Encrypted iMessage is a step toward user privacy
Personal security and privacy on the internet has become a contentious issue in the national media.
Seventy- five percent of The Wooster Blade Editorial Board believes that Apple’s recent announcement of increased encryption and security for transmitted data is a step in the right direction toward increased civil liberties and privacy online in a vote of fifteen to five.
In an increasingly connected world, the protection of personal data has become a priority among citizens. Unwarranted government access to location, cell phone records and messages threatens the basic civil liberties of all people. Data collection by defense agencies such as the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation erodes the privacy of citizens. This indiscriminate collection threatens the basic right of warranted search and seizure protected under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The Wooster Blade Editorial Board applauds the efforts of Apple and other corporations to protect the privacy of their consumers. Apple has closed a major security loophole that allowed personal data such as iMessages to be encrypted law enforcement agencies, according to “Stop the Hysteria Over Apple Encryption” by Bruce Schneier of CNN dated Oct. 4, 2014.
Apple now uses end-to-end encryption for iMessages, which prevents any outside entity from viewing personal messages, according to an article in The Verge by Aaron Souppouris.
This elevated security has frustrated many law enforcement agencies. FBI Director James Comey told Schneier that Apple’s decision could inadvertently protect sexual predators and terrorists who use Apple services for communication. However, personal data seizures have not yielded promising results, according to Schneier, “Of the 3,576 major offenses for which warrants were granted for communications interception in 2013, exactly one involved kidnapping.” The protection of personal information is an important civil liberty in any democratized society.
The Wooster Blade Editorial Board encourages other corporations to follow Apple’s lead and make privacy the new norm.