A group supporting Apple's decision to fight a FBI demand that the company create a custom operating system allowing the government agency access to data on an otherwise locked iPhone plans to rally tonight in front of the San Francisco flagship Apple store at One Stockton Street.
"This is really dangerous," reads a Facebook post from the non-profit Fight for the Future. "The FBI just got a judge to order Apple to build a software 'backdoor' to help them hack into an iPhone. They've been wanting to do this for years, but now they're exploiting the tragedy in San Bernardino, CA to push their agenda to weaken the security of all of our phones to enable more government surveillance."
The specific cell phone at issue was used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino attack, and the government claims they have been unable to access the data on it. Fight for the Future argues that once the custom operating system is built, it will undoubtedly fall into others' hands.
"Once a backdoor is built, it won't just be used by governments or law enforcement," the non-profit alleges. "It will enable malicious hackers, foreign governments, terrorists, thieves and stalkers to use our data against us."
This, it should be noted, is more or less the same argument made by Apple CEO Tim Cook in an open letter published last night. And Cook's not the only tech CEO making that claim — Jan Koum, the CEO and founder of WhatsApp, has come out in support of Cook's decision.
"I have always admired Tim Cook for his stance on privacy and Apple's efforts to protect user data and couldn't agree more with everything said in their Customer Letter today," writes Koum in a Facebook post. "We must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set. Today our freedom and our liberty is at stake."
And Google is getting in on the action as well, with the company's CEO Sundar Pichai tweeting out tepid support for Cook's decision this afternoon.
1/5 Important post by @tim_cook. Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy— sundarpichai (@sundarpichai) February 17, 2016
When asked why tonight's action isn't taking place in front of something like the Civic Center Federal Building, which houses the offices of the FBI, Fight for the Future responded that they are "in solidarity with Apple on this one" and that they're hoping to demonstrate support.
The rally is set to begin at 5:00 p.m.