Apple vs FBI: The possible end of encryption

Here is a German version of this article.

It’s still completely open how the conflict between Apple and the US government about unlocking encrypted iPhones will end. But eventually, one of two outcomes will become reality:

  1. Apple will legitimately be freed from the demands to unlock encrypted iPhones through backdoors, even if this means that particular investigations involving criminal or terrorist acts will not be provided with the requested data access.
  2. Apple will be forced to obey investigators who in specific cases demand access to encrypted data by building a backdoor into its software.

If Apple manages to establish a legal or political right to protect user data through encryption as well as to fend off demands for backdoors (which could compromise the safety of millions), this would lead to at least some sort of legal certainty, not only for Apple but for every other tech company in the business of hosting and storing encrypted user data. In addition, Apple would manifest its increasingly thoroughly crafted image as defender of civil rights and might be rewarded with new sales records. Continue Reading