Why Silicon Valley should Worry about Merrick Garland

The President has finally chosen his pick for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland. While much has been written about his judicial views, one thing stands out in particular; he does not view the second amendment as something to be protected. This one aspect about Judge Garland should be scrutinized for all angles. While gun owners might have an issue with his nomination, Silicon Valley should as well. There has been a brewing war between Apple and the FBI about the IPhone encryption program. This is not a new battle; it dates back to the 90’s.

During the Clinton administration, the second amendment played a crucial role in trying to curb encryption.  Encryption takes electronic information and scrambles the data to make sure that only the recipient is able to decipher the message. If you are sending unimportant messages to your friend, the government really doesn’t care. If you are a terrorist planning an eminent attack, it is a big problem.

The so called “Crypto Wars” was an effort by the Federal Government to maintain full control over cryptography devices. During that time the government claimed that these devices were a weapon and therefore covered under the second amendment.  The government claimed that this technology can help plan attacks of foreign entities.

As technology has developed, Apple is now the leader in encryption and the iPhone represents the latest battle between the Tech world andthe Government. Even though this case has seemingly resolved itself, Apple and tech should be on alert. One of these cases will very likely end up at the Supreme Court. With the court holding at 4 conservative and 4 liberal justices, the Obama pick of Merrick Garland will change it to a 5 to 4 liberal court. In fact Apple’s CEO, Tim cook has already brought up the Second amendment as a backing for his case against the government.

Judge Garland has shown to be more liberal in his interpretations of the Second amendment. It would not be a huge stretch that the Second amendment will be argued in relationship to phone encryption. If Mr. Garland is confirmed, it could have not only a lasting impact on gun owners, but the technology sector for years to come.