From EFF’s Deeplinks Blog:
"The U.S. government wants us to trust that it won't misuse this power. But we can all imagine the myriad ways this new authority could be abused. Even if you trust the U.S. government, once this master key is created, governments around the world will surely demand that Apple undermine the security of their citizens as well."
I think it’s awfully silly of the US government to assume anyone would give them the benefit of the doubt ever since it was discovered in 2013 that they were conducting mass-surveillance programs.
There is no beating around the bush on this one. There are incredibly damaging implications here, especially regarding the mere presence of a backdoor in Apple’s software. Apple CEO Tim Cook says it best in his letter to customers:
"In today’s digital world, the “key” to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.
The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable."
The whole thing is worth your read, as it makes the situation easy for everyone to understand.
It doesn’t just end with Apple’s own devices. A win for the US government, especially against the biggest company on earth, could create precedent for other tech giants to concede.
Tim Cook has gone on record saying that even Apple can’t access your data due to tight encryption, something that can’t really be said about data-driven companies like Facebook and Google. If those companies are told to create backdoors of their own, the government has instant access to user data that can be readily unencrypted by those companies.
Furthermore, it creates precedent for other countries to force Apple and other companies to create backdoors, which even the issue as it stands could be doing right now. If Apple is being told to do these things by the government in its own country, its giving the thumbs up to make this a diplomatic affair.