Racial justice organizers to FBI vs Apple judge: crypto matters to #blacklivesmatter

Phenomena like the Harlem Cryptoparty demonstrate the connection between racial justice and cryptography — civil rights organizers remember that the FBI spied on and blackmailed Martin Luther King, sending him vile notes encouraging him to kill himself.

A group of racial justice advocates, including #blacklivesmatter co-founder Opal Tometi, have written a letter to Judge Sheri Pym, the magistrate justice who ordered Apple to create an Iphone backdoor to give the FBI access to a phone used by a mass-murderer. The signatories make the point that crypto, and the ability to be private from law enforcement, is a necessary precondition for people who are organizing for social change.

"I've been reviewing the Apple vs. FBI lawsuit and now realize how important it is that that Apple wins the lawsuit. #DontHackApple," DeRay McKesson, Baltimore mayoral candidate and prominent Black Lives Matter organizer, tweeted on February 22. "When I was arrested in protest, my iPhones were in police custody. They were secure. The police couldn't access my info," he added. "If Apple has to create an insecure iPhone iOS app, all of the private data that we store on our phones is at risk."

The FBI vs. Apple Debate Just Got Less White [Jenna McLaughlin/The Intercept]

Letter to the Honorable Sheri Pym [Beats, Rhymes & Relief; Center for Media Justice; The Gathering for Justice; Justice League NYC; Shaun King; Opal Tometi]

(Image: New York Cryptoparty Network, Meetup)