Skip to main content

The FBI and Apple

The two contending forces resolved their dispute arising out of the San Bernardino terrorist attack. It turns out the FBI didn't need Apple. The US government can hire hackers who can get into the phone. That was bad news for Apple's brand (unhackability is part of the mystique), but good news for what remains of the fourth amendment. It is an awful business having courts order private companies to help the government open doors to their products, especially when those products have an intimate character for so many of their buyers.

Yet the FBI doesn't want that much to remain of the fourth amendment. So it, and the D of J, have re-started the fight, this time over another phone. The Justice Department said on April 8th that it is going to seek a court order to force Apple to help it unlock an iPhone that was seized as part of a New York drug-traffic investigation.

This was a front page story in the weekend Wall Street Journal. Still, it faded from public attention quickly, because the war on drugs is by now ho-hum, whereas resistance to terrorism involves the paradigm of front-page news: violence.

I hope for a victory for freedom but, as always, I fear for the contrary result.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Great Chain of Being

One of the points that Lovejoy makes in the book of that title I mentioned last week is the importance, in the Neo-Platonist conceptions and in the later development of the "chain of being" metaphor, of what he calls the principle of plenitude. This is the underlying notion that everything that can exist must exist, that creation would not be possible at all were it to leave gaps.

The value of this idea for a certain type of theodicy is clear enough.

This caused theological difficulties when these ideas were absorbed into Christianity.  I'll quote a bit of what Lovejoy has to say about those difficulties:

"For that conception, when taken over into Christianity, had to be accommodated to very different principles, drawn from other sources, which forbade its literal interpretation; to carry it through to what seemed to be its necessary implications was to be sure of falling into one theological pitfall or another."

The big pitfalls were: determinism on the on…

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…