By Adam Dick
Judge Andrew Napolitano, in a new Fox Business interview with host Stuart Varney, said he applauds Apple CEO Tim Cook for “defending the Constitution” by resisting a United States magistrate judge’s order that Apple aid the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in breaching Apple encryption that protects the customers.
Napolitano, a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, backs up Apple’s challenging of the order, noting that the order defies the US legal prohibition on breaking into people’s computers. Even if that law were changed, says Napolitano, the order would face a constitutional barrier. Napolitano explains:
But, there are serious problems with forcing a private person to work against their will. That’s called slavery. If the FBI wants to go out and hire people, even hire them away from Apple, it has every ability to do that. But, to force Apple to do something against its will, at its own expense, is prohibited by the Constitution.
Cook’s defense of privacy against government intrusion does indeed appear worthy of applause. In a public letter dated Tuesday, Cook presents his case for defending encryption for his companies’ customers and standing up to the US magistrate judge’s order. Cook’s letter concludes with the following admirable statement in defense of liberty:
The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.
The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.
Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.
We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.
While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.
This article was published by RonPaul Institute.