We’ve been waiting to hear what more top tech companies have to say about Apple’s current fight with the FBI regarding a court statement that orders them to build security-breaking software to break into a terrorist’s phone. A few tech figureheads came out in support of Apple early on, but now things are heating up.
A ton of the top tech companies in America — including Amazon.com, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Mozilla, Nest Labs, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Yahoo — have joined together to file an amicus briefing (or a friend of the court statement) in support of Apple and the reason they’re fighting.
While not everyone on the list has given a statement yet, Microsoft’s statement is likely to mirror the majority’s opinion:
The principal argument we make in our joint brief is straightforward. The court order in support of the FBI request cites the All Writs Act, which was enacted in 1789, and last significantly amended in 1911. We believe the issues raised by the Apple case are too important to rely on a narrow statute from a different technological era to fill the Government’s perceived gap in current law. Instead we should look to Congress to strike the balance needed for 21st century technology.
Microsoft says 21st-century technology needs to be handled with 21st-century legislation, which is certainly not a bad way to put it. Technology has evolved to a point where these devices are basically becoming our lives. Our smartphones probably hold more information about ourselves than a wallet ever could.
Privacy, protection and security are more important than ever, and we should be able to buy a secure smartphone without fear that the government will force the companies who make them to actively aid in gaining access to them. We’re not sure what sort of balance needs to be achieved here just yet, but it’s important to start talking about it, and that’s exactly what Apple has forced with this situation.