05 March 2016
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple Inc and the FBI, over accessing data on the iPhone of a deceased terror suspect, has been characterised as a conflict between security and privacy in the US. But it has also highlighted cybersecurity issues that have serious implications for Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.
Apple Inc is refusing to comply with a court order demanding that the company disable a key security feature on the iPhone of a deceased terror suspect, so that the FBI can gain access to its data as part of investigations into the San Bernardino mass shooting. The legal battle, including appeals and congressional hearings, could take months to conclude. But regardless of the outcome, it has raised awareness of serious cybersecurity issues.
Opinions are divided between those who believe that Apple should comply, to protect national security, and those who believe that Apple should resist, to protect civil liberties like the right to privacy. Opinions are also divided between those who believe that the technology that would be created as a result could be discovered and used by criminals, and those who believe that Apple could help the FBI without creating such a risk.
… Benjamin Ang is a Senior Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
CENS / Online
Last updated on 07/03/2016