Basically Every Single Presidential Candidate Is Totally Clueless As To What's At Stake In The Apple / FBI Fight

from the you're-all-wrong dept

I guess this isn't that surprising, but as the big legal fight heated up this week between Apple and the Justice Department over whether or not Apple can be forced to create a backdoor to let the FBI access the contents of Syed Farook's iPhone, all of the major Presidential candidates have weighed in... and they're all wrong. Donald Trump is getting the most attention. Starting earlier this week he kept saying that Apple should just do what the FBI wants, and then he kicked it up a notch this afternoon saying that everyone should boycott Apple until it gives in to the FBI. Apparently, Trump doesn't even have the first clue about the actual issue at stake, in terms of what a court can compel a company to do, and what it means for our overall security.

Meanwhile, most of the other candidates didn't go as far, but tried to stupidly pretend there was some sort of compromise between the two positions. Bernie Sanders did the "on the one hand/on the other hand/I won't actually take a stand" thing:
“I am very fearful in America about Big Brother. And that means not only the federal government getting into your emails or knowing what books you’re taking out of the library, or private corporations knowing everything there is to know about you in terms of your health records, your banking records, your consumer practices,” Sanders said.

“On the other hand, what I also worry about is the possibility of another terrorist attack against our country. And frankly, I think there is a middle ground that can be reached.
If you think there's a "middle ground" you don't understand the issue.

Hillary Clinton did the same thing, trying to straddle the line by admitting a backdoor sounds problematic, but really, if the nerds just nerd harder, can't they figure something out:
Clinton called the situation a “difficult dilemma.” She discussed some of the main concerns Apple has “about opening the door, creating what they call a backdoor into encryption.” And she pointed out that the capability could be abused by authoritarian regimes like “the Chinese, Russian, Iranian governments” who want the same kind of access.

But she concluded with a favorite law enforcement talking point: that the smart people in America can surely solve this problem and find a way to help the FBI access encrypted communications with a little brainstorming and teamwork. “As smart as we are, there’s got to be some way on a very specific basis we could try to help get information around crimes and terrorism,”
Again, the thing that they don't get is that the "nerd problem" here is: How can you make a security vulnerability that only can be used by the good guys? That's impossible. Creating a security vulnerability opens things up to the bad guys. Period.

And, of course, neither of those answers tackle the actual issue at stake, which is to what level the US government can force a company to hack its own customers and undermine its own systems' security. They're really answering a different question. Because either they don't understand the issue or they don't actually want to be pinned down on it.

The rest of the Republican field basically did the same thing as Sanders and Clinton. On the one hand this, on the other that. It's classic "don't pin me down" so I don't piss off one constituency politicking. First up, Ted Cruz:
"Apple has a serious argument that they should not be forced to put a backdoor in every cellphone everyone has," said Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, echoing Cook's concerns that complying with the court would create a "backdoor" into Apple's encryption that others could exploit.

But in this case, said Senator Cruz, the FBI's interests override Apple's worries about security.

"This concerns the phone of one of the San Bernardino [terrorists], and for law enforcement to get a judicial search order, that's consistent with the Fourth Amendment,” said Cruz.
He also said:
“They have a binding search order,” Ted Cruz said, referring to Apple. “I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can protect ourselves from terrorists and protect our civil rights.”
Yeah, again, that's not the issue. Yes, they have a court order. And that is fine, if Apple had full access to the content and just needed to turn that over. Everyone agrees with that. But that's not the issue here. It's whether or not Apple can be compelled to go much, much further, and build a way to hack their own customers, removing security features, so that the FBI can more easily access encrypted content.

How about Marco Rubio? Same on the one hand/on the other hand bullshit:
“If you create a backdoor, there is a very reasonable possibility that a criminal gang could figure out what the backdoor is," Mr. Rubio said. “We're going to have to work with the tech industry to figure out a way forward on encryption that allows us some capability to access information – especially in an emergency circumstances.”
So, we need to work together to allow some capability... that Rubio himself admits will lead to "a very real possibility that a criminal gang" will exploit. Guess what the larger risk is: a criminal gang targeting your data, or being caught in a terrorist attack? It's the former, not the latter, and yet Rubio is pretending they're the same.

Next up to bat, John Kasich. He's even worse. Not only does he not understand the issue, he doesn't even give one of those on the one hand/on the other hand answers, suggesting he doesn't even know the key part of all of this.
"I don't think it's an example of government overreach to say that, you know, we had terrorists here on our soil and we've got to understand more detail about who they may have been communicating with."
It's not an overreach for them to try to understand. But that's not the debate. The debate is if in trying to collect every possible bit of content, they have the power to commandeer a tech company and have it build tools to undermine that company's own security systems.

Ben Carson, shows his usual level of confusion, suggesting Apple is only doing this because it doesn't trust the government and then giving another wishy-washy answer:
“I think that Apple, and probably a lot of other people, don’t necessarily trust the government these days,” Carson said. “And there’s probably very good reason for people not trust the government. But we’re going to have to get over that because right now we’re faced with tremendous threats, and individuals, radical jihadists, that want to destroy us. And we’re going to have to weigh these things, one against the other.”

“I believe that what we need is a public-private partnership when it comes to all of these technical things and cyber security because we’re all at risk in a very significant way,” Carson said. “So it’s going to be a matter of people learning to trust each other, which means Apple needs to sit down with trustworthy members of the government, and that may have to wait until the next election, I don’t know, but we’ll see.”
This response makes absolutely no sense, and is almost self-contradictory. He's basically admitting that the government might misuse such powers, and even suggests the Obama government in particular would do so. But his government, of course, would be fine. If you're a Presidential candidate and your argument for a powerful surveillance tool is "well I don't trust the other guy to use it, but you can trust me..." you've already lost. And, of course, Carson's answer similarly misses the point altogether. The issue is not about Apple's "mistrust" of the government, but rather whether or not Apple can be compelled to undermine the safety and security of all of its customers. And yeah, "all of these technical things and cyber security." Clear as mud.

I'm not quite sure how, but it looks like Jeb Bush has managed to avoid answering a direct question on this issue, but it's not hard to guess where he'd come down. In the past he's talked about how encryption enables "evildoers":
If you create encryption, it makes it harder for the American government to do its job — while protecting civil liberties — to make sure that evildoers aren’t in our midst.
And, in an earlier debate he did one of those non-answer things where he says undermining encryption could harm business, but law enforcement is important... so leadership. Really.
Bush: If you can encrypt messages, ISIS can, over these platforms, and we have no ability to have a cooperative relationship —

Moderator: Do you ask or do you order?

Bush: Well, if the law would change, yeah. But I think there has to be recognition that if we — if we are too punitive, then you’ll go to other — other technology companies outside the United States. And what we want to do is to control this. We also want to dominate this from a commercial side. So there’s a lot of balanced interests. But the president leads in this regard. That’s what we need. We need leadership, someone who has a backbone and sticks with things, rather than just talks about them as though anything matters when you’re talking about amendments that don’t even actually are part of a bill that ever passed.
So, yeah. Basically all of the candidates are absolutely awful on this issue. That's not encouraging.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Pixelation, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 7:47pm

    Let's cut to the chase...

    Basically Every Single Presidential Candidate Is Totally Clueless.

    FTFY.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 7:52pm

    Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    Encryption is not the only thing they are clueless about. I am quaking in my boots, and I don't see any resolution on the horizon. History will repeat itself, and our recent history is ugly. Listening to this bunch, soon to be made history looks even uglier.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 7:55pm

    Every presidential candidate is a coward, even the blusterous trump and the faux conservative cruz.

    All candidates support a police state.
    All candidates are out of touch with the common citizen.
    No candidate even talks about DMCA or Patent Reform, not to even mention invalidating patents that never should have passed the most basic of criteria.
    No candidate is talking about combating corruption in government.
    No candidate is proposing any real or meaningful immigration reform or enforcing the law on the books.
    No candidate is proposing any solution to the exodus of business from American shores.
    The Reps hate Unions too much the Dems love Unions too much.
    Every Candidate wants the job so bad its proof they should NEVER HAVE IT!

    It is business as usual on Capital Hill and nothing is going to change whether we vote in Bernie or Trump... we are just going to have another term of the left blindly supporting their turds and the right supporting theirs. No matter how much either ones stinks!

    WE ARE GETTING THE GOVERNMENT WE DESERVE!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Blaine (profile), Feb 19th, 2016 @ 8:02pm

    Ben Carson got it right

    "Apple needs to sit down with trustworthy members of the government"

    And the very second we spot one, we'll let you know.

    Wow, talk about your unicorns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    annonymouse, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 8:04pm

    If all the candidates suck dinosaur balls then just write in Ross Perot and watch them implode.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    morganwick (profile), Feb 19th, 2016 @ 8:11pm

    The more I read Techdirt the more I get the sense someone should start the Techdirt Party.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 8:17pm

    Clueless or just not agreeing with your narrative?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 8:18pm

    Re:

    Sadly you cannot get enough citizens to do this to send a clear message.

