The dispute between Apple and the FBI over unlocking the encrypted iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook in the San Bernadino (California) shootings last December is being followed with concern by the technology industry, regulatory authorities and the security services in the United States and elsewhere.
An article in 'The Guardian' newspaper on February 22 caught my attention when it described the cultural challenges within the Apple security software engineering team in being asked to deliberately break their own software code.
The article explained the almost religious awe in which some engineers hold well-designed software artefacts. Some engineers create astonishingly beautiful software in the eyes of their peers, and become famous in their professional communities as artists. Some accept lower-paying employment to have the opportunity to work in a perfectionist culture rather than just mundane coding. Some would view it almost sacrilegious to deliberately break such software, as the FBI is asking Apple to do.