The thing that bugs me the most about this situation is not the argument about what Apple should or shouldn’t be required to do, it’s the number of politicians who feel the need to pipe in on behalf of the government, who clearly have no idea how encryption works.
The whole point of encrypting data is to protect it from the prying eyes of the companies that are transmitting or hosting it. If Apple could access everything in iCloud, or Dropbox could access encrypted information stored on it’s servers, that would defeat the entire purpose. It would in fact, no longer be encrypted.
But that technical reality doesn’t stop someone like the mayor of New York City from saying the companies have a “duty” to turn over data they don’t actually have access to.
Can we have a conversation about encryption with people who actually understand it, please?