    Here in America we have this insane pattern... that is insanely parroted by the hubris of Rush and the rest of the Conservative radio ilk and that is... we still need to vote in our turd because this election is just too important to let the other guy win. And as we keep to this quite literally INSANE concept we get each year a set of candidates more insane and asinine than the last. Both parties hold this unintelligent and corruption inviting view point!

    Nixon is a damn saint compared to likes of Clinton, Bush, or Obama!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    K.Dopp (profile), Feb 19th, 2016 @ 8:21pm

    This court order is treasonous

    This court decision, if upheld will end U.S. leadership in technology. All people who want security in their devices will have to purchase from companies doing business in countries that allow secure technology to exist and do not demand open government access to all devices, which makes all our devices insecure. Our FBI and courts are anti-American in their efforts to make all our devices insecure and destroy U.S. leadership in technology.

    The media, courts, FBI, and politicians are clueless on this issue. They not remotely understand the technical implications of this issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Anonymouse (profile), Feb 19th, 2016 @ 8:27pm

    Forced Speech by Apple

    If you look at this from Apple's viewpoint, this is really about forced speech by the government. Code is speech. This code to break into the phone is compelled speech, a 1st amendment violation. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia_State_Board_of_Education_v._Barnette

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 8:50pm

    to bad rand paul dropped out early he could hav egot some traction on this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Academic Entrepreneur, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 9:12pm

    Forget Gary Johnson! Mike for Prez!

    Forget Gary Johnson! Mike Masnick for Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate in 2016! All the way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Socrates, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 9:17pm

    Re: This court order is treasonous

    This court decision, if upheld will end U.S. leadership in technology.
    That battle is mostly lost already. Education becoming too expensive for common talented citizens; patent trolls draining startups, intellectuals and free thinkers fleeing when they have a chance, and lobbyists making the US into a quagmire.

    The regime tries to stem the flood by making it difficult to get free from the citizenship. Many people is told that they have to pay a fee, or stay a US citizen. European banks is pressured into FATCA and this is used to make problems for people that have gotten out physically but is stuck with the citizenship.

    But yes, using US technology will be less safe, and perhaps even more so tomorrow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    morganwick (profile), Feb 19th, 2016 @ 9:37pm

    A part of me hopes the FBI orders whoever made Trump's phone to hack into it and gather up as much incriminating data as they can.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 19th, 2016 @ 9:55pm

    Re: This court order is treasonous

    Just not correct at all. I actually see this court order as leading to actual innovation, rather than the PR smoke and mirror shows that Apple seems to have been engaged in.

    Apple claimed to have an unhackable system. Turns out that it's brute force protection is purely a software block and not at all hardware related. True innovation will come at a point where encryption protection against brute force comes in the hardware and not in firmware - or by having a firmware update also remove the key or require a significant passcode to access it.

    Look at is this way: If a company made "the safest wall safe ever" that had 10 inch thick steel and a combination lock that required 1000 numbers to open it, it would be pretty good, right? What would you say if they held the hinges on with bailing wire and chewing gum? Apple's problem in all of this is that suddenly we are focused on the bailing wire, and they don't like the feeling.

    As for the demand for backdoors, the issue is pretty clear: Governments all around the world are generally loath to allow citizens to create places where the law cannot go under appropriate circumstances. It's at least reasonable to assume that your data storage isn't any more or any less protected than your lair with your naughty files in it in your basement, you know, the one hiding behind your bookcase. Part of the problem in this debate is one of framing: Those who oppose the government make it sound like the feds will data dump everyone's devices every hour and read your private sexting messages. Yet, this discussion is all about what happens when a devices is evidence in a crime, in police possession, and subject to investigation just like everything else taken.

    Should the police not open a filing cabinet at a murder scene because it has a padlock on it?

    Compelling Apple to work for the feds is perhaps the only issue here. At that, I feel that since Apple "owns" the code (pesky copyright stuff strikes again) they have a certain obligation, no different from a landlord helping the police unlock a door in a rental unit. Apple's claims are all about the problems of having their security balloon deflated by this action.

    For Apple, no matter what, it's already too late. They would have been way better off IMHO to have helped the feds out a long time before this got into the public eye, and let it go quietly. Instead, they have (literally) allowed it to turn into a federal case, and no matter which way it turns out, the vulnerabilities and the self-promoting nature of their claims on security have been exposed. That toothpaste won't go back in the tube, no matter what they do.

    Much like a poker game, Apple is now pot committed. They may yet pull it out on the river, but for the moment, they are far behind and looking for maybe one card to get them out of trouble.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    K.Dopp (profile), Feb 19th, 2016 @ 10:26pm

    Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    It's not just government staffers who worry me. You assume that 100% of the people who work at Apple and at the Government will be 100% infallible and honest and not susceptible to coercion once this slave labor government-ordered back door to break into all Apple I-phones has been created.

    I am, apparently, more skeptical than you are that such software, once created, will not be misused. Although, I like your idea about its forcing even stronger security - but then, once this government precedence is established, what keeps that from being subverted and who pays for this ongoing battle against our security, coming from government?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 10:41pm

    Yes, the candidates are technologically clueless. Backdoors can be used equally by the "good guys" as well as the "bad guys". Just like guns can be used equally be good guys and bad guys.

    The only thing backdoors do is make us all less safe and secure by opening average citizens up to having their personal information stolen like what happened in the Office of Personnel Management hack attack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 10:42pm

    Mike, you must have had a lot of fun writing this article. These jokers make it way too easy for you !!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 11:29pm

    I completely agree with this article. I can't believe none of the Republicans, who are supposedly for limited government, have a problem with this. Although I did find it amusing to read Bernie's comments on the dangers of Big Government. Maybe not the right messenger?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    david, Feb 19th, 2016 @ 11:43pm

    Encryption is not the only thing they are clueless about. I am quaking in my boots, and I don't see any resolution on the horizon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    morganwick (profile), Feb 19th, 2016 @ 11:56pm

    Re:

    Republicans are for limited government when it's their donors that are being governed. If limited government means making things easier for ordinary Americans? Screw them, we gotta catch turrorists!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    beltorak (profile), Feb 19th, 2016 @ 11:57pm

    Re:

    they exist - their called "pirate parties" ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Socrates, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 12:13am

    Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    Victims that got US citizenship at birth and lived their life in their own nation, and pay their taxes to their own nation, suddenly get attacked by the US regime that demand 27.5% of that persons property.
    https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Offshore-Voluntary-Disclosure-Progr am-Frequently-Asked-Questions-and-Answers

    As people tend to be quite young at birth, a large percentage doesn't even know that they have a US citizenship and that it can harm them in this way.

    If they find out early enough they might get rid of it in an attempt to prevent or reduce harm caused by the citizenship.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    beltorak (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 1:14am

    Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    You raise a lot of good points, but trusting the people in government - and even the government itself - to not abuse this in the future is foolish and has already been proven unsound.

    I am *almost* hoping Apple loses this battle; it would just force Apple to commit to the next step of wiping the key on firmware update. I think it would be possible. Perhaps if the correct pin is entered, the decrypted data key could be reencrypted with a temporary ephemeral key and stored in the main CPU registers so it can be fed back to the firmware after the flash. This would be extremely complicated, very brittle, and therefore difficult to get right.

    I worry though that in losing this battle there might be some overreaching order by the government prohibiting Apple (and any other US based company) from progressing in security. That would be the final blow. So I am still also kinda hoping they win and we can get a good precedent about how much a court can compel action. I doubt that we would get a good precedent out of this though.

    Apple owns the code, the government owns the phone; the dead guy was just the user. (I need to rewatch Cory Doctorow's "Civil War on General Purpose Computing". He raised a lot of these types of questions.) I think if the court rules against Apple, it will probably be on these grounds, and by virtue of the necessity of the method of execution, compelled action will be deemed justifiable. That would open up so many avenues for government overreach, it's frightening. Canary warnings could be made useless - the government could just compel your action to sign the "everything is still OK" message. Journalists could be compelled to promulgate government propaganda to hide illegal activities. Corporations could be compelled to install spyware on their machines to spy on their employees. A pharmacist could be compelled to supply the government with the drugs necessary to execute convicts. And of course any tech company could be compelled to sign and / or install a backdoor into the software or devices they produce and / or package. Hopefully, some of these things may be explicitly deemed out of bounds. But how much will fall in bounds from the collateral damage? Because if compelled action is deemed justifiable across the board - or even to a significant extent - then this experiment in self-governance is over. Once you combine compelled action with our existing framework of secret courts and gag orders, there is no way for the government to regain the trust and legitimacy necessary to govern by the will of the people. It will have been irrevocably shattered. Compelled inaction has done enough damage already.

    I am kinda glad this is happening though; this is one of the key debates that has needed to happen for a while now. Unfortunately it's coming up on the election circus show, so none of the talking heads with the most focus - the candidates - can be trusted to speak the truth on this. I am extremely disappointed in Sanders, but not terribly surprised. I don't recall which issue it was, but he has been silent on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    tim, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 3:14am

    You seem to be giving the voters a little too much credit on how tech savvy they are. Coming out in defense of Apple would only give other candidates the chance to spin you as not being tough enough on terrorism.

