Pub­lic backs Ap­ple in FBI case

Irish Independent - Business Week - - NEWS -

NEARLY half of Amer­i­cans sup­port Ap­ple’s de­ci­sion to op­pose a fed­eral court or­der de­mand­ing that it un­lock a smart­phone used by San Bernardino gun­man Rizwan Farook, ac­cord­ing to a na­tional on­line Reuters/Ip­sos poll.

Over 45pc of re­spon­dents said they agreed with Ap­ple’s po­si­tion, 35pc said they dis­agreed and 20pc said they did not know, ac­cord­ing to poll re­sults re­leased yes­ter­day.

Other ques­tions in the poll showed that a ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans do not want their govern­ment to have ac­cess to their phone and in­ter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tions, even if it is done in the name of stop­ping ter­ror at­tacks.

The re­sponses to the pri­vacy ques­tions in the poll are sim­i­lar to re­sults from a 2013 Reuters/Ip­sos poll, show­ing a con­sis­tent de­sire on the part of Amer­i­cans to keep their phone, in­ter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tions and other data pri­vate.

Most of those polled also feel that un­lock­ing Farook’s phone would set a dan­ger­ous prece­dent that au­thor­i­ties would use to force the com­pany to un­lock more phones, a claim that Ap­ple chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Cook made in an open let­ter to cus­tomers last week.

When asked if the govern­ment would use the abil­ity to un­lock phones to “spy on iPhone users”, 55pc said they agreed, 28pc dis­agreed and the rest said they were not sure.

“I don’t be­lieve in giv­ing up our right to pri­vacy in or­der to make peo­ple feel safer,” said Steve Cle­venger, a 55-year-old real-es­tate ap­praiser from Wheel­ers­burg, Ohio, who took part in the poll and is sup­port­ing Ap­ple.

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