"I don't have an iPhone. Why should I care?"

Posted at 4:19 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 18:48:29-05

If you don't have an iPhone, why should you care about the FBI's battle with Apple?

The FBI wants Apple to create software to help tap into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers.

But according to the Verge, if Apple creates software like this, it could pave the way for Congress to rule on encryption, which is the process of encoding messages or private information.

"Forcing Apple to weaken its encryption system in this one case means the government can force Apple — or any other private sector company — to weaken encryption systems in all future cases," California Congressman Ted Lieu told The Verge. "This precedent-setting action will both weaken the privacy of Americans and hurt American businesses."

Before any action is taken, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a letter Wednesday "this moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake."

It is also an issue that is being watched closely by many people in Western New York - especially law enforcement.

"What we need is legislation that requires companies that manufacture digital products to always have access for themselves," said Steve MacMartin, a former Homeland Security investigator who now teaches at Medaille College.

7 Eyewitness News reporter Ed Reilly spoke with MacMartin and others about the Apple issue with the US Government.