    You have to take into account that these people are trying to win an election, which doesn't always mean giving the "right" answer, even when you do know it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 3:20am

    Of course not they have treated for most of their lives like royalty, they have no idea what the average citizen has to deal with these days.

    The laws barely apply to them in most cases, what would they know about how peoples rights are for the most part ignored these days.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 3:28am

    It's easy: if I know that a fortress has a door to allow "good" people to enter (or exit), instead of trying to breach that 10 meter thick and 60 meter high wall I'll go to look after that door.

    I mean, you know, I'm pretty sure that I'm a good guy. Honest. I'm serious here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 3:41am

    Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    "I worry though that in losing this battle there might be some overreaching order by the government prohibiting Apple (and any other US based company) from progressing in security."

    It's the toughest question of all. Win or lose, the govennment has interests in being able to decrypt material in criminal cases, more so in terrorism related situations. It's a very complex set of questions with no real good answers.

    This sits exactly at the intersection of personal rights and what we desire individually versus what is better for the common good. It's weird to say that encryption is good for us personally, but may not be as good for us as a people. In some ways it's about on par with the right to bear arms. For some it's a non-issue (like myself, I don't really need a handgun to be happy), for others it's religion.

    Congregation, please be seated, and turn to the book of Revelations... Psalm 69. (thanks to Alien, and I don't even have to "share" the song with you all to make the cultural reference, ain't that neat?).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 3:55am

    Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    will a new nation be forged out of the civil war/revolution or will it be similar to what happened to the soviet union breaking up into several smaller countries is the question.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 4:29am

    They are all clowns

    Trump calls for Apple boycott amid FBI feud – then sends tweets from iPhone

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/19/donald-trump-apple-boycott-fbi-san-bernardino

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 5:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    Win or lose, the govennment has interests in being able to decrypt material in criminal cases, more so in terrorism related situations. It's a very complex set of questions with no real good answers.

    It is not that complicated, as the question is does the government have the right to be able to examine the contents of any communication whenever it wants. That is the same as asking should a government be able to impose it views on politics on all of its citizens. If you answer yes to either question, then you are saying a government should become a tyranny.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 5:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    "It is not that complicated, as the question is does the government have the right to be able to examine the contents of any communication whenever it wants"

    That isn't the question at all. Rather, the question is more like "can the court issue a warrant for the content of a phone, and if so, does encryption matter at that point?". We are talking about a phone that has to already be in police hands to have the OS and firmware updated and then having a brute force run against it to let them in.

    There is no indication of the police randomly and remotely reading your smart phone to see if you have bad thoughts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 5:54am

    You can't expect the president to know everything...

    As with any presidential administration, it's not how intelligent or informed the commander-in-chief is, it's how intelligent and informed their cabinet/advisors/aides are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 5:55am

    Clueless? Or politically expedient?

    I'm betting on the latter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    Quit moving the goal posts from the general case to the specific case, that is what untrustworthy politicians do whenever they wish to hoodwink the public.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:18am

    Re: Let's cut to the chase...

    ... on this issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    The pessimism is strong with this one.

    Like a juvenile who has been chastised, let's throw our arms up in the air and declare we all give up because it is hopeless and our fate is sealed and there is nothing to be done .. it can not be stopped .. blah blah

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:24am

    Re:

    Typical uninformed rant followed by victim blaming, good job biff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:25am

    Re: Ben Carson got it right

    Would this "sit down" occur in a closet?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re:

    I realize your post is in jest, but ....
    to imply that this website supports or even agrees with those who infringe upon copyright is silly at best.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:28am

    The issue here isn't really encryption or the government being able to spy on your mobiles or not.

    If I interpreted what they want properly, they want to be able to take away a feature that bricks the phone and wipes the data in case it gets stolen, for example.

    Similar features have been pretty common in mobile phones since they started, you got your PIN, you messed up 3 times, you got the PUK and if you still messed up, better if you called your service provider/maker because your mobile was pretty much dead. That was for the SIM card, to prevent others using it, and now you got it for the phone itself too.


    That feature was put, pretty much in place, to avoid your phone being used in case someone stole it; or in this case, to protect your personal data and important information in case it happens.


    Now, if Apple makes a custom firmware or even admits being able to implement a feature that removes those locks, so that someone can force brute it (in this case, the FBI); that means that every entrepreneurial dealer of "borrowed" phones has a great incentive to either reverse-engineer that feature or try to look how to do it.


    The issue, rather than a matter of privacy, is a matter of safety. If such thing is possible, who doesn't tell you that the perp that just stole your mobile hasn't used some app, that was developed who knows where, grabbed all the information in that phone, and apart from selling the stolen (and now, pretty much, liberated) phone to someone else he got a hold of what you keep in your phone.


    Phones have evolved a lot. For some years, they aren't just fancy toys that allow you to send messages and call. They are adding new features every day, from electronic wallets to data storage, plus all your information. Yours, and the one belonging to your contacts.

    Someone steals your friends phone, and now not only he has HIS data, but also YOUR data.

    And this is advancing as years come by. The electronic wallet feature already exists, someone could get the hands on it and spend the money, at least until you noticed that your phone was missing and contacted the bank (if it's linked to your account) to cancel it.


    So, the ability to be able to force brute on someone's device comes at the expense of the safety of all of our phones.

    Because, even if only the FBI were given that firmware, nobody can be sure that either it wouldn't leak (there is corruption everywhere, and it can come either from the FBI or Apple's side, for example) or that your prospective hacker/thief wouldn't develop something similar to imitate it.


    That, of course, if we don't consider that people would try to add such features on their own; either by jailbreaking (and now they'd have a VERY legitimate reason to do so) or by using OSs that are more customizable.

    So in the end, your prospective terrorists would have such features on their mobiles (yes, an app that would brick the phone and wipe it in case it was brute forced or someone tried to force a firmware upgrade on it without the proper password); but your average citizen who had the misfortune of getting it stolen would have to add to it the risk of what's inside it being cracked open and shared everywhere.

    You can get a lot of stuff from a mobile phone that has been stolen, not only nasty videos. Who that person is. Where does he live. Where he goes everyday (via GPS information). Passwords. Bank information. Who his friends are. His emails, not only personal ones but work related ones too.



    Quoting Hillary here:

    "that the smart people in America can surely solve this problem"

    We forget that the other side (terrorists, thieves, other countries that hate us) has smart people too. Just saying.


    We are more dependent of our devices each year it passes. And this isn't something that we can control, because we are being dragged further and further towards using them as tools for our everyday life.

    We should be making the stronger and harder to crack, even if it's from the police or the government. Because, at some point, someone who owns your phone has your whole life in his hands.

    Maybe right now, it isn't exactly the case (he still can screw you nicely); but give it some years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    The general case isn't made, it's fear mongering at it's finest. We have a specific case that needs to be dealt with, and invoking all sorts of what if scenarios to try to justify not dealing with the current case is the ultimate in moving the goal posts - to another imaginary field entirely.

    Why shy away from answering the direct and obvious questions of this case and situation? Why are we suddenly having a discussion about police dumping your cell phone every day for fun? Why must everything be turned into some nightmare totalitarian regime thing? Is everything so absolutely black or stunningly white?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:35am

    Re:

    Government small enough to:
    - be incapable of infrastructure maintenance.
    - not regulate industry.
    - not prosecute white collar crime.
    - ignore bigotry
    - overlook abuse by law enforcemant
    - fit in your vagina.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    That isn't the question at all. Rather, the question is more like "can the court issue a warrant for the content of a phone, and if so, does encryption matter at that point?".

    It's more than that, Apple is being 'asked' to not only bypass their own security, but to create a modified version of the device OS to do so, stripping out two core security features in the process.

    If the court can compel a company to bypass their own encryption, then it's really no different from prohibiting secure encryption directly, and once that steps done it's not much of a stretch at all to say that companies are not allowed to implement security that they cannot bypass, as clearly the only reason a company would attempt to implement encryption that they cannot themselves bypass is so that they do not have to comply with 'lawfully issued warrants'.

    Hopefully other companies will learn the lesson here with regards to encryption and move towards encryption systems that they themselves have no way of defeating. If it's flat out impossible for a company to decrypt a device, then there's nothing to demand, the government/police either get the password from the owner or they're out of luck.

    There is no indication of the police randomly and remotely reading your smart phone to see if you have bad thoughts.

    Which is a pointless statement given that's not why people are objecting. People are objecting in this case specifically because the government is attempting to force a private company to undermine their own encryption systems, opening the door to the same thing happening in the future, and people are objecting to the deliberate attempts to sabotage encryption in general because for all the whining by the government and police about how they can't do their jobs because of encryption getting in the way, even if that were true the public is still better off and safer with encryption that works.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    jim, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:38am

    But?

