Pew Asks Stupid Misleading Question About FBI Apple Fight, Gets Stupid Misleading Answers
from the shocking,-I-know dept
The folks over at Pew Research usually do pretty good work, but they decided to weigh in on the Apple / FBI backdoor debate by asking a really dumb poll question — the results of which are now being used to argue that the public supports the FBI over Apple by a pretty wide margin.
As you may know, RANDOMIZE: [the FBI has said that accessing the iPhone is an important part of their ongoing investigation into the San Bernardino attacks] while [Apple has said that unlocking the iPhone could compromise the security of other users? information] do you think Apple [READ; RANDOMIZE]?
(1) Should unlock the iPhone (2) Should not unlock the iPhone (3) Don’t Know.
But that’s not the issue in this case!
As noted in the past, when it’s possible for Apple to get access to data, it has always done so in response to lawful court orders. That’s similar to almost every other company as well. This case is different because it’s not asking Apple to “unlock the iPhone.” The issue is that Apple cannot unlock the iPhone and thus, the FBI has instead gotten a court order to demand that Apple create an entirely new operating system that undermines the safety and security of iPhones, so that the FBI can hack into the iPhone. That’s a really different thing.
And it does a massive disservice by Pew to (1) ask the wrong question and then (2) make people think that the public supports the FBI’s view when Pew itself misrepresented the issues in the case in the first place. And of course, the mainstream media, like the Washington Post (who normally is better than this) puts out a bullshit story claiming that “Apple is fighting a war most Americans don’t believe in.” But that’s not what the poll actually says. You’d think that reporters might actually take the time to understand the story and the poll first, but apparently that’s too difficult, as compared to the easy, if misleading headline.
As Ed Snowden himself pointed out, this is nothing more than misinformation:
Pew poll finds when the government misinforms the public, the public is misinformed. Scientists baffled. https://t.co/8LcRg7ismw
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) February 22, 2016