AP/Moises CastilloSoftware company founder John McAfee listens to a question during an interview at a local restaurant in Guatemala City.Cybersecurity expert John McAfee, who has vehemently opposed the FBI’s attempt to force Apple to create a back door into its iOS software, is taking his defense of the tech giant one step further.
McAfee claims the government is violating the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, if it forces Apple to create the back door.
McAfee’s legal team says the term involuntary servitude is “used in reference to any type of slavery, peonage, or compulsory labor. Two essential elements of involuntary servitude are involuntariness, which is compulsion to act against one’s will, and servitude, which is some form of labor for another.”
According to McAfee:
The Government is demanding that Apple and its employees perform substantial work in order to create software that does not exist. Apple and its employees do not willingly want to do the work. Thus, the government is demanding involuntary servitude of Apple and its employees in regard to doing this specific work. The 13th Amendment clearly states:
“Neither slavery, nor Involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
McAfee’s accusation comes just over a week after he volunteered to decrypt the phone of one of the San Bernardino hackers for free so that Apple wouldn’t have to create a back door that could potentially end up in the wrong hands.
McAfee has backed Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said in a statement last week that having to create a back door would “undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals.”
In his Business Insider op-ed, McAfee went a step further, saying it would be “the beginning of the end of America.”
Both Apple and the FBI will testify in front of Congress on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee. FBI Director James Comey and Apple Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bruce Sewell will appear at the committee’s hearing on “The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans’ Security and Privacy.”
The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment on McAfee’s suggestion.