A Key Under Your Door Mat

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Department of Justice Reopens Spat With Apple Over iPhone Encryption - John Gruber

This framing is entirely wrong. This suggests that Apple has the ability to “just unlock” an iPhone encrypted with a passcode or passphrase. They don’t. The difference between 2014 and today isn’t that Apple previously was cooperative with law enforcement requests and now is not — the difference is that modern iPhones can’t be “unlocked” the way older ones could, because the security on modern iPhones is so much better now.

The best comparison I can make is to think of your house having a key under the front mat. Your house gets robbed somewhat regularly because all the bad guys in the neighborhood know your key is there so they let themselves in regularly. The police also know it's there, so when you report a robbery, they like the convenience of having a key under the mat so they can get in and investigate the crime.

If you stop putting a key under your front door mat, the obvious reason would be so that it's much harder for the bad guys to get into your house, not that you "stopped routinely allowing law enforcement officials into" your home to investigate.