Most journalists seem to miss the larger civil liberties point when Big Tech companies get subpoenas for people’s digital archives. With the most recent example being where the Justice Department subpoenaed Apple while being gagged from disclosing such a subpoena, it is time to remind nearly everybody: You don’t own your digital life, Big Tech does.
If you did own your digital files You would get the warrant not a tech giant.
“Who gets the warrant?” is as defining of the evidence of ownership as “Follow the money” is to evidence of corruption.
In today’s case: Apple gets the warrant because they own the user’s data. The user does not get a warrant because the user does not own the user’s data. This is because Apple does not respect your civil liberties.
In the US, and most free countries, you as a citizen are granted liberties such as freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, the right to security and liberty, the right to privacy, the right to equal treatment under the law and due process, the right to a fair trial, and the right to life.
Unless that life is your digital life (aka files), then you give it all up when you sign a terms of service with Big Tech companies, like Apple. This is the giant red flashing alarm.
When Apple gets the secret warrant for a user’s entire device usage and files, it is as alarming as it is telling that the user never owned their device nor their files, and that Apple has complete control over the user.
If this were any other area of your physical life you would have due process that companies cannot abuse. They would be trespassing when they put a camera on your window spying on you. The warrant to enter your premises to search your files would be signed off by a judge and you would be notified.
This exploitation of the digital lives of citizens will continue, until one or both of two things happen:
Obviously at Purism we are investing heavily and working tirelessly daily to create products that are ever more convenient, with the end-goal of having a just alternative for society to avoid the freedom crushing status quo of products from Big Tech.
We are a Social Purpose Corporation, whose reason for being—enshrined in our articles of incorporation— is to build products that respect the users right to freedom and civil liberties fully.
This is why Purism will not get a warrant for your phone nor phone data—we don’t have it—because everything you buy from us you own fully. And every dollar of purchasing with Purism advances a future where your civil liberties will be respected in the digital world as well as the physical world. Think about Funding an App, or buying Purism products, to put your money toward a future you want to live in.
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