    If i read the original articles right, they have done it before. That is unlocked, and given the phone back. To investigating agencies. This was not a private phone. This was supposedly a phone owned by a third party. The third party, has said supposedly, they are okay with the opening of the phone. Whats the big deal? There shouldent be anything on it. Where is his//her throwaway?
    Secondly, why the change of stance? I mean apple. All rights go to the bad guy, but not to survivors? Yes, there is a fine line, but, who did he call, in the middle of the attack, who called them to get them on the move dduring the attack, who wanted them out of the house on the move? All good questions, that have to be proved, the phone makes a handy marker. Since courts need markers to provide insights. Apple, has done that before. Why balk now? Im sure apple has seen the evidence, and played with it.
    But my bet is different, i would bet in one of the reciend staff reductions that happen in america, they got rid of that person. So they cannot fathom how he did it. Sensors of all types can be bypassed, updates undone, systems restored, anf forensic cloning done at time of discovery. There are enough computing power at apple to make the right guess in less then a second. The nsa could tweek out the dump in an hour, the only one illegal, unprovable in court is the nsa one.

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  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:40am

    An informed consumer might decide it is in their best interest to avoid any financial transactions on their cell phone.

    What would this do to the industry?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    Take a good look at what's happening right now. The American people have become nothing but a flock of sheep following their leader, or right now the idiot they hope will be their next leader.
    Some people are slowly waking up and opening their eyes and deciding enough is enough. There is anger everywhere right now, and rightly so. Our political system is corrupt and broken. Wages have been stagnant since the 80s but the price of everything keeps going up. This cannot be sustained much longer the way things are.
    My tax returns keep getting smaller every year although nothing much has changed. I withhold at the highest rate for a good return and it keeps shrinking. All the anger is justified, but these clowns are trying to redirect that anger into a different direction and too many sheep are buying into it. Rights are being taken away. Our own gov't is now a bigger threat to our well being than any terrorist threat. It will take some kind of revolution to fix this mess.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 7:11am

    Re: But?

    From an earlier article posted on TD:

    In the past couple of days, you may have heard various claims regarding the whole Apple encryption backdoor debate saying things like "but Apple has unlocked iPhones 70 times before." I've seen a bunch of people tweeting and linking to such claims, and it keeps coming up. And it's bullshit. The 70 times that Apple helped law enforcement before were totally different situations involving unencrypted information where Apple had the ability to extract from the phone because it wasn't encrypted. That's kind of the whole point here. Yes, of course, Apple can and does provide access to information that it can easily access. In fact, in this very case the FBI submitted a warrant and was able to get all of the information from the unencrypted aspect of Farook Syed's iCloud account:

    There's a world of difference between providing unencryped data as opposed to being ordered to break your own encryption system in order to provide access to currently encrypted content, so the idea that 'they've done it before, they can do it again' is rather missing the point, as the situations are significantly different.

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  49. identicon
    Digitari, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 7:23am

    remember the 90's

    and those small flip phones, does ANYONE really want to go back to that???????

    Might as well if the feds get their way..
    Sell your apple stocks NOW!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    Ummm - ok.
    Your point is?

    "Some people are slowly waking up"
    - Only because "it" now affected them, where have they been?

    "This cannot be sustained much longer "
    - And therefore we must act like children?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 7:38am

    Re: remember the 90's

    "Sell your apple stocks NOW!!!"

    Because this will only affect Apple, the rest of the industry will remain unaffected - right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    "Why are we suddenly having a discussion about police dumping your cell phone every day for fun?"
    Because there is no compelling reason to get into this particular phone. The perpetrator is dead, all the meta-data is known, conversations can be retrieved from the other end of the conversation, so why this phone? What could be the alternative? The only reason I can see (and I have yet to hear anyone propose another that actually makes any sense) is because they want the backdoor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    OK, you want to be adult? Then instead of insulting others that comment, how about you put forth a solution?

    I have looked, but I haven't found one. Personally I am too old and too physically decrepit to start a movement of my own, but I would follow and support one, if it existed. Don't bother with any Republicrat's or Democin's, they both have the same stink of corruption. Sniff, sniff, yuck, it is worse than I thought, they stink of institutional corruption.

    The current batch of small independent parties do not have sufficient backing or power to be effective, and the corporate controlled PAC's work hard and effectively within our corrupt system to keep them so. And as much as I dislike the moniker, the average middle American sheeple is more follower than independent thinker.

    So, what's YOUR solution?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 9:04am

    Re: But?

    You seem so happy to be completely uninformed. Sad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. icon
    beltorak (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    This site has had Rick Falkvinge, who started the original Pirate Party, write: Why Do Copyright Industry Profits Get To Be The Yardstick For Civil Liberties?.

    To say or imply that they are just copyright infringers does a bit of a disservice. They have a fairly significant following in Iceland for example.

    But my post was kinda off the cuff; I didn't do a deep comparison on their respective philosophies. But they do align in more than your post seems to acknowledge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 9:22am

    Re: If you think there's a "middle ground" you don't understand the issue.

    Unfortunately things like mathematics, physics, or any other hard science don't often gets in the way of political discussions.

    The lack of middle ground isn't a euphemism. It is a math thing. People need to get that. You can't just alacazam this shit into place. Cryptography is MATH, not religion.

    What the FBI and the DOJ are asking for here is a prayer, not a request. They might as well demand Apple create peace on earth while they are at it.

    (Sigh) We should have never taught them how to type.

    Presumably Apple figured that out a while back, which is why they created the I-Phone. A little too late it seems. If only somebody had added swiping to the Newton.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    I am pleased to see that some of this discussion is actually technical in nature. My two cents:

    Yes Apple is right. Yes, the pooch has been screwed by stacking bad architecture on top of bad architecture. (been going on for decades)

    My expectation is that Apples engineers are already back at the drawing board developing a work around for the eventual doom that will be foisted on them by the DOJ. If of course, this whole case isn't just kabuki theater before manufacturing a predetermined precedent.

    What I'd like to think, is that somebody with the cash to fight is finally standing up.

    IMHO what is most needed, at this point is for some state governments to send Amicus Curiae briefs to the respective court in support of Apples position. My guess is if somebody explained the actual problem to them, there are a few who would do just that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: If you think there's a "middle ground" you don't understand the issue.

    Too bad iPhones aren't protected by math though, the weakest point is the meatbags at Apple that write and sign the code. They are the ones that control your device, not you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 10:52am

    Re: You can't expect the president to know everything...

    Yes. I can.

    I can expect the president to have advisors who are experts on most things, and then can summon experts on those things that are too esoteric.

    That's the way it's supposed to be.

    Instead we have officials behaving like teenagers, who think they know everything because (bless Rumsfeld's shriveled, feculent heart) they don't know what [it is that] they don't know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60. icon
    Monday (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 10:54am

    'On Deadly Ground'

    There isn't much to add to this debate regarding the dangerous lack of, and the incredible amount of, even mildly aware Presidential candidates when it comes to the security of citizens on American soil. Perhaps, Hilary Clinton I might consider being the exception, as she is the only person that has worked in a position of Governmental privilege, and by that I mean working with high Security clearances, but she has also shown incredible naïvety when it comes to anything technical.
    The Candidates do not read their briefs; do not go online and do actual diligence; show little interest regarding almost every issue that is raised by the public, especially this one, so it is no surprise they are utterly clueless about the citizens' concerns and opinions, nor are they remotely aware of the insights, comments, and criticisms of authors such as our Mike Masnick.

    This isn't an issue of just giving a trite answer on this fight between Apple and the Government and then hoping it just goes away, ending in success for the Government. AGAIN, it is not about a backdoor! If backdoors could be created, we would all be using burner phones. It is also about the 'blind', technically uneducated leaders thinking they have the right to make their uneducated privileged comments on this matter - although this happens all the time.

    It is about the threat to personal security WORLDWIDE.

    It isn't about Apple's business model. This is about the Government feeling that this issue - that the Government created - is the hole in the wall that they can squeeze through and finally gives them access to what amounts to worldwide data gathering. I have written this before, nevertheless, this privileged code will not stay privileged for very long. It will get to other governments. FYI, the Chinese are watching this very closely, and are the most interested Government in how this breach of privacy plays out. It is not about one old iPhone 5c. It is about having access, and the Chinese government gaining even more suppressive controls over a billion of their connected citizens - to them... understand? This is the extreme example. The sky is falling? It will if the Chinese government gets their way, translated, the American government gets their way.

    The American Government's FBI, absolutely cannot be allowed any possible way to succeed because the issue is not about one mobile - it is about billions. I say billions, because, it does not affect this one mobile, but every personal device existing worldwide, now, and in the future.

    Today, it's a password; an encrypted password, and access to encrypted data. Tomorrow, it will be access to anyone's personal device(s) that they own, and the Government's free reign to search everyone, and basically searching without warrant, just for an individual doing keyword searches through a search engine of their choice, and fitting a 'search profile'. In the same chord, it is about the ability of any Government on the planet being able to access any personal data anytime they feel pressed to react or search, or the urge to search from a fabricated, or perceived threat. It will be an eternal Carte blanche with nearly infinite powers.

