Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) told CN2 that Apple shouldn’t be compelled to hack the encrypted iPhone of San Bernardino shooter, Syed Farook. Apple has strongly opposed a court ordered request by the FBI to open the phone, citing that it could create a backdoor and weaken the security and privacy of users.
“What’s extraordinary about this warrant, or this court order, is that they’re asking Apple to devise a way into the phone when no such system exists currently,” Paul said. “So this would be an extraordinary warrant because they’re compelling Apple to become part of the police force and think up something new.”
Paul then went into the constitutionally of the court order, saying that some would see it as a violation of First Amendment rights as it was compelling ‘speech or thought’ by the government. He warned,”We ought to think twice before we decide we’re going to be compelling phone companies to come up with things like this.”
Paul also echoed Apple’s concerns about weakening encryption, saying it would make people more vulnerable to ‘hackers and thieves.’ The junior Senator said simply,”One of the main reasons things are encrypted is so people can’t steal your stuff.”
The Senator has been one of the greatest opponents to the weakening of privacy rights by the federal government. He has ripped into the fiction that mass surveillance has stopped terrorist attacks and filibustered the renewal of the Patriot Act back in May.
The people who want us to give up our liberty and say, ‘We can’t catch any terrorists without you giving up your liberty; without you giving up your privacy’ — these are people who have a history of not being honest,” Paul said, alluding to National Intelligence Director James Clapper’s now infamous 2013 hearing when he said that the NSA didn’t collect the bulk data of American’s phone records, which turned out to be untrue.
“I think we give up on who we are, and the terrorists win if we give up on our privacy and we violate the Bill of Rights just for simple expediency and for a false promise of security that I don’t think is actually true,” Paul said, echoing what he said at the CNN debate in December.