Why Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOG) are siding with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in fight with FBI
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is fighting a court order requiring it to temper with iPhone’s encryption. The FBI is seeking access to the iPhone of a killer but Apple is refusing to allow that access in the name of protecting iPhone security. A growing number of companies including Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) are backing Apple. The companies clearly fear that the assault on Apple could spread and be damaging to their business and reputation in a global world.
Loss of trust
There is a fear among mostly technology companies that the environment of doing business will change drastically for the worse if the FBI is granted its request. From a business point of view, the companies that also include Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) say that there will be a loss of trust in their products.
It should be recalled that selling technology to global customers became a serious challenge for IBM, Cisco, Microsoft and a host of other U.S. companies in the wake of claims that the U.S. was spying on foreign governments and leaders. As such, Google, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and others are fearful that the problem could return if Apple is forced to unlock iPhone’s security.
Setting a trend
The other reason Microsoft, Facebook, Google and other technology companies are backing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is that they fear the government might form a habit of compelling them to breach the security of their products whenever a national security issue comes up. In other words, they don’t want Apple’s case to form a precedence on which they might be judged in the future.
If FBI finds its way, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could be forced to write software that would make it possible for investigators to access the iPhone 5C that the San Bernardino mass killer used. Investigators are hoping that data on the phone of the murderer could help expose his accomplices and help stem similar attacks in the future.
Relatives of some of the victims in the mass shooting are supporting the FBI in the push to have Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) temper with the phone encryption. An association of attorneys has also expressed their support for the FBI, citing that national security was more important than business interest that Apple is fighting to protect.
One of Apple’s attorney’s Theodore Olson noted that the FBI wants to open Pandora’s Box, and he has a point. While on the surface helping the government with terrorism is a no brainer, there is a larger fight here and this will by no means be the one and only battle. Apple and others will be put in a difficult position and suffer a loss of trust potentially in global markets.
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