Snowden, the most important whistleblower on these technical issues has unequivocally declared that the government's claims are false. They don't need Apple to develop anti-encryption software in order to access the iPhone. If anyone would know, it's Edward Snowden.
This tells us what the government is really after and what these debates are really about. The fearmongering and manipulation of the public are a means to an end. The government demands unrestricted access to all information. The government has declared the Bill of Rights a concept dead and all but buried. The implementation of the new societal paradigm and its citizen expectations is just a matter of time, or one attack away.
All that's left is the first amendment and that is rapidly eroding.
Why isn't the media reporting this? There's some international coverage but among US media outlets this story has barely been mentioned. Only a few have given it little more than a passing mention. I've noticed one or two have tried to bury it in the 'tech' section. This should be a major headline.
Is the pro-government, pro-FBI position on this point a 'liberal' one? I think not. The media is misunderstood, especially by the Right and most egregiously by the Nativist faction.
A final note. I do not in any way wish to 'defend' Apple. I think they are a deeply immoral and socially subversive company. I have all but despised their founder, products and 'culture' since the 1980s when I got my first Apple II. I loathe their merchandise, style and the message they promote.
I think they're also hypocritical in how they are presenting their case to the public. They have been happy collaborators in the past as many have pointed out. If there has been a warrant and the matter concerned unencrypted data, Apple has been happy to assist the authorities. Of course the key difference is with regard to the present case. The government is demanding that Apple create a means to access. That's new territory, a new frontier in expectation that's beyond precedent.
For Apple, a change of heart can be a good thing but you need to be candid about the past.
Here are a couple of decent links to the Snowden story:
Of course it's rather ironic that Apple who ran the famous 1984 ad in the end created the device (the modern Smartphone) that more than anything has helped to bring us to that very point. Computers were supposed to liberate us from the prospect of the Orwellian nightmare. Instead they've made it a reality.
On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like “1984.”
But 2016 is starting to look like it.
*I remember watching that Superbowl. At the time I was so happy that the Raiders won... but so annoyed that Barry Manilow sang the national anthem!