IT pros side with Apple in the battle vs the FBI

The majority of IT professionals agree, in part or completely, with Apple's stance in the FBI issue over data encryption.

That's the result of a latest survey conducted by BCS. According to the survey, 76 per cent of IT professionals disagree companies should weaken their security or defeat them and give access to encrypted content to authorities, in order to protect national security.

For those who aren't up to date with what's going on: Apple has gotten a court order to unlock an iPhone 5c, belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook, the man behind the San Bernardino terror attack that left 14 dead. The court order followed after the government asked Apple to help FBI unlock the phone, and the tech company kindly declined.

The company opposes the court order, with its CEO Tim Cook saying it poses a “chilling” breach of privacy.

David Evans, Director of Policy at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, says: “From our survey, it’s quite clear that IT professionals do not agree that companies should be asked to weaken or defeat their own security measures to provide authorities with access to encrypted content.“

The UK has a similar debate of its own, with the Snooper's Charter, AKA Investigatory Powers Bill in the centre of attention. If passed, the bill would force tech companies to install a backdoor in their devices, for law enforcement agencies to use when they see fit.

“The draft UK investigatory powers bill will face the same questions which have been raised in this case and I think we’ve still to see a good way forward. This is a polarised debate, and we’d like to see it come together. We do not want to see any organisation standing against a lawful attempt to fight crime and terrorism, yet the implications of both the UK’s investigatory powers bill and the FBI’s desire to crack Apple’s software have exercised the technical community for a reason."

"Part of this may be because of a difference in political views and emphasis on liberty versus security. Part of this may also be that the technology community really understand the implications of what is being asked in these cases, while the general public don’t. These are not issues we can ignore, and while we recognise the attempts of both governments and the tech community to reach out, we ask if collectively we’re doing enough.”