Letters to My Congressman

My local congressman, Buddy Carter,
sends out a weekly newsletter and this week’s was a
I don’t normally write to him, because I’m not sure it does any good,
but I had to in this case.

Here’s what I wrote. Feel free to use it and write to your

In your latest newsletter you say the following: “I believe committing
this horrific act removes all civil liberties and they should be
investigated in whatever way is necessary. This is now an issue of
national security and it is ridiculous that Apple is not participating
in the investigation of known murderers and terrorists.”

This paragraph shows an amazing lack of understanding of the
Constitution and our fundamental civil rights, and a failure to grasp
the most basic facts of not just what the FBI is asking Apple to do, but
the FBI’s own actions that led to where we are right now.

I’ll leave the constitutional questions to someone else, but the
technical ones are simple:

  1. Creating a backdoor, ANY backdoor, for the FBI means that Apple will
    have to give that backdoor to any government in any country they do
    business in. Submitting to this request of our government means that
    they have to give that back door to repressive regimes in China, the
    middle east, etc.
  2. Creating a back door, ANY back door, in encryption or security means
    that back door can be exploited by any one – good guys, bad guys,
    terrorists, etc.
  3. The FBI wouldn’t be in this situation if they hadn’t asked local law
    enforcement to change the suspects’ Apple ID password. If they’d
    left it as is, Apple could have gotten into their account and given
    the FBI whatever they wanted – as they have done in many many cases.

This isn’t a simple case, but just demanding that Apple do what the FBI
asks denies the complexity of the issues and weakens security for

We need strong encryption, unfettered by ill-informed and ill-advised
government demands, for ALL of us to be safer. Any weakness at all can
be exploited by the bad guys just as easily as the good – and like
people are so fond of using the 2nd amendment as a “check against
unchecked tyranny” – strong encryption is an even better check against
that tyranny, and not just in the US.

I ask that the government get smarter, that our representatives gets
smarter, about thinking about how to perform their duties and catching
criminals than asking the innovative companies that drive our economy to
get dumber.

Thank you for your time,

Kevin Lawver

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