive result will occur should such software be developed. Perhaps, also alluding to the open secret that all the tech companies including Apple, are vigorously pushing for lawmakers to finally set the rules for US security and privacy when it comes to unbreakable encryption of personal data.
The Internet Revolution Must-Have Meaningful Rules for Privacy and Security
It is estimated that over 2.5 billion people in the world today have embraced the internet as a platform to share data and promote businesses. It is also to enforce the government’s role to protect its citizens. The universal use of smartphones, computers, and tablets makes the two-decade-old internet era a forceful one.
Whilst this is laudable to be applauded, the internet platform has also become an alien territory, lacking both national and international meaningful laws to protect US security, internet privacy and regulate the global use of internet information. About 90% of all internet data are created within this period which continues to test worldwide and US security and privacy laws as some information on social media and encrypted text messages pose a threat to our society.
At the same time, some US security experts have said that we cannot stop firm encryption of data because our society is more secure with this technology for both our privacy and security. But the question is, at what point do we put preference on security over privacy or vice versa in this campaign. Firstly to protect an individual’s privacy and secondly to protect a nation’s security.
I would want to think that Apple could help the FBI unlock this particular phone to protect US security. However, if this is not practically possible, then a door is opened for both the tech companies and the government to forcefully engage in discussions that will bring lasting results to solve the issue of privacy and security. This often overlaps technology and terrorism to a greater extent. If effective security and privacy laws are crafted, then our privacy and national security could all be protected at the same time.
Enoch Antwi is the managing editor at The Business Frontal. He worked as a business and an environmental journalist in the late 1990s with the Business and Financial Times. His passion is to provide on-demand valuable information and insights on business, entrepreneurship, leadership, innovative technologies, and principles for corporate success in today's business world.