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Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company will resist a federal U.S. magistrate’s order to hack its own users in connection with the investigation of the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings. Cook argued that such a move would undermine encryption by creating a backdoor that could potentially be used on other future devices. (Richard Drew/AP)
Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company will resist a federal U.S. magistrate’s order to hack its own users in connection with the investigation of the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings. Cook argued that such a move would undermine encryption by creating a backdoor that could potentially be used on other future devices. (Richard Drew/AP)

WHAT READERS THINK

Feb. 20: Apple’s greater duty, plus other letters to the editor Add to ...

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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Apple’s greater duty

Re Apple Bites The Man, With Good Reason (editorial, Feb. 19): As a matter of routine police procedure, court orders have been issued to access the telephone records of someone suspected of a crime. This legal investigation of private communication has been accepted by society as a reasonable search in the enforcement of its laws.

But now the innovative thinking of Apple, supposedly the most innovative corporation in the world, insists that their new technology has changed the rules of law enforcement.

The CEO of Apple refuses to assist the measured enforcement of the law against San Bernardino terrorists on the principle that Apple’s greater societal duty is to maintain the private security of one of its users suspected of a crime, rather than as a good corporate citizen to help the police enforce the law to prevent further crimes.

Who would have imagined that over the years the telephone companies who assisted the police to convict criminals who used their telephone services were unprincipled sellouts for not defending the absolute privacy of their users?

Why the one and only super defender of the citizens’ absolute freedom – “error 53” Apple?

So next time, remember to use an Apple device for absolute protection of your identity when you commit a crime?

Tony D’Andrea, Toronto

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Kill the deal

Re Liberals Disapprove But Stick To Saudi Deal (Feb. 19): Cancelling the deal to sell combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia would prove costly to taxpayers? Heck, we do it all the time – mostly for political reasons or bungled planning (gas plants, weapons systems, transit). How nice it would be to pay out on a cancelled deal for the right reason. I would happily pay. Job creation should not depend on selling arms to a country like Saudi Arabia. How would we feel if the roles were reversed?

Mary Lou Creechan, Toronto

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In harm’s way

While the Prime Minister reassures us that our new policy in Iraq, involving almost triple the number of “trainers” on the ground, is “the Canadian way” and “a promise kept,” our Defence Minister and top general seem to be preparing us for something quite different (Canadian Jets Carry Out Final Air Strikes Against IS Targets – Feb. 18). They state that this is in fact a dangerous, high-risk mission close to the front lines.

Are we being prepared to once again stand on the bridges over the Highway of Heroes, saluting our fallen? My message to Justin Trudeau: You had a choice.

Jerry Friedman, Toronto

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The Pope vs. The Donald

Pope Francis, in his refreshing fashion, has once again helped to clarify things about the central Christian message, the gospel (Pope, Trump Trade Barbs On Immigration – Feb. 19). In the Pope’s world, the gospel is about building bridges, about peace and about others. In Donald Trump’s strange parallel universe, it is about building walls, about war and about Donald Trump.

David Gillett, Orillia, Ont.

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Bombardier control

Without gaining some ownership control of Bombardier, any federal or provincial financial contribution represents a gift to the Bombardier family – which amounts to a multibillion-dollar reward for bad management. Is this the message taxpayers want to give to the rich and inept?

David Beattie, Chelsea, Que.

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400 fewer officers

Re Last-Minute Police Cuts Would Miss Point (Feb. 18): Permit me to be cynical about the commitment by Toronto Mayor John Tory and Chief Mark Saunders to revamp the Toronto police budget. Mr. Saunders was appointed chief in April, 2015, and the KPMG report was submitted in 2014. Why is it only now, when city politicians appear to be finally waking up to the impact of the cost of policing on other city needs, that a committee to implement parts of the report has been appointed?

Cutting the police budget arbitrarily, rejected by the mayor and columnist Marcus Gee, is the only way policing will be reformed.

If the police services had 400 fewer officers, you can be sure the chief would find a way to redeploy those who are left.

Manuel Buchwald, Toronto

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Market coolers

A simple solution to the shadow-flipping problem: The Real Estate Council of B.C. or the provincial government could set up a registry and compel real estate agents and any other affected parties to register all transactions within 24 hours of being entered into.

A transaction would include an agreed-to sale, an agreed-to assignment and anything else needed to trace from first sale of a property to final registration at the land registry. The details would have to include buyer, seller, prices, commissions and anything else needed to assess taxes to the correct party.

Lawyers would be required to make certain and certify that the taxes, including non-resident withholding tax, were paid before final land registration was put into effect.

Walter Maughan, Vancouver

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Here’s an idea to cool the Vancouver housing market, or at least increase the availability of rental properties: Give all the absent foreign owners 12 months to either rent their property or put it on the market, or face a tax equal to 20 per cent of the market value of it, every year it sits unoccupied.

Leigh Holmes, Vernon, B.C.

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