    What I find truly baffling is the Presidential Candidates have all chosen to use the word "Terrorist", and speak of "Terrorism" on American soil. As unfathomably tragic as the San Bernardino "attack" is; as is any 'thing' such as this is, it killed 14 people in December, and is not even a top five mass shooting event in the US. The reason for the Government's push on this particular battle over encryption, and the child-like responses from the Candidates is the fact that these two San Bernardino shooters, especially the one with the cell-phone, Syed Rizwan Farook, made a claim of allegiance to ISIS, which ISIS has not acknowledged. These were two sociopaths and psychopaths who needed a really fantastical and big 'attention grabbing' reason to go and kill... plain and simple. I have also written this before (Paris attack), "[and] it doesn't take alot of training to kill alot of unarmed people." These two murderers are nothing special. They simply made an unproven statement with the word ISIS in it.

    They want access to the San Bernardino "Terrorist's" mobile. Using the word "Terrorist" is the only reason the Government sees as viable in gaining access through Apple's capitulation. It has been claimed that this is the worst terrorist attack since 9/11. If the Government can successfully use this claim as justification to breach one old phone, then they will certainly use the very same claim in the future, of any perceived possible "Terrorist" activity as the Government would use their profiled data to justify searches into any one device that fits that profile.

    I see massive funding requests each year for surveillance programs, now becoming necessary as these two people were terrorists, and this attack, as always, in the Government's milky eyes, is just the beginning. It's always the first of many, when it comes to events similar in content to the San Bernardino attack - the individuals involved were hostile to American citizens. The Government's reaction was likewise, in some small but significant degree, the same when the Boston Marathon Bombing occurred, but this event was handled by local Boston authorities, as well as the FBI, and if the FBI gains access to anyone's encrypted data, what's to say that in the future, a local, or state authority can get their access, and we all know how local and state authorities have behaved in the past when it comes to violating a person's right and freedoms.

    The Battle Cry, "Terrorists have been on American soil!", will now become the 'Raison d'etre for all funding of the current programs, as well as any future program(s), and justification for the massive funding needed to run any one of them. It will be a cited example to continue to breach personal security, and allow even more 'agency' (any 'Agency') the freedom to start, continue, or expand operations.

    With very little effort, a search engine will provide results of "Terrorists" being on American soil for hundreds of years.

    This cannot be allowed as the reason Governments get access to any personal device, anywhere, and, the Candidates running for Leader of this Government are frighteningly uninformed, ill-equipped, and unconcerned when it comes to the privacy and rights of 300 million Americans.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. identicon
    Steve Marz, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 10:56am

    Trump is wrong, but I am still voting for him

    It's funny, Trump is quick to tell Tim Cook and apple to give up are iPhone encryption for what these ISIS fighters did in California, YET FBI director James Comey admitted on 60 Minutes that he allows ISIS fighters who fought with ISIS in Lybia and Syria back into America and will not detain those ISIS fighters when they arrive at an American airport http://cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/fbi-director-americans-fighting-isis-entitled-come-back there is even a video including.

    I like Trump, he is against The Trans Pacific Partnership or Obamatrade that contains SOPA in it that will average citizens use of the Internet A CRIME WITH JAILTIME. Anyway should ask the government and the FBI why it is not detaining ISIS fighters at airport. Still I think Trump has the right idea about a temporary ban on Muslims. Look Muslims are very good people, but one of the reasons are privacy is being violated, is because sadly many Muslims are joining or because of American policy with Israal feel the need to become part of radical groups, that is just a fact. If America would put a huge cap on Muslim immigration then this privacy violating stuff would start to cease. Completely gone NO, but privacy violations would start to decline in we stop letting these radical Muslims into America and considering FBI Shrill James Comey admits he lets ISIS fighters who fight for ISIS and are Americans citizens back into America with NO DETAINING, something has to be done to stop the excuses of the American government from violating are privacy not just on the Internet, but airports, etc. Sadly the government is using Muskims as the excuse to violate all Americans privacy. Unfortunitly the only way to stop the excuses by American government to violate are privacy is to put a huge cap on Muslim immigration.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62. identicon
    Steve Marz, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 10:56am

    Trump is wrong, but I am still voting for him

    It's funny, Trump is quick to tell Tim Cook and apple to give up are iPhone encryption for what these ISIS fighters did in California, YET FBI director James Comey admitted on 60 Minutes that he allows ISIS fighters who fought with ISIS in Lybia and Syria back into America and will not detain those ISIS fighters when they arrive at an American airport http://cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/fbi-director-americans-fighting-isis-entitled-come-back there is even a video including.

    I like Trump, he is against The Trans Pacific Partnership or Obamatrade that contains SOPA in it that will average citizens use of the Internet A CRIME WITH JAILTIME. Anyway should ask the government and the FBI why it is not detaining ISIS fighters at airport. Still I think Trump has the right idea about a temporary ban on Muslims. Look Muslims are very good people, but one of the reasons are privacy is being violated, is because sadly many Muslims are joining or because of American policy with Israal feel the need to become part of radical groups, that is just a fact. If America would put a huge cap on Muslim immigration then this privacy violating stuff would start to cease. Completely gone NO, but privacy violations would start to decline in we stop letting these radical Muslims into America and considering FBI Shrill James Comey admits he lets ISIS fighters who fight for ISIS and are Americans citizens back into America with NO DETAINING, something has to be done to stop the excuses of the American government from violating are privacy not just on the Internet, but airports, etc. Sadly the government is using Muskims as the excuse to violate all Americans privacy. Unfortunitly the only way to stop the excuses by American government to violate are privacy is to put a huge cap on Muslim immigration.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 11:00am

    The joke that keeps resurfacing is...

    Rather than a backdoor that can only be used by the good guys, let's cut to the chase...

    ... and make encryption that only good guys can use. Boom! No need to break!

    While we're at it, bullets that only kill bad people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64. identicon
    Bender, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 11:04am

    Apple above the Law

    I don't see how Apple can be above the law. It's ridiculous that a a judges order is called snooping by the goverment. It's utter non sense to say a criminal investigation of dead people steps on anyone privacy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: If you think there's a "middle ground" you don't understand the issue.

    Oh, iPhones are protected by math, just compromised math.

    In this case a design compromise: Apple figured their users had poor password discipline, and wanted to give them better security than AES with an easy password.

    So they hashed the user password with one generated inside a Trusted Platform Module.

    But then they made the phone able to be updated with signed software without resetting the security, which led to their current predicament.

    (Personally, I'm not sure the FBI tech guys can't crack open TPMs. They're pretty new. I suspect they can't yet, but will with time.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66. icon
    K.Dopp (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    So you do not mind if your financial or banking records on your phone become open to any hacker in the future since determined hackers will find ways to make use of the new method of subverting encryption security that the government is trying to force Apple to create.

    Are we to give up banking online, buying things online and go back to the methods of the early 1990s?

    You are missing the point or, alternatively, you want us to become luddites -- returning to an earlier era.

    Or, alternatively, all security firms will be forced to move operations out of the reach of the United States courts to wherever there exists a government with more horse sense than the U.S. FBI and courts have.

    I grant that, perhaps, the FBI has no clue how treasonous and unconstitutional their actions, in effect, are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    The problem is that only dealing with emotive specific cases sets the precedent that the government should always be able to get hold of any information when they can find a reason. They also expand definitions to suite their objectives, and terrorist means anyone trying to organise opposition to actions the government wants to take.
    By only dealing with special cases any hope of privacy and freedom dies a death of a thousand cuts while the general case is never addressed.

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  68. icon
    K.Dopp (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    My prior comments were addressed to Whatever's comments and not to "Anonymous Anonymous Coward" whom I agree with.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69. identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 11:22am

    Clinton comment

    I fear that when Clinton mentioned

    And she pointed out that the capability could be abused by authoritarian regimes like “the Chinese, Russian, Iranian governments” who want the same kind of access.

    She forgot to add the US to those authoritarian regimes.

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  70. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    Could your response have been more a stupid troll response? I don't think so. I actually put thought into my response. Where was yours?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Apple above the Law

    It steps on EVERYONE’S privacy because that phone is not the end game. Try reading a bit, this is explained in numerous places, both stories and comments, on this website, and others as well. You don't see because you don't want to see, and/or have some agenda that does not comport with freedom, which includes privacy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72. icon
    K.Dopp (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Apple above the Law

    Perhaps you should read the above comments to educate yourself as to why the judge's order not only threatens all our privacy; it threatens all our security.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73. icon
    morganwick (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 12:17pm

    Re: You can't expect the president to know everything...

    And how much they actually have the nation's best interests at stake.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Apple above the Law

    I don't see how Apple can be above the law.

    The question is not is Apple above the law, but are there limits on what the government can order companies and people to do. If there are none, citizens become serfs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75. icon
    morganwick (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    Any people that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security blah blah blah blah gotta catch a turrorist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76. identicon
    cjr, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 12:37pm

    An analogy to the physical world:

    Can the US government force a bank to open a private safety deposit box? Yes they can. Do criminals go to banks and rob safety deposit boxes? Yes they do.

    It seems that this question has already been settled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77. icon
    RonKaminsky (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Let's cut to the chase...

    Probably most of them are, and the others know they need to keep up appearances for the clueless voting public.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 12:56pm

    Re: An analogy to the physical world:

    Create a book cypher and then never reveal the book (could be death of the culprit or other scenario). That cannot be broken, no matter how many orders the government issues, no matter the size or speed of the computer.

