Apple's Security Debate is Everyone's Problem (Including Yours) | WBEZ
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Note to Self

Apple's Security Debate is Everyone's Problem (Including Yours)

The debate over whether the government can access your phone is here. Hello!

You've probably been following along, but in case you need the tl;dr: The debate revved up last month when the FBI asked Apple to hack into a locked iPhone associated with one of the gunmen from the San Bernardino massacre last December. Since then, the conversation has evolved into a national debate over what the government should (and shouldn't) be allowed to access. The conversation has officially moved outside the realm of tech and the government. With 90 percent of American adults owning a cell phone, the issue is hitting a lot closer to home than even the Edward Snowden revelations.

On this week's episode, you'll hear from Russell Banks, Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and author of "The Sweet Hereafter," "Affliction," and "Cloudsplitter." Banks was one of several prolific writers, including Gay Talese and Sandra Cisneros, who signed a letter last month calling for the FBI to stand down in their attempt to hack Apple. 

But why are authors so invested in the surveillance debate? Banks explains that when it comes to researching a taboo topic or writing about a sensitive matter, writers don't want to self-censor just because the government may be watching (or even flagging) language and/or behavior. And this is no small matter for the nonfiction and fiction scribes of the world. The advocacy group PEN found that 75 percent of writers living in democracies are concerned about their privacy. 

In a California court, the FBI is temporarily placing their legal battle with Apple on hold since an outside party is assisting the government in their efforts to unlock the phone. 

If this has you a little freaked out, you're not alone. Follow this up by listening to Walter Kirn explain if our phones are eavesdropping on us.


If you're upset that this is isn't the "sh*t you can put on your head" episode, fret not. Next week, Manoush will put stuff on her head and it gets weird. Subscribe to Note to Self on iTunesStitcherTuneInI Heart Radio, or anywhere else using our RSS feed. 

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