Saturday, February 20, 2016


Yesterday, Friday, February 19, 2016, Donald Trump called for a boycott of Apple, Inc. until Apple “unlocks” the phone of a terrorist. 

Should I jump on Trump’s boycott bandwagon? What is Trump’s motive? Hard to guess, of course, but it’s pretty clear that Trump is a genius at getting press attention for his campaign. I think Trump’s likely motive is self-promotion as a candidate. He is a genius--at promoting himself.

Note that Trump himself used an iPhone, an Apple product, to tweet his call to boycott Apple. At a minimum, Trump should have switched to a Word phone or a Samsung phone. His use of an iPhone to call for a boycott of the producer of the iPhone is an inconsistency. Inconsistency will harm any campaign and make the public wonder about the worthiness of the candidate.

There are better ways for both Trump and us to take action other than to boycott.

For example, Trump could have tweeted for legal change that would authorize the F.B.I. and Apple to cooperate in unlocking phone records under certain circumstances.

Police already have authority to search your house if warranted. If police need to enter your "castle" to investigate evidence of crime they make a case before a judge. The judge considers the situation and may issue a search warrant. 

The warrant for home search is limited to a single residence and the search must be completed within a limited time period. 

Legislation regarding phone searches should parallel that for home searches. Decryption should be legal in single instances only and if the need for public safety outweighs the right of privacy. This need not be about millions of cell phones. Actually, Bloomberg News reported that the F.B.I. presented Apple with a judge's order to unlock just the one phone. The software that Apple would create in response to the order would not leave the Apple campus. Therefore, warrant-like limitations are in place.

If Trump already had been elected president, would he have used that office to call for boycott of Apple? His shoot-from-the-hip reaction to boycott makes me wonder about his judgment if he were in office. He would have his finger on the nuclear button. What OR WHOM would restrain him from using it? PUTIN?

For each of us, I think the best approach is to contact your senators and your representative and advocate for appropriate legislation comparable to the search warrant for single instances of home searches. It's easy to contact your representative and your senators. Ask for legalization of phone searches within prescribed limits in individual cases of terrorist-operated cell phones.

Instead of boycotting Apple, you might want to consider boycotting Trump. (Given Trump's call to boycott Apple, I imagine thousands who work in Silicon Valley are already committed to voting for anybody but him.)

Your thoughts? Please comment (click on "one comment" just below and leave your message.) 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great laughs, great thoughts