The Department of Justice has stepped up pressure against Apple in the encryption debate. In a high-profile drug case in New York City, the government has demanded that Apple unlock an iPhone 5s. Just yesterday, the DOJ said it will issue a court order for the assistance.

Recently, the FBI demanded that Apple assist in unlocking an iPhone 5c used by the San Bernardino terrorist who killed 14 people in an attack at a government center. After finding a workaround provided by a third party, the FBI withdrew the demand.

That method won't work on the iPhone 5s, which was the flagship model back in 2013. The 5c is a budget model with a 4-inch screen replaced by the similarly sized iPhone SE just last week. Apple has added new encryption features over the years, a fingerprint reader, and other software that makes it increasingly more difficult to hack the phone. This latest case is proof that the encryption debate is far from over, but will likely continue to focus squarely on Apple.

One of the reasons is that Apple has a "lock" (excuse the term) on the smartphone market. It's always curious to me when Android users insist that Google has a larger share of the smartphone market. Sure, there are more Android phones than iPhones, but no single smartphone company even comes close to Apple's dominance. This year, Apple is on target to reach a major milestone: Selling a whopping 1B iPhones in total. Meanwhile, Samsung sold only 45 million of the Galaxy S6 line, according to official sales figures from last year. In 2014, Samsung announced total sales of the Galaxy line since inception were only 200M. It's like saying the total SUV market sells more units than the Ford F-150; that's true, but Ford sells more of that specific truck than other companies (like Jaguar) sell in their entire fleet.

But there's another important factor here. Samsung is based in South Korea. Apple is a high-profile U.S. company. The iPhone is part of our cultural fabric, while Android models tend to be much more splintered. Samsung, HTC, Sony, Huawei, and many other companies make phones and tablets using the Google-owned mobile operating system, so it's much harder to pick one company as a scapegoat.

Apple is much easier to target. This is a remarkably unfair situation. It's an affront to the tech sector, a discouraging blow to any startup in the security field, and disappointing in terms of the expectations placed on one company to assist in major investigations. One report said there are hundreds of requests to unlock other phones (a mix of iPhones and other brands). It's as though tech companies are now expected to become a branch of the U.S. government to aid in their investigations.

What's the answer? Not even President Obama could pick a side in the debate. As these investigations continue, I'm concerned it will become a major distraction and slow down innovation not just for Apple but for other tech companies who will have to deal with the constant demands. If you design and develop any product that has security features, you might be faced with requests from the government to help in an investigation and then decide if you want to defend your customers or not.

More than anything, the debate does reveal that Apple will go to great lengths to defend your privacy, even if it means taking on the U.S. government.