    Or try getting my creative thoughts. The government can order that all they want, but even under torture the will need to know the right questions to ask. Even then they might just get lies to end the torture. They are not entitled to everything or even anything in my head.

    In theory the government needs a reason to get into that deposit box, and the thieves are opening themselves to consequences. For that matter if the government doesn't follow protocol to get into that box, there are consequences for them as well.

    However, there is no carte blanche for the government to know or control everything. It is a government of the people, by the people, not over the people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Everything mentioned there is a problem AND not currently being addressed by any of the candidates.

    If you go and read the Farewell address written by President George Washington you will find that every problem he said would come out of the 2 party system is here and working in full tilt.

    It seems like you are the uninformed one, you are just scarred to recognize wow bad things are really starting to look.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80. identicon
    Digitari, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 4:45pm

    Re: An analogy to the physical world:

    using your example..

    the Government has the safety deposit box, it just can't open the lock, Apple is not the Bank, it was not holding the phone, at all.Nor has Apple held the phone or locked the phone, or held the key for the lock on the phone, Nor is Apple responsible for the phones encryption. It is a county owned phone, they the County had/has the right to put spyware on it, Not Apple. The county did not do so, how is that Apple's Fault?

    If you lock yourself out of your Home do you call the Realtor that sold you the home for a set of Keys???
    Who's libel if You lose your keys??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    "Because there is no compelling reason to get into this particular phone."

    The reasons are VERY compelling. The guy using the phone committed a terrorist act, and perhaps his phone will indicate other people he talked with about it, encouraged him to do it, or may be planning their own mini jihad.

    The reasons are extremely compelling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    "So you do not mind if your financial or banking records on your phone become open to any hacker in the future since determined hackers will find ways to make use of the new method of subverting encryption security that the government is trying to force Apple to create."

    First off, I don't keep banking records on my phone. Second, the encryption would work fine with a longer passcode. Apple's restrictions on attempts and such is actually a pretty weak barrier. Blame them for the situation if you like.

    "Are we to give up banking online, buying things online and go back to the methods of the early 1990s?"

    No, but just like not putting your important papers inside a lock box with a penny lock, you won't put your personal data on a phone that doesn't have good security either. Just because it's digital doesn't make it safe - you have to take your own steps to protect your information.

    "I grant that, perhaps, the FBI has no clue how treasonous and unconstitutional their actions, in effect, are."

    yeah, bastards they are, getting warrants, asking the courts, properly following procedure, and trying to stop future terrorist attacks by not giving up. Fuck them!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Re: An analogy to the physical world:

    Except of course, under copyright, Apple owns the software on your phone. It's like the rented the locks to the bank.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    So, one should present a solution or shutup?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    Yes

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    All candidates support a police state.
    - Wrong

    All candidates are out of touch with the common citizen.
    - Wrong

    No candidate even talks about DMCA or Patent Reform, not to even mention invalidating patents that never should have passed the most basic of criteria.

    - Ok, but are these in the top ten issues we face today? The campaign trail is full of snippets, not at length dissertations about IP.

    No candidate is talking about combating corruption in government.
    - Wrong

    No candidate is proposing any real or meaningful immigration reform or enforcing the law on the books.
    - Wrong
    No candidate is proposing any solution to the exodus of business from American shores.
    - Wrong
    The Reps hate Unions too much the Dems love Unions too much.
    Every Candidate wants the job so bad its proof they should NEVER HAVE IT!
    - Whatever ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Apple above the Law

    "Apple above the Law"

    Why do you think that?
    Does Apple not have the right to petition the government and ask for an appeal? Why would this be the case?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:43pm

    Re: An analogy to the physical world:

    They want to be able to rummage through all safety deposit boxes at will, no warrant required.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    Reading comprehension has always been one of your issues.

    Try it again, slowly. They already KNOW who the other people communicated with are. They just asked the service provider.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    when the government itself is actively stopping people from trying to change things peacefully, remove corruption stop the government from declaring it is above the nations law and their citizens have no rights. There is not many options left aside from live under a tyranny or revolt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    When did this all become apparent to you, because it has always been this way for some people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2016 @ 11:15pm

    This is all retroactive. The FBI can already crack the phone, Mac OSX and any variation thereof. The FBI lacks legal precedence for cracking this phone under circumstances where the San Berdoo county foobard. The FBI no longer operates within law. They exist to create laws as they go. If they need something broken its because they already broke it and need the judicial coverage. The reason the White House is involved is because they are aware of how far off the grid the FBI is willing to go. The White House doesn't give two shits about privacy, The FBI is too busy playing rogue agency and the NSA/CIA are more than happy to retroactively obtain new powers.

    This is the new United States. Liberty and Freedom be damned. "Counter Terrorism" is a joke and all our darkest secrets already exist on a database. Piss off the wrong agent and your life will go to hell as mine did.

    The only reason I type this out knowing they are going to fuck with my life further is because it needs to be known. My life may be hell but others need to know that our government has been hacking your systems without you doing anything wrong.

    Their pretense of wrongdoing, wrong thinking, or wrong supporting is all they need to target you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 12:23am

    Re:

    Sad to say but "The more I read Techdirt the more I get the sense" that you should vote for the real fake hair guy. At least he is honest about sh...stuff. Sad day when the worst candidate is the only one saying what he is going to do once he is president.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 12:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The pirate party also has a seat in the EU parliament. And what they say there does make sense (google for yourself!) Just to point out that they are more than a weapon wielding party which captures boats that transport copyright material.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95. identicon
    FM Hilton, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 3:08am

    "Above the Law"

    I don't see how Apple can be above the law. It's ridiculous that a a judges order is called snooping by the government. It's utter non sense to say a criminal investigation of dead people steps on anyone privacy."

    This is the most simplistic bullshit I've read yet on this subject.

    This whole argument is about whether or not your IPhone or communication devices can be ultimately hacked if the government thinks that you've done something that requires it.

    It's about government overreach.

    It's about whether or not the government can force a company to create tools to hack your electronics because they say so.

    It's about whether or not we live in a free country.

    It's about the Constitution.

    What else do you need to have for justification or reasons?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re:

    "Sad day when the worst candidate is the only one saying what he is going to do once he is president."
    When was the last time a candidate actually did in office what they said they would do in the campaign?

    What makes you think any of the current candidates will behave any differently?

    Did you experience a vision where corruption was suddenly excoriated?

    Do you really think that rich guy is beyond corruption?

    Are there ways to corrupt beyond money?

    Mind sharing your prescriptions?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97. icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 21st, 2016 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re:

    Sad to say but "The more I read Techdirt the more I get the sense" that you should vote for the real fake hair guy. At least he is honest about sh...stuff.

    Are you talking about Trump? Did you just say Trump is the honest one in this campaign? *head explodes*

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98. icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 21st, 2016 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    Clueless or just not agreeing with your narrative?

    None of those quotes were an informed and fact-based position that disagrees with Techdirt. They're all vague hedging that doesn't demonstrate any understanding of the issues involved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99. icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 21st, 2016 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    Picking a nit because it's my hobby - it's baling wire, as in used to wrap up bales. Not bailing wire like used to bail out a boat. Carry on. :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100. identicon
    Ojai_guy, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 9:43am

    Apple's between a rock and a hard place.

    I fully appreciate the increasing convenience that technology is promoting via wireless automatic interfacing. The RFID technology is here to stay. That being said, Apple's future lies in creating a device which replaces the inconvenience of carrying multiple devices and contains incredible amounts of data(watch or bracelet) which will evolve into a system of which it will be mandatory to participate. Security will be the key to success. Without absolute security, any system will be unmarketable.

    Destruction of such a system being built is not a bad thing to some who favor stopping this progression, as it facilitates a central authority to the extreme. The entity who controls the process controls us. How much faith does one have in this process, after all such other institutions
    , the federal reserve for instance, only attracts honest people. Right????

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101. identicon
    Isma'il, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 10:23am

    Is it really surprising?

    Is it really surprising that politicians are getting this wrong? After all, we're dealing with a bunch of technological illiterates, who also happen to be illiterate about the Constitution and the laws they themselves vote for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Feb 21st, 2016 @ 11:09am

    Pro-police state, pro-torture, pro-drone strikes, pro-mass surveillance...

    All candidates support a police state.
    Wrong

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    ...Are these in the top ten issues we face today? The campaign trail is full of snippets, not at length dissertations about IP

    Like contemporary religion, American National Politics is about gays and abortion. In short, unauthorized fucking.

    They might throw in some buzzy issues like pot and guns and whatever the issue-of-the-day is.

    But the last two guys completely blew off the end-constituent once he was in office, so yeah, I don't expect the new boss to be any different than the old boss.

    But please, enlighten us as to the hidden source of your optimism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Pro-police state, pro-torture, pro-drone strikes, pro-mass surveillance...

    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

    - Yes, and I did not find said extraordinary evidence supporting the claim that "All candidates support a police state". In fact one finds evidence of candidates opposing the police state. ... and yes, I know - words are cheap.


    "the new boss to be any different than the old boss"
    - Yes, this has been the case with many of our politicians. However, a few have stood up in opposition to the "old bosses".


