Jonathan Zdziarski (who has been killing it with his analysis of the Apple/FBI fight):
With most non-technical people struggling to make sense of the
battle between FBI and Apple, Bill Gates introduced an excellent
analogy to explain cryptography to the average non-geek. Gates
used the analogy of encryption as a “ribbon around a hard drive”.
Good encryption is more like a chastity belt, but since Farook
decided to use a weak passcode, I think it’s fair here to call it
a ribbon. In any case, let’s go with Gates’s ribbon analogy. […]
Instead of cutting the ribbon, which would be a much simpler task,
FBI is ordering Apple to invent a ribbon cutter — a forensic tool
capable of cutting the ribbon for FBI, and is promising to use it
on just this one phone. In reality, there’s already a line
beginning to form behind Comey should he get his way.