If you've been reading the headlines about Apple's fight with the FBI, you know it's easy to assume we're all doomed. Either law enforcement will lose the ability to thwart terrorist plots, or we'll be forced to live in a police state. Neither of those outcomes is exactly what you'd call appealing.

But Apple and the US government say those are exactly the things at stake in a court battle playing out in California. The two sides will meet before a magistrate judge on Tuesday in Riverside to make their arguments on whether Apple should build a new version of its mobile software so the FBI can hack into an iPhone 5C used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

"Because technology is moving at warp speed, we don't have two to three years to wait for a solution here in this particular case or in the boatload of cases after it," said Edward J. McAndrew, a former federal cybercrimes prosecutor and now a lawyer at Ballard Spahr.

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