    "enlighten us as to the hidden source of your optimism."

    - Not optimism - more like a desire to not be pushed off a cliff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Sad to say but the more I read what trump supporters have to say about him, the more I wonder why they have a bunch of wool pulled over their heads.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 12:32pm

    More control, less freedom. That's all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106. identicon
    Peter, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 1:56pm

    Only in the USA

    What I find bizarre is that the people advocating the unlocking only think it will only apply in the USA. If Apple are forced to design a back door iOS, then most other governments ("good" & "evil") are going to do the same thing. They are all protecting us from the bad guys. Why else would North Korea develop nuclear weapons which most of its people stared.

    Of course the bad guys are learning from this tech & legal debate. Wipe phone regularly, change password, don't enable cloud backup etc etc. But the biggest lesson is don't use USA technology as the government will undermine the technology and steal your secrets.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Feb 21st, 2016 @ 5:13pm

    Mere desire?

    Yes, and I did not find said extraordinary evidence supporting the claim that "All candidates support a police state". In fact one finds evidence of candidates opposing the police state. ... and yes, I know - words are cheap.

    The ball is in your court on that one. The police state is here, we're in it. I suppose you can argue that the symptoms we have don't make for a police state. good luck with that.

    Still, for a candidate to support the police state he only need do nothing and support the status quo. So feel free to cite your favorite candidate and his plan to, say, reduce the prison population, and the abuse and corruption epidemics in the prisons. Or police militarization and our epidemic of brutality and officer-on-civilian homicide, or prosecutory discretion, by which racism and bigotry are sustained throughout the legal system. Or the use of detection dogs, sometimes with more than a 97% false positive rate as a free probable-cause pass.

    I've not heard a one of them raise a stink (i.e. not just a passing sound bite) on any of these issues, but feel free to cite one.

    Yes, this has been the case with many of our politicians. However, a few have stood up in opposition to the "old bosses".

    Maybe you're thinking of small victories of local officials. I've not seen much in the way of successful opposition in the national arena. Again, [citation needed].

    enlighten us as to the hidden source of your optimism.

    Not optimism - more like a desire to not be pushed off a cliff.

    Surely you can't be saying you have hope simply because the natural outcome is too unconcionable. We know already that monstrous societies fueled by misery and oppression can exist for centuries, and will if those with wealth and power can at all help it. Gulags and death camps were sustained by hundreds of thousands of people in eager cooperation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 21st, 2016 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    The service provider cannot provide them email messages, whatsapp messages, and the like. Knowing who they called is sometimes only a very small part of who a phone has had contact with.

    There is also great potential that there are plans, information, messages, files, and documents that might help authorities to understand all that was going on.

    So try again slow, and think past your own limits!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 21st, 2016 @ 5:48pm

    Giggles

    I have to say that this whole discussion has brought out a big number of the tin foilers... even more than the normal Techdirt count. Some of you really need to get out of the house from time to time!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Mere desire?

    "The police state is here"

    Ok, no argument there. What was in dispute was whether ALL candidates were in support of said police state, not whether one exists.


    "for a candidate to support the police state he only need do nothing"

    Wow. Based upon this logic I could claim that all candidates support all sorts of silly things simply because they are not actively opposing same.


    "I've not heard a one of them raise a stink"

    And this is proof?


    "Surely you can't be saying you have hope "

    I'm curious, when did you lose yours?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 6:42pm

    Re: Giggles

    Do you wear yours with the shiny side out or the shiny side in?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Giggles

    Said the physician screaming about PaulT and stinky every other article.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  113. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Feb 21st, 2016 @ 7:14pm

    Evil prevails when...

    for a candidate to support the police state he only need do nothing

    Wow. Based upon this logic I could claim that all candidates support all sorts of silly things simply because they are not actively opposing same.

    Cite examples, please. Yes, any time that an official doesn't oppose and seek to implement policy to change the status quo, they are endorsing it.

    Do your best to turn that into a silly example.

    In the meantime, I'm still waiting for you to name a single candidate that actually opposes the police state, rather than merely muttering about maybe something being done someday when Ferguson-like situations emerge.

    I've not heard a one of them raise a stink

    And this is proof?

    Um, yes? If no one does anything, nothing gets done.

    It sounds like you are unaware that the status quo is insufferable to many, and every day that nothing changes is unconscionable. In which case, yeah, I can understand why you don't think anything is wrong, and have hope just to have hope.

    I lost mine after sixteen years of Bush Administration policy. Were I to narrow it down to a first moment, it would be when I learned that the US tortures people as a matter of policy, and then tries to justify it by redefining what torture is or is not. To this day no official has even showed remote contrition about it.

    I assume I need not get into the countless other heinous programs we have that has shown that the United States has entirely lost its moral high ground. We can't even say we're better than the Islamic State anymore.

    Before that, I believed in a specific cold-war ideal that was the United States of America. In retrospect I was a naive fool who believed the lies I was told.

    So yes, please tell me where this hope of yours comes from. So far you've been unwilling to elaborate on anything, and I'm beginning to suspect that you're just a troll.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  114. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    So, according to you, prior to the digital age the FBI had absolutely no ability to catch bad guys. And you talk about MY limits? There are other investigative techniques.

    Besides, the likelihood of there being anything on THIS phone is really low. The dead couple destroyed their personal phones. Now THOSE might have had some information, but they don't exist anymore. You should do some more reading, leave your preconceived notions elsewhere and comprehend what you read.

    So, maybe they should call some retired agents and get some institutional knowledge, something like how to conduct an investigation without the limitation of not leaving their desks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  115. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2016 @ 10:03pm

    Re: Evil prevails when...

    You might want to seek professional help.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  116. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Feb 21st, 2016 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Re: Evil prevails when...

    Based on...???

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  117. icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    Besides, as noted, if the phone was destroyed the data would be lost (as it has in many, many cases) and law enforcement would still have ways around this 'forced encryption'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  118. icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Re: An analogy to the physical world:

    No it's not. You created a custom lock using their software that happens to contain part of a lock they gave you. And didn't keep any copies.

    Stop spewing bullshit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  119. icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 8:41am

    Re: Giggles

    Mirrors. You seriously need some in your cave.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  120. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 9:27am

    What is the limit of government power? Can the government use the All Writs Act to make all car manufacturers reduce the speed a car can go to say 65 MPH because that is the speed limit. They can possibly make the argument that someone died because the car went too fast and killed the driver or pedestrian. The total number of people being killed due to speeding is probably in the hundreds if not thousands a year. Government overreach is one of the problems with in this case.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  121. icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    They can possibly make the argument that someone died because the car went too fast and killed the driver or pedestrian.

    The act empowers courts to "issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law." In other words, they can issue writs necessary to enforce judgments, complete investigations, and such things within the purview of the court. In the absence of some kind of court case, a court can't just randomly issue a writ ordering someone to do something, and I doubt an argument could be made that it would be necessary to mandate speed governors in order for the court to fulfill its duties.

    "Application of the All Writs Act requires the fulfillment of four conditions:

    The absence of alternative remedies — the act is only applicable when other judicial tools are not available.
    An independent basis for jurisdiction — the act authorizes writs in aid of jurisdiction, but does not in itself create any federal subject-matter jurisdiction.
    Necessary or appropriate in aid of jurisdiction — the writ must be necessary or appropriate to the particular case.
    Usages and principles of law — the statute requires courts to issue writs "agreeable to the usages and principles of law." "

    It seems your scenario would fail at least three of those conditions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  122. identicon
    bob, Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 10:06am

    there are libertarians running too!

    and if sites like yours bothered to mention that some of these libertarians understand the privacy issue AND the economy AND want to bomb less people..
    some of the folks who read techdirt might go and have a look at who the heck these people are.
    the libertarians are setting up a debate at which Edward Snowden will make a virtual appearance.
    that's got to count for something, doesn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  123. icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 10:21am

    Re: there are libertarians running too!

    there are libertarians running too!

    I think he's talking about the candidates polling over .1%.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  124. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 11:42am

    Apple is just dragging their feet. This is not a complicated legal argument. Funny how so many of the same types who say "paying taxes is patriotic" don't understand that Apple has to comply with a federal court order. And to see Cook grandstanding here is especially galling when you know how servile he is with respect to Chinese government requests.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  125. identicon
    Marc, Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 11:43am

    You are dumb or obviously obfuscating the issue.

    Obviously Apple can do what the government wants so the "vulnerabilities" already exists. Apple can do what they are being asked, but they are merely refraining to do so by not writing the code that they can. If Apple writes the code, they have to keep it secure, sure, or destroy it after use in this case.

    Apple would only lose control of this if they lost control of their authentication key to modify the op system without user approval.

    Only if Apple failed to keep the authentication protocol secure would their be further vulnerability. But this is already case with their authentication.

    There is nothing they are being asked to do that would make it easier or harder for anyone else to get in. They have the unique ability, or the government would use hackers. Their unique ability would only be lost if they were idiots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  126. identicon
    Walton, Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 11:49am

    Agree on principle but...

