Thursday, June 16, 2016

Apple’s Tim Cook Undercuts His Own Defense of Apple

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.

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1 comment:

Mike Kevitt said...

Congress has no right to even consider proposed legislation that is not thoroughly consistent with individual rights. It may consider only those that are. Some of them will always be more effective than others. THAT's what Congress may and must consider. Where is the gatekeeper of Congress on this? The President must receive only such legislation from Congress for him to consider, veto or sign and enforce. His veto power is one gatekeeper of Congress when other ones fail. He has no business signing legislation inconsistent with individual rights. Where's the gatekeeper here? The judiciary must strike down as unconstitutional, in cases coming before it, all established legislation involved in those cases which are inconsistent with individual rights. It must uphold all legislation which is consistent. Where's the gatekeeper here?

The gatekeepers everywhere have failed. So we have democracy. What's needed is people with the right ideas guarding the gates, backed by physical force. Backing the right ideas, this physical force is responsive or retaliatory against initiatory force. It is not initiatory force. That's the only way any gatekeeper can succeed.

How can we replace those guarding the gates, none of whom have the right ideas, with those who do? The only way is physical force in the first place, which would be responsive or retaliatory if done by those with the right ideas. Put those with the right ideas at the gates by force and keep such people there by force. That's the basis of actual law and government This particular physical force in the first place is the first right idea where actually doing something about it is concerned. How does that square with putting intellectual means first?

As long as there is freedom of speech, press, etc. (now under assault), spread the right ideas. Elections, including referendums, will eventually work if it's not too late. What's an election, if not a holding of force, in waiting, which is responsive or retaliatory, when in the hands of a majority consisting of people with the right ideas? But, if it's too late and we lose freedom of speech, press, etc., then elections can't work, and the intellectual approach is to express the right ideas with responsive or retaliatory force in other ways. Otherwise, we submit.