To the editor: The issue is trust. The government's track record since the Sept. 11 attacks on issues of privacy and information security is terrible. Unequivocally terrible. Dissembling. Dishonest. Biased. Disinterested. Lazy. ("While the FBI battles Apple over encryption, pushback from the tech industry persists," Feb. 24)
Coming back to the well to say, "Trust us, just one more time," when the government has been caught repeatedly violating the 4th and 5th amendments, as well as threatening the 1st Amendment countless times, is cynical, to say the least. It's gallingly naive to think that we're willing to accept this kind of malfeasance yet again because of some sentimental, nebulous, hand-waving threat masquerading as an emotional appeal. It's all a bit much.
Remember PRISM? The years of warrantless wiretapping? Intentionally weakening cryptography in third-party software? The list goes on, and I've had my fill.
Call this a cheap PR move on Apple's part, but make no mistake — this case would give the federal government free rein to assemble an even more pervasive surveillance apparatus than the one that was already illegally built and used. This is not the stuff of free societies.
Klaus Steden, Los Angeles
To the editor: When technology outpaces the law, we play catch-up to address unforeseen consequences.
As an iPhone user, I enjoy the utility of Apple's products, but the company's position in effectively denying the FBI access to potential evidence of terrorist networks crosses the line and endangers the public.
I applaud Apple's pursuit of form and function perfection, but I'm reminded of the quote, "Give me liberty or give me death." With iPhone encryption, we may yet have both.
Fletcher Fox, Long Beach
To the editor: The FBI and other agencies of the U.S. government can get a court order to search my home and even destroy it in the process, but you can't force me to tell you where my secret closet is.
Please respect my right to privacy and back off from Apple.
Stephen Cooper, Hidden Hills