Hi, I'm Katherine! I'm a hardworking student slightly addicted to checking my email via my iPhone. It seems as if the demands of school and work require me to constantly be on my Apple devices. You can relate with me right?
Unfortunately that security we have all taken for granted has recently become threatened. The FBI has demanded that Apple create a "backdoor" to bypass their complex security features. Apple blatantly refused and lengthy court proceedings have followed.
Apple vs FBI court order
Now think of all the Apple products that you own. Just imagine for a minute all of your devices fully exposing everything about you to any hacker around the world. How does that idea sit with you? I know it makes me feel very uneasy!
Power and Authority
This struggle between Apple and the FBI brings rise to many current social issues. Who holds the real power in the United States today, companies or governments? Is the government becoming less and less of a centralized power who has the authority to control/regulate businesses and citizens?
In our day we are seeing power shift into the hands of large businesses.
Tim Wu discusses in his book "The Master Switch" that governments break apart or limit the power of businesses when they become too powerful. This has worked successfully in the past with breaking up monopolies in the United States. However Apple has recently refused the demands of the government and is successfully holding out against the government. Will there come a time when the government no longer has the means or ability to break up large companies? Then what will become of our civilization?
In the 21st century, we have seen many businesses amass large amounts of power. Powerful companies have become global superpowers. Some of these companies are Amazon, Google, Walmart, and Apple. Though a company may have a home base in a certain country, due to its global power a government can have a hard time regulating that business.
We live in a world marked by endless social communication. The internet and social networking will continue to consume our busy lives. These forms of communication are vital to shifting power into the hands of businesses. Will we be able to harness the power of this communication for the good of our civilization? Or will it prove our destruction?
Many people from around the world have sided with Apple in this cyber-security debate. The topic of cyber-security is universal and affects people regardless of their physical location. Several examples in history illustrate unhappy citizens rebelling against their government. The Boston Tea Party is one such example, occurring in December of 1773. The British Parliament enacted a tax upon tea bought by American colonies. The American colonizers were very unhappy about this tax as they believed it violated the law of "no taxation without representation." The end result was a large group of Americans dumping all the tea from three ships into the ocean. Do citizens today feel that the government has violated their rights? Are we heading in the direction of another revolution?
Clearly the line between the power of businesses versus the power of the government has become blurry in the 21st century. The government has launched a war against Apple, a business superpower. Will the government be able to win the fight they started or will Apple prove to hold more power?