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OPINION
 

PRO/CON: Should Apple have resisted the FBI's request to unlock iPhone?

Protesters, including Victoria Best (right) and Charles Fredricks, hold signs supporting Apple in its fight against the FBI. They stood outside the Apple store in Santa Monica, California, on Feb. 23, 2016.
Protesters, including Victoria Best (right) and Charles Fredricks, hold signs supporting Apple in its fight against the FBI. They stood outside the Apple store in Santa Monica, California, on Feb. 23, 2016. Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times/TNS

PRO: Apple has rights too, and was right to say no

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has stopped fighting Apple. The FBI is America's top law enforcement agency. It helps to keep the country safe. The FBI wanted Apple to help it get information from an iPhone. Apple is the company that makes iPhones. Apple said "no."

The iPhone that caused this fight belonged to Syed Farook. Farook and his wife killed 14 people in California last year. The FBI thought Farook's phone might have important information on it. But the FBI did not have the phone's password.

The FBI wanted Apple to help them get into the phone without the password. Apple would not help. The FBI had to find another way to get into the phone.

Apple did the right thing. It should not have helped the FBI. Instead, Apple helped protect an important American right. 

Fourth Amendment Protects The Right To Protect Privacy

Apple phones have passwords to protect people's information. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says people have the right to protect their information. That is a very important right for all Americans. 

Apple has rights too. Apple has the right to make phones that help people protect their information.

The Fourth Amendment gives the U.S. government rights too. The government can search people's property and information, but only if done right. First the government needs a very good reason for the search. Then it needs permission from the courts to do the search. 

Sometimes the government can have extra powers. Congress gave the president extra powers during World War I and World War II. The president was allowed to make companies help the United States fight the wars. Companies made things like tanks and guns. Those powers ended when the wars ended.

The FBI wanted that kind of extra power over Apple. That is a problem. This is not a war time. Congress never gave the FBI that kind of power. 

Apple's fight with the FBI was about more than one phone. It was a fight to protect everyone's information.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Randall G. Holcombe studies social problems at the Independent Institute. He also teaches at Florida State University. His address is 162 Bellamy Building, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306. His email address is holcombe@fsu.edu.

This essay is available to Tribune News Service subscribers. Tribune did not subsidize the writing of this column; the opinions are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of Tribune or Newsela.

CON: Apple's position is dangerous for America

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has opened Syed Farook's iPhone. This is good news for America's main law enforcement agency. Farook and his wife killed 14 people last year. The FBI might now learn more about the attack.

Apple is the company that makes iPhones. The FBI asked Apple to help unlock, or open, Farook's iPhone without the password. Apple said "no." The FBI eventually found another way to open the phone. 

Tim Cook runs Apple. Cook made it harder for the FBI to learn more about Farook. He made it harder for the FBI to protect America. Cook made a bad choice. There are violent groups trying to attack America and its friends.

Cook had his reasons for saying "no." He worried that helping the FBI would be bad for Apple's business. Cook worried that people would stop trusting Apple. He also worried that the U.S. government might try to take away some of people's rights.

Cook slowed down the FBI when he said "no" three months ago. Since then, some horrible things happened. The Islamic State set off bombs in Belgium and Pakistan. The Islamic State is a violent group. It is also known as ISIS and ISIL.

ISIS might be planning more bomb attacks. These attacks might happen in the United States. Law enforcement agencies such as the FBI are very worried. The fight against groups like ISIS could even become World War III.

Apple CEO Should Study World War II

Apple’s Tim Cook should study the history of World War II.

America entered World War II in 1941. American business leaders helped to win the war. Many businessmen ran car companies. These businessmen turned their car factories into war factories. They stopped making cars to sell. The companies made vehicles for the Army instead.

America’s business leaders put the country first. Their own worries came second.

Tim Cook should think like the businessmen in World War II. He should help America win this war too.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Whitt Flora is a journalist. He was a chief writer for Aviation & Space Technology Magazine. His address is 319 Shagbark Road, Middle River, Maryland. 21220.

This essay is available to Tribune News Service subscribers. Tribune did not subsidize the writing of this column; the opinions are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of Tribune or Newsela.

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1
Anchor 4: Word Meaning & Choice

Read the sentence from the PRO section "Fourth Amendment Protects The Right To Protect Privacy."

Congress gave the president extra powers during World War I and World War II.

What does the word "extra" show in the sentence above?

A

The president had more powers than he started with.

B

The president had more powers than anyone else.

C

The president had more powers than he needed.

D

The president had more powers than other countries.

2
Anchor 4: Word Meaning & Choice

Read the sentences from the CON section "Apple CEO Should Study World War II."

America’s business leaders put the country first. Their own worries came second.

What did the CON author mean by "put the country first"?

A

make sure the country makes money

B

make sure the country is the best in the world

C

make sure the country wins wars

D

make sure the country's needs are met

3
Anchor 8: Arguments & Claims

The PRO author claims that Apple made the right decision.

Which sentence from the PRO author's section SUPPORTS the claim above?

A

Apple is the company that makes iPhones.

B

The FBI wanted Apple to help them get into the phone without the password.

C

The Fourth Amendment protects people's right to privacy.

D

Sometimes the government can have extra powers.

4
Anchor 8: Arguments & Claims

The CON author claims that Tim Cook should help the FBI.

What is one reason the author gives to support this claim?

A

With Tim Cook's help, the FBI will be able to open Syed Farook's iPhone.

B

With Tim Cook's help, Apple will make more money for the FBI.

C

With Tim Cook's help, the FBI can catch ISIS terrorists more quickly.

D

With Tim Cook's help, the FBI will be able to protect privacy rights.

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