Husband of San Bernardino Attack Survivor Backs Apple in FBI Battle

“It was guns that killed innocent people, not technology.”

Via YouTube

In the wake of the December 2 terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 people dead, a debate pitting security against privacy has waged between the FBI and Apple. As part of its investigation, the FBI ordered the tech company to hack open shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone. But Apple fought the order, leading to a hotly contested court battle.

The FBI argues that Apple’s encryption hampers law enforcement’s ability to investigate serious crimes and prevent future attacks. Apple argues that creating software for its devices with a “back door” open to law enforcement leaves its users vulnerable to being hacked by governments and cyberterrorists. As the debate wages on, someone with a personal connection to the attacks has spoken up, taking a brave stance.

Salihin Kondoker, whose wife, Anies Kondoker, was shot three times in the San Bernardino attack and survived, has filed a friend-of-the-court brief, backing Apple. In a letter to Judge Sheri Pym obtained by BuzzFeed News, Kondoker argues, “When I first learned Apple was opposing the order [to hack Farook’s phone] I was frustrated that it would be yet another roadblock. But as I read more about their case, I have come to understand … that this software the government wants them to use will be used against millions of other innocent people. I share their fear,” he wrote.

Being that his wife and Farook were both county employees, Kondoker questions if there is anything valuable on Farook’s county-issued iPhone to begin with. “Why then would someone store vital contacts related to an attack on a phone they knew the county had access to? They [Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik] destroyed their personal phones after the attack. And I believe they did that for a reason,” Kondoker wrote. Although the fight is over encryption, Kondoker believes we’re debating the wrong issue. “In the wake of this terrible attack, I believe strongly we need stronger gun laws,” he wrote. “It was guns that killed innocent people, not technology.”

The ongoing debate over security versus privacy is one of the most important discussions happening in post-9/11 America. Kondoker’s stance is important because even though his wife was nearly killed by terrorists, he hasn’t had a knee-jerk reaction to the attack. He can step back and see how sacrificing the privacy of not only Americans but people across the world, in favor of security, may be more problematic in the long run.

via International Monetary Fund / Flickr and Streetsblog Denver / Flickr

Seventeen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg made a dramatic speech Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In her address, she called for a public and private sector divestment from fossil fuel companies

"Immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don't want these things done by 2050, or 2030 or even 2021 — we want this done now," she said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mocked the teenager on Thursday during a press briefing in Davos.

Keep Reading
The Planet

Even though marathon running is on the decline, half a million people signed up to participate in the 2020 London Marathon. It seems wild that someone would voluntarily sign up to run 26.2 miles, but those half a million people might actually be on to something. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that running a marathon can help reverse signs of aging.

Researchers at Barts and University College London looked at 138 first-time marathon runners between the ages of 21 and 69. "We wanted to look at novice athletes. We didn't include people who said they ran for more than two hours a week," Dr. Charlotte Manisty, the study's senior author and cardiologist at University College London, said per CNN.

Keep Reading
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading