In a lengthy interview concerning Apple’s recent battle against the FBI’s order that the company create a program that would allow the government to access an Islamist terrorist’s iPhone, Apple CEO Tim Cook passionately defended the company's position. In Tim Cook's full 30-minute interview on Apple's fight with the FBI, the CEO said:
If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write. Maybe it’s an operating system for surveillance. Maybe it’s the ability for law enforcement to turn on the camera. I mean, I don’t know where this stops. But I do know this is not what should be happening in this country. This is not what should be happening in America. If there should be a law that compels us to do it, it should be passed out in the open, and the people of America should get a voice in that. The right place for that debate to occur is in Congress.
But one sentence—“If there should be a law that compels us to do it, it should be passed out in the open, and the people of America should get a voice in that”—destroyed his whole case
In other words, this huge threat to our liberties, so eloquently laid out by Cook, is acceptable if the majority of the people says it is. With that one statement, Cook destroys his whole defense. America is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic based on the moral principle of inalienable individual rights. In America, your rights cannot be violated under any circumstances, including by majority vote. (Your rights can, of course, be forfeited if you violate the rights of others by force or fraud. But that is the individual’s doing due to his choice to become a criminal.) Yet, Cook accepts the government’s right to run roughshod over Apple's rights so long as an elected Congress approves!
Cook wonders, “I mean, I don’t know where this stops.” Indeed, where does the power of the electoral majority stop? Such is the result of the failure to understand the difference between a democracy (which America was never intended to be) and a constitutionally limited republic based on individual rights.