Apple Needs to Cooperate with the FBI to Save Lives

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There’s a hoary legal maxim that hard cases make bad law and, at first glance, the standoff between Apple and federal investigators probing the San Bernardino terror attack certainly would seem to be one of those. The basic facts are these: Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife, Tasheen Malik, killed 14 and wounded 22 in a terrorist attack on a San Bernardino government health center. They had an iPhone 5c, which was recovered from the couple’s SUV after they were killed in a shootout with police. On Oct 19—44 days before the shooting—Farook activated an encryption option on ...

Lee Baca Facing Six-Month Prison Term: What Happened to the Idealistic Sheriff from East LA?

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is one of America’s stranger law enforcement agencies, and its former head, Lee Baca, who admitted this week that he lied to federal investigators, is about as strange and troubling a public figure as one can imagine. The organizational oddity begins at the top, since the Sheriff is an independently elected official. That was common in the mid-19th Century, when the department was formed, but today only a handful of agencies retain that arrangement, none of them anything like the size of LA County. What that means is that the head of the nation’s fourth ...

The People v. O. J. Simpson: Recalling the Trial and Johnnie Cochran

I’ve always been fascinated by space exploration and, as a boy, watched all of the Mercury, Gemini and early Apollo manned launches on television. Nowadays, I take a keen interest in the Martian exploration directed from the nearby Jet Propulsion Laboratory. But in all the imaginative literature about man’s adventures into the cosmos, I don’t think there was anyone who foresaw what actually has occurred—that we would go to the moon, and then, just stop going. It’s been more than half a century since the crew of Apollo 17 set foot on the lunar surface and there currently are no ...