Apple Encryption Engineers Might Resist

[ The New York Times ] John Markoff, Katie Benner, and Brian X. Chen:

Apple employees are already discussing what they will do if ordered to help law enforcement authorities. Some say they may balk at the work, while others may even quit their high-paying jobs rather than undermine the security of the software they have already created, according to more than a half-dozen current and former Apple employees.

Among those interviewed were Apple engineers who are involved in the development of mobile products and security, as well as former security engineers and executives.

Ordered to help. That sounds almost nice. But what really might happen is Apple employees will be forced, by law, to sabotage their own creation. I understand if Apple employees developed a malicious virus. I understand if Apple employees created a destructive worm. But it’s none of that.

Apple employees created a mobile operating system that secures your private information by encrypting it with your passcode or fingerprint. This is what the FBI, the DoJ, and other law enforcement authorities will force Apple employees to sabotage, if they win their legal battle against Apple.

And if the FBI et al. wins, every company that provides secure products and services will be on the hook: law enforcement authorities — in the U.S. as well as in other countries — will demand and get a weakened version to access data deemed necessary for an investigation.