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Apple can’t enjoy personal freedom

Apple’s stance on unlocking its software is the latest example of our country becoming a “corporatocracy” and illustrates the hypocrisy of its position [“Defend phone encryption,” Opinion, Feb. 19]. It acts as if it is above the law, defying a court order while happy to accept corporate “personhood.”

The Supreme Court has given corporations the same rights as actual people: free speech, the ability to impose the religious beliefs of the owners on their employees and the use of their treasury to influence politics.

It is time the people stand up to “corporatocracy” and either treat corporations as unique (but useful) entities with limited rights, or as people who aren’t above the law. In Apple’s case, given current court rulings, they are a person and therefore not above the law.

As Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his dissent to the Citizens United decision: “Corporations have no conscience, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate activities of human beings. To be sure, their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom the Constitution was established.”

Paul Leiba, Kirkland

Is there a middle ground?

I oppose the order demanding that Apple produce a backdoor to its cellphones to be handed over to the FBI. I believe it’s a violation to our right to privacy. At least the FBI this time has taken the legitimate route of going to court. The court is in error by ruling in favor of the FBI. Apple should appeal.

Has a compromise been explored wherein Apple would access the contents of the phone and furnish a transcript of the contents to the FBI instead of relinquishing the technology to the FBI? That way the rights of the rest of us would be protected.

Howard A. Pellett, Anacortes