Tool Without a Handle: Tools for Terror, Tools for Peace

Much consideration has been given to the role of tools in recruitment to extremist violence, the desirability of restricting the use of tools for those purposes, the collateral effects of such restrictions, and the opportunity to use tools for alternative narratives.

This blog concludes that in some cases, restrictions on such uses can be desirable. At the same time though, with few exceptions, the choice of such restrictions should be left to the private sector, and carried out in a way that advances liberal principles. Moreover, there is unlikely to be a solely technological solution to the problem of radicalization or its products, including planning of terrorist attacks. Ultimately, it may be people rather than tools, that are the most effective resource for curtailing extremist violence.

FBI v. Apple -- Can doesn't mean should obey.

The FBI investigates a grizzly murder. You are a bank president. The murderer stored his phone book in your bank's safety deposit box, the code for which is encrypted with copyrighted proprietary software, before he committed the murder. The FBI demands that you provide it with the master code for the box, which can be used to unlock other boxes, too. You can give the FBI the code, but should you? Apple CEO Tim Cook is asking himself the same question, his answer is rightly "no."

Reflections on the FBI's Attempt to Dragoon Apple Into Subverting iPhone Security

On Monday, I wrote a post for Just Security where I reflected on last week's news concerning the FBI's attempts to coerce Apple into creating a forensic bypass to the iPhone passcode lockout. I wrote that we live in a software-defined world. In 2000, Lawrence Lessig wrote that Code is Law — the software and hardware that comprise cyberspace are powerful regulators that can either protect or threaten liberty. A few years ago, Mark Andreessen wrote that software was eating the world, pointing to a trend that is hockey sticking today. Software is redefining everything, even national defense.


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