    Agree on principle but question. Why didn't Apple stick to an answer that it was impossible for them to break into their phones? They claimed that in the recent past so why didn't they just stick to it. Honest question because maybe they tried to do that but the government said "wave your magic wand thing and make it happen like they do in those Harry Potter movies".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  127. identicon
    jr565, Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 11:51am

    Apple is actually in the wrong here

    This is actually not a privacy issue. Because, until apple changed its encryption which happened late last year apple was cooperating with govt and unlocking phones (thus revealing private data). Further, apple sent over techs to try to get the restore from back up feature to work so they could provide the data from the backup to the govt. Apple then HAD HELPED OUT GOVT AND HAD NO PROBLEM PROVIDING ACCEESS TO THE GOVT ALREADY.
    the issue then is with the new encryption. If Apple can change the model they can change it again so that govt, as it had before, can access data from phones when it gets a court order to do so.
    Does anyone think that if a kidnapper kidnapped Tim cooks boyfriend and had the info on an iPhone that they wouldn't have a way to unlock that iPhone? Complete and utter crap.
    Apple created this mess by changing the encryption model and no longer cooperating with govt. now is pretending like thy have a problem with gift getting their hands on people's data.
    Why would it be ok for apple to give govt data from a restore from backup but not from a phone? It's the same data.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  128. identicon
    Jr565, Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 12:00pm

    Whatever is right

    "
    As for the demand for backdoors, the issue is pretty clear: Governments all around the world are generally loath to allow citizens to create places where the law cannot go under appropriate circumstances. It's at least reasonable to assume that your data storage isn't any more or any less protected than your lair with your naughty files in it in your basement, you know, the one hiding behind your bookcase. "
    Exactly! What makes apple think it can create a device that the law can't get to by default? People who have iPhones can avoid dealing with a subpoena simply because apple put super duper encryption on the phone? Since when does apple get to dictate where the law can reach?
    Further they are not even consistent.since they previously unlocked phones for the govt and have no problem doing a restore from back up to get data, which they will then give to the govt.
    If I had an issue with govt accessing my data would it matter if goct got it from a backup or from my iPhone? If it was the same data? If Apple was at all consistent it would refuse to do a restore from backup either. Since that would also give the info to the govt.
    No, this is just about apple protecting its iPhone market by promising great encryption. Apples financial motivations though do not override a lawfully issued warrant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  129. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Agree on principle but...

    I would guess either

    a) Apple's full of engineers who are inclined to be fairly precise in their answers, so it's difficult for them to say this is impossible so much as this is difficult and will create more problems than it will solve or this will take a lot of work and will only slightly increase your chance of success.

    and / or...

    b) by answering truthfully and precisely presents the problems of distrust that emerge from least untruthful answers. Of course, by offering a precise answer does extend trust to the Feds that they'll get that a diminishing returns situation = pretty much impossible.

    Also, new information might have changed the answer from we think it's impossible to we think it's mostly impossible

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  130. icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Whatever is right

    What makes apple think it can create a device that the law can't get to by default?

    Because there is no law forbidding it. Therefore they are free to do it if they can.

    Further they are not even consistent.since they previously unlocked phones for the govt and have no problem doing a restore from back up to get data, which they will then give to the govt.

    They are not protesting having to give information to the FBI, they're protesting having to create security holes in their systems. That's something the government has never demanded before.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  131. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Apple is actually in the wrong here

    Apples acquiescence in this case would open the door for future requests from Apple, plus any other maker of encrypted goods or encryption. There ARE things that are none of the governments business. If you need an example just think about them having access to your bedroom during certain activities.

    In addition, those previous assists that Apple performed were much different that what is asked here. Try opening your mind and reading a bit. This has been discussed several times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  132. icon
    K.Dopp (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    To Whatever,

    Your last comment reveals your ignorance of technology. Emails are, in general, not encrypted and a person's Internet service provider can provide all emails from their email server backups, anytime. I would be very surprised if the FBI does not already have all the recent emails sent by this perp for the last 6 months.

    The problem is that the FBI, the courts, and our politicians, are in the same boat as you are --- insufficient understanding of technology; and that is why they are clueless as to the terrible repercussions if Apple or any other security systems development company, adheres to this court order to forced to create systems to break their security measures.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  133. icon
    bc (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 3:07pm

    Apple vs FBI

    First article/opinion piece I've read where they actually picked up on the greater issue...

    When has the government EVER forced a private company to build something. Anything. ? That - would be a totalitarian form of government, not a democracy.

    On top of that, this request is to defeat their own product! It's like going to an armored car company, and asking them to build an armor piercing bullet - just this once. - and there's the most ignorant part of this entire discussion; that anyone actually believes this is a one time request.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  134. icon
    bc (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 3:11pm

    Re:

    Actually it's more than private citizens. It opens up businesses to foreign entities to hack secure business communications. It opens up financial transactions, wire transfers, and stock transactions open to hacking... It opens up any security systems with apps on OS systems... LOTS of long range implications beyond just finding out you've got an Ashley Madison account... ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  135. icon
    RightWingNutter (profile), Feb 22nd, 2016 @ 9:07pm

    What exactly can't they get already?

    The phone was owned by the guy's employer. The metadata on every call and text he made in the last several months has been dished up. Every email on every server too. What else do they need? The text of his text messages? If the other party is in the US can't they get that? Was he using Signal? If he was they're screwed anyway.

    What do they expect to get that they can't get at other ways. And if they can't get it anyway, why do they want a back door built?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  136. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 2:24am

    Re: Re: Let's cut to the chase...

    That sounds about right. Bear in mind that they can't be seen to be enabling terrorism by coming down in favour of encryption. Believe me, the one who says, "Encryption makes us all safer," will be thrown to the wolves and torn apart.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  137. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 2:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fear for Our Future, You Have Good Reason To!

    The main reason the small independent parties don't have sufficient backing or power is because too few people are willing to follow and support them. If you wait for them to grow big and powerful enough to make you think that voting for them is worthwhile, you'll be waiting for a very long time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  138. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 2:31am

    Re: Re:

    You got there before I did!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  139. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 2:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Why, can't you smell the desperation wafting forth from the Trump throng?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  140. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 2:34am

    Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    As people tend to be quite young at birth

    Voted funny.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  141. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 2:37am

    Re: What exactly can't they get already?

    It's not about the information on that one phone, it's about getting at the information on EVERYONE'S phones.

    The "terrorist" angle is just a ploy to distract the courts from what this is really all about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  142. identicon
    Socrates, Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    Thanks Wendy, I appreciate it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  143. identicon
    ijuin, Feb 27th, 2016 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: This court order is treasonous

    To follow your "padlocked file cabinet" analogy, the question is not of whether law enforcement can demand that the lock manufacturer cough up an existing key, but rather whether the government can compel the lock manufacturer to reverse-engineer a new key for that lock, versus the manufacturer telling the government "go do it yourself--I'm not having any part of this".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  144. identicon
    John Earth, Mar 1st, 2016 @ 12:28pm

    Americais lost

    God help America, cause the Americans cannot help them selfs

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  145. identicon
    DrRJP, Apr 16th, 2016 @ 11:19am

    Apple has always given the middle finger to society

    You may not have been born yet when Apple introduced its personal computer, the Apple I, and proceeded to sue anyone else associating the word, "Computer," with their product.

    Really! I'm not bullsh*ting you.

    While the IBM PC revolutionized the computer industry by building on an open sourced platform that allowed 3rd parties to develop both software and hardware peripherals for it, all of Apple's software and hardware was freaking "proprietary."

    It forced Franklin computers out of business when Franklin manufactured a better "Apple II" than Apple itself built.

    When other companies, most notably Samsung, started making smartphones, Apple cried "Foul" as if its ornery Iphone owned the entire marketplace and corner on any cellphone having graphic and interactive capabilities.

    The legal battles between these companies emphasized how Apple doesn't give a damn about consumers, and only thinks of ways to steer them into buying Apple products.

    Then, Samsung totally kicked Apple's ass with the introduction of the Galaxy series and beat Apple's Iphone every which way but Sunday.

    Now, they are finding that your private photos stored on an Iphone 6 can be stolen by hackers on other devices. Apple's security features is pure mythology - just like its bogus claims that its OS never gets viruses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  146. icon
    Monday (profile), Apr 16th, 2016 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Apple has always given the middle finger to society

    Really! I'm not bullsh*ting you...
    Really?

    Please, please provide a link. That would be an awesome history lesson for me, 'cuz all I remember it getting stoned before class and sitting at something and drawing a square with a kinda mouse thingy...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  147. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Apr 16th, 2016 @ 9:07pm

    i do remember the Franklin

    And that some of the BASIC conventions varied between Applesoft and Franklin basic.

    Also that I had to pay handsomely for Apple II components and to have an authorized apple dealer install them. Eventually chinese knockoffs appeared on the gray market, and I got super-good at modifying the system, myself.

    Yeah, Apple computer was pretty dickish. They even delayed MS Windows on the PC for a few years by locking in court software conventions that Xerox inventer (for copy machines, no less)

    Not that IBM or Microsoft are saintly. Microsoft has been suing software developers over the ribbon even though the tabulated toolbar has been around since the eighties.

    Fucking ownership culture.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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