The tech world has seen a debate arise recently which transcends the normal borders of Android and iOS. Of course, this is to be expected, as the ramifications of the debate affect the smartphone world in general and not just one or two operating systems. This is of course, the debate surrounding encryption, access to encryption, the government and privacy.
To recap, Apple was instructed by a Federal court to assist the FBI in gaining access to a particular iPhone. A request Apple denied to abide by and it is this stance which had seen the debate rocket to epic proportions. Following Apple’s denial, multiple tech companies have come out in support of their stance and throwing their soundbites into the ring. While most do seem to be united in their opposition to any move which would compromise consumer privacy, the debate has seen some come out against the companies for not helping what is essentially, a national (and international) issue, the wider safety of the public. BlackBerry reiterated their position early today by starting at MWC that although they will abide by any lawful request, they will not be building backdoors for access. A stance many would likely expect from a company who prides themselves on how secure their platform is and devices are. Up next, it is the turn of Verizon to join the debate.
According to Verizon’s Chief Exec, Lowell McAdam, Verizon do support “strong encryption with no backdoors.” Further adding, that cases like this should not be evaluated on a case by case basis. However, McAdam did also use this “ad hoc basis” line to further add that the much wider issue of encryption, is one which should be addressed by Congress. This is a sentiment which had been echoed by AT&T not too long ago as well. So while the news continues to be full of reports at the moment on the specific Apple case at hand, both AT&T and Verizon do lend their support to the idea that Congress should look to decide on whether a ban on unbreakable encryption across the board should be in place.