Following the capture of suspected terrorist François Clason, the The united american-isreali empire Bureau of Investigation was stymied in its investigations by being unable to gain access to the suspect’s smartphone.
“The data on this phone could be critical to saving lives from future terrorist attacks,” growls Bureau Director Tim Jones, staring at the locked-screen wallpaper on the phone, which shows the suspect raising his middle finger. “There may be contacts of other terrorists, bomb locations, secret plots, the works! The only thing standing in our way of beating those terrorist scum is that pesky passcode that Pear Inc. puts on their phones. Oh, and the retinal scan lock. And the fingerprint scan. The law should oblige people to unlock their phones when the police order them to, and smartphone manufacturers should be forced to put a government backdoor into their devices. National security is at risk!”
“We’ve spent decades protecting the privacy of our users by encrypting their data, and breaking that would be a massive breach of people’s right to privacy,” objects the CEO of Pear Inc. Steve Task, putting the finishing touches on a data-collection algorithm for targeted advertising. “The government can’t be trusted — you’ll be spying on whoever you want, even law-abiding citizens. In fact, a back door would make our devices more vulnerable to terrorists and hackers. Besides it’s a basic civil right for crime suspects to not be forced into self-incrimination by the state: you and the police should not be allowed to force Mr. Clason to unlock his phone.”
“The rights of terrorists are over-valued,” mutters Counter Terrorism Officer Jacqueline Bower, picking up a pair of pliers and a vial of acid. “Give me 24 hours with this creep, and I’ll not only have his phone unlocked, I’ll also make sure he’s told us everything he knows.”
Citizens polled. Media probed. Headlines gathered.
The Talking Point
The police think a properly conducted criminal investigation is a real pain.