• Security vs. Privacy

Please respond to the following discussion topic and submit it to the discussion forum as a single post. Your initial post should be 75-150 words in length. Then, make at least two thoughtful responses to your fellow students’ posts. If you haven’t recently, please review the Rules of Discussion.

On December 2, 2015, Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik shot and killed 14 people and injured 22 more in San Bernadine, California.  After the shooting, the couple fled in a rented  SUV. Four hours later, police located and pursued the suspect vehicle which ended in a shootout where the suspects were both killed.


If you are not familiar with the details of this attack, here is an ABC News report on the basics:


The next day, the  FBI opened a counter-terrorism investigation of this case.  Part of that investigations was the FBI’s attempt to access Farook’s Apple I-phone to look for possible evidence of the case.

Because the I-phone was locked, the FBI didn’t have the technology to open it to review its contents.  Because they were not able to open it, the FBI asked Apple to unlock the phone.  Apple refused citing privacy and security issues.  To this, the FBI requested a court order ordering Apple to unlock the phone, telling the court, it needed access to the phone so it could complete its investigation and to keep America safe. The court sided with the FBI and issued a court order ordering Apple to unlock the phone.

Again, Apple refused citing privacy and security issues.

This has opened a whole new conversation about security vs. privacy in America.

On one side, it is argued in situations such as this, where the safety and security of others is at stake, personal security takes a backseat to those privacy issues.

On the other side, it is argued this is exactly what terrorist want, to sacrifice our personal privacy to stay safe against possible terrorist attacks.  This side also argues privacy is a basic American concept and should never be overridden for security reasons.  They argue the US Supreme Court has consistently ruled in favor of what’s known as the expectation of privacy which basically says if you do something about which you have a reasonable expectation of privacy being preserved, it should take extreme measures to allow that right to be overridden.

Eventually the FBI was able to hire a hacker to break into the phone and the FBI found little information of use.


Here is an ABC piece on the issue of the request for Apple to make a program that would allow the FBI to access the phone.  Watch the video and then respond to the following question.


In your initial post, cover the events behind the San Bernadine terror attack (as it has been designated by our government) which lead up to the request by the FBI, to Apple, to create a program so they could unlock Farook’s phone.  After that, discuss your thoughts on the question of personal security vs. safety of the general public.  Should public safety ever trump private security?  Should the threat of a terror attack allow the overriding of personal security?  If so, when?  If not, why? How should this be administered and monitored should the courts allow this?


Take a stand and defend your position.



should be 150 words, but may go longer depending on the topic. If you use any source outside of your own thoughts, you should reference that source. Include solid grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling.

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