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Tuesday Letters: Public safety trumps Apple phone privacy

A man walks up the stairs at the Apple Store in Grand Central Station February 25, 2016.
Apple has been in a legal fight with the government in the San Bernardino case, where the FBI wants the company to help hacking the iPhone of Syed Farook, a US citizen, who gunned down 14 people with his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik in the California city in December. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

I am appalled by Apple’s refusal to help our government crack into phones. I’ve watched true-life TV police dramas in which they were able to find a killer by looking into his phone — a killer, mind you. Now we have a person said to be a terrorist who has killed citizens of this country, yet Apple is going to protect his rights? I hope people throw away their Apple phones in protest. The company is possibly hiding knowledge of who the terrorist’s friends were in this country and what they planned to attack next. I’m sorry, but the safety for a majority of citizens supersedes anyone’s individuals rights. Who said your phone is sacred anyway? Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.

Connie Orland, Joliet

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Phone hacking helps foreign spies

No doubt the Chinese and Russians are enthusiastically supporting backdoor hacking into everyone’s iPhones and private lives. They will be among the first to use the hacking technology. It will greatly aid them in industrial espionage, in stealing trade secrets, credit card numbers, passwords, bank account info and phone numbers of lovers, drinking buddies and golf partners — all useful for blackmail, extortion and arm-twisting. Then there are those state secrets that the U.S. government already has such difficulty in protecting. But the government wants to turn safe makers into safe crackers against their will. Apple’s business model is data security, data protection and keeping private lives private —all constitutionally protected. The FBI is on a fishing expedition with no idea what they will find.

Thomas Cechner, Lockport

Don’t abandon Chicago State U.

Struggling young Americans are encouraged to “take responsibility” for their own futures. The students at Chicago State University are doing just that. But CSU is in danger of being shut down because of a lack of state funding, a situation largely attributable to state tax avoidance by some of our largest corporations. Illinois lost nearly a billion dollars in 2014 tax revenue to just six companies (Boeing, Archer Daniels, Walgreen’s, Caterpillar, Exelon, Abbott Labs), which according to their own records paid just 1.9 percent of their profits in state taxes, about a quarter of the required amount. Overall, we’ve been losing up to $4 billion per year in unpaid state taxes. It’s unconscionable that the most profitable companies fail in their responsibility to pay their debt to the state, all to the detriment of young people trying to build their futures.

Paul Buchheit, Edison Park