If they can ask Apple to disable the password protections on an iPhone, they can ask Apple to turn on the microphone or the camera. On any iPhone, anywhere, in any home in this country. And you would never know.
Some years ago one could have argued that there would be restraint in the use of such powers. But no one can seriously make that case anymore. We all know they would do that sort of thing if they could, because we’ve all read of too many cases where they have.
Once the tool exists, it will be abused. I really wish I could say otherwise. I wish I lived in a country where law enforcement acted with the square-jawed nobility of a comic book FBI agent. I used to think I did live in such a country, but in recent years I have been forced to realize that I don’t. I think that, in your heart, you know it too.
And if you happen to like the party in power today, just remember, every tool you give them is inherited by the next guy.
If the FBI wins, nowhere in the world would a company that provides products and services and uses encryption to safeguard customer information be safe to operate without severe business-debilitating interference from law enforcement authorities. Why would it be debilitating to business? Who would trust weakened products and services that allows law enforcement authorities access to your data, at will?