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Amb. R. James Woolsey discusses the FBI/Apple debate

Ambassador R. James Woolsey, current IWP Chancellor and former Director of Central Intelligence, expressed concern on Friday March 11th, when CNBC’s Squawk Box asked him about the FBI’s attempts to gain backdoor entry into Apple iPhones.  Amb. Woolsey said that he supports the FBI’s initiative to obtain the data; however, he criticized the Bureau for its approach on this particular issue. 

“It did seem to me as if the FBI was trying to get a right essentially to decide what kind of an operating system Apple was going to have, and that they were not just trying to get into one phone. They were trying to change some important aspect of Apple’s operating system,” he said.

The Ambassador hinted at the idea of a slippery slope, suggesting that if Apple were to develop a program for the FBI, courts around the world would demand similar access to the backdoor.  The Bureau’s efforts to restructure Apple’s iOS should not be made possible, according to Amb. Woolsey.  The FBI should have maintained private negotiations with Apple in an effort to gain access to one phone only.  Publicizing a demand that overshoots the tactical objective has undermined the FBI’s broader efforts to achieve access to phones on a case by case basis.  

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