John Oliver explains why the Apple-FBI debate is more complicated than it seems

Encryption John Oliver finalYouTube/HBO‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.’

The main topic “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” tackled Sunday night was the hotly debated iPhone encryption issue, specifically related to the FBI demanding that Apple let it into the phone of San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook, who, with his wife, killed 14 people on December 2. 

While showing both sides of the argument, the segment highlights why Apple is against a “master key” that bypasses security features.

One reason is it would make products vulnerable to hackers. There’s also the likelihood that if Apple capitulates to US authorities, then China and Russia would want the same access. And if Apple opens the door for the FBI, who’s to say other US authorities wouldn’t want the same treatment for other cases? Oliver’s segment points out that one Manhattan District Attorney has 175 iPhones with potential evidence from serious crimes, including murder, that he can’t open.

It’s a precedent that could open a Pandora’s box. Or as Oliver puts it in the segment:

“Think of the government like your dad,” he said. “If he asks you to help him with his iPhone, be careful. If you do it once, you’re going to be doing it 14 times a day.” 

Watch the complete segment below:


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