[Yesterday, activists held a protest in Washington DC against the FBI’s efforts to compel Apple to help break the encryption of an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. MCCRC supported the demonstration with email alerts, and BORDC/DDF Executive Director and MCCRC activist Sue Udry was there and made these remarks, crossposted from the BORDC/DDF web site: FBI is Shamelessly Exploiting Islamophobia and Fear of Terrorism To Gain Encryption Backdoor]
A magistrate judge, an Apple employee, and an FBI agent walk into a bar…..
Actually, only the Apple employee walks in. You know why?
Because the bar didn’t have a back door.
And, actually, because the FBI is too busy spinning this story to go drinking.
This week, FBI Director James Comey told us he wants into this iPhone because “the FBI simply must do all we can under the law to investigate”… what he really meant is that they must do all they can to leave no fear unexploited.
Because that is what the FBI is doing: simultaneously pandering to, exploiting and breeding Islamophobia to get what they want, a crow bar to get into our devices.
The only way you don’t see this is if you ignore the entire history of the FBI.
Like if you go watch Mississippi Burning and you think, wow, that FBI, what civil rights heroes they are.
Just think about all the ways the FBI can pry into our lives: they can use National Security Letters to demand our phone and bank records, scoop up our metadata under the USA Freedom Act, they can use Stingrays, ALPRs, get anything off the cloud, and of course, they can ransack our homes and offices. Without a warrant, without even suspicion of any wrongdoing, FBI agents can infiltrate a social movement like Occupy or Black Lives Matter, they can send a paid informant to pose as a Muslim to join a mosque, befriend and even seduce members in an attempt to entrap them in a fake terror plot, they can dig through our trash, question our friends, co-workers and bosses about us.
Our lives, our thoughts, our relations, are an open book for the FBI. never before have they had access to so much information about so many innocent people. And they are not above using it to harass and repress members of minority groups or groups whose politics they don’t like.
Ask Martin Luther King, ask Fred Hampton, ask Black Lives Matter, Occupy, Environmentalists, peace activists, animal rights activists or any Muslim, south Asian or Arab person in this country what it feels like to be targeted by the FBI for doing nothing illegal.
The FBI can’t have access to every millimeter of our lives, because they screw us when they do.