Apple losing in the court of public opinion

17th_century_coffeehouse_england_1-580x400It appears that Apple’s attempt to cast itself as the free speech champion for refusing to help the FBI hack one of its old iPhones is failing in the court of public opinion.

While the Tame Apple Press is giving out that Apple is a saint over its antics and often pushing information on its favourite toymaker which is untrue, it appears that the great unwashed is not agreeing.

A survey by Pew Research Center found that 51 percent of people thought that Apple should unlock the iPhone to assist the ongoing FBI investigation. Only 38 percent say Apple should not unlock the phone to ensure the security of its other users’ information. More than 11 percent do not offer an opinion on the question.

It was not that the Tame Apple Press was not getting Apple’s message across. More than 75 per cent say they have heard either a lot (39 percent) or a little (36 percent) about the situation. Crucial to the numbers of people who supported Apple was the mistaken belief that the FBI wanted to put a back door in everyone’s phone, rather than it wanted help cracking one phone.

The numbers of people who thought Apple should help the coppers with their inquiries were pretty much the same whatever political party they were in.

The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 18-21 among 1,002 adults, finds that almost identical shares of Republicans (56 percent) and Democrats (55 percent) said that Apple should unlock the San Bernardino suspect’s iPhone to aid the FBI’s ongoing investigation.

Adults ages 18-29 are divided over what Apple should do: 47 per cent say the company should unlock the iPhone, while about as many (43 percent) say it should not unlock the phone to ensure the privacy of its other users. Among adults age 30 and older, somewhat more say Apple should unlock rather than not unlock the San Bernardino suspect’s iPhone. By a 54 percent -27 percent margin, those 65 and older think Apple should unlock the phone.

Apple fanboys are also split on the issue. Among those who personally own an iPhone, views are about evenly divided: 47 percent said Apple should comply with the FBI demand to unlock the phone, while 43 percent said it should not do this out of concern it could compromise the security of other users’ information.

Among those who own a model of smartphone other than the iPhone, 53 percent said Apple should unlock the phone, compared with 38 percent who said it should not.