San Bernardino DA Tells Judge To Side With FBI Over Apple Because iPhone May Have Mythical Cyber Weapon

from the magical-unicorn-fairy-thinking dept

There's been lots of press coverage over the fact that basically a ton of organizations and experts have filed amicus briefs in support of Apple in its legal fight with the FBI/DOJ -- and we'll have a post on that shortly -- but on the flip side, the District Attorney for San Bernardino Country, hilariously arguing that he represents "the people of California" as his client, has filed one of the nuttiest amicus briefs you'll see in favor of the FBI. The full brief application to file a brief is incredibly short and basically makes no actual legal argument pertaining to the actual questions in the case, involving the power of the All Writs Act, or the necessity of Apple's involvement. Instead, it tosses out two insane reasons why it's necessary to get into this phone -- which, again, is the work iPhone of Syed Farook (the DA spells it Sayed) -- both of which are speculative in the extreme:
  1. Initial reports suggested there were three shooters, instead of two. And even though that was later discounted by basically everyone, perhaps this one phone will reveal a third shooter.
  2. Perhaps the phone has some sort of mythical cyber weapon that could wreak havoc on the world.
Really. Here are the key paragraphs from the amicus brief:
At the time that the murders were being perpetrated at least two 911 calls to the San Bernardino Police Dispatch center reported the involvement of three perpetrators. Although the reports of three individuals were not corroborated, and may ultimately be incorrect, the fact remains, that the information contained solely on the seized iPhone could provide evidence to identify as of yet unknown co-conspirators who would be prosecuted for murder and attempted murder in San Bernardino County by the District Attorney.

The iPhone is a county owned telephone that may have connected to the San Bernardino County computer network. The seized IPhone may contain evidence that can only be found on the seized phone that it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino County's infrastructure, a violation of Cal. Penal Code §502 (Lexis 2016) and poses a continuing threat to the citizens of San Bernardino County.
What?!? On that first point, as detailed in On the Media's wonderful "Breaking News Consumer Handbook," when it comes to active shooter situations, there will almost always be a false report of more shooters than their actually are. On the second point... just wow. San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos is apparently now making up shit out of thin air. Aren't law enforcement searches supposed to involve "probable cause" rather than "um... what's the scariest computery thing I could think of based on what I've seen in TV and movies?"

As iPhone forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski told Dave Kravets at Ars Technica, this is the equivalent of the idea that a "magical unicorn might exist on this phone." He also noted "the world has never seen what he is describing coming from an iPhone." And also:
It sounds like he’s making up these terms as he goes. We've never used these terms in computer science. I think what he’s trying to suggest is that Farook was somehow working with someone to install a program on the iPhone that would infect the local network with some kind of virus or worm or something along those lines. Anything is possible, right? Do they have any evidence whatsoever to show there is any kind of cyber pathogen on the network or any logs or network captures to show that Farook's phone tried to introduce some unauthorized code into the system?
Security researchers are now cracking all kinds of jokes about this:
When the security world is making jokes about your legal filing, perhaps it wasn't a good idea.

Of course, it should also be noted that this is not actually the first time San Bernardino County DA Michael Ramos has been mentioned here on Techdirt. Last year he was blathering on about charging drone operators for murder for flying drones near wildfires. One would hope that magistrate judge Sheri Pym knows better than to give any weight to an argument that is based on magic pixie dust fantasy-land arguments.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:34am

    If there could be a cyber weapon on that phone, we clearly don't know ANYHTING about what's on the phone! Which means there could BE anything on that phone. We better get Apple to strip the security because there could be the cure to cancer and aging on that phone!

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

  • identicon
    kallethen, 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:34am

    When I saw this story on Ars Technica last night, I face palmed so hard I needed to lie down from a concussion.

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

  • icon
    ThatFatMan (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:46am

    Pixie Dust

    One would hope that magistrate judge Sheri Pym knows better than to give any weight to an argument that is based on magic pixie dust fantasy-land arguments.

    One can hope, but lets be honest based on the already dangerous ruling issued in this case by Pym...it's much more likely that Michael Ramos has been the one supplying Pym with the Pixie Dust in the first place.

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

  • identicon
    David, 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:47am

    Paraphrased:

    "This phone could be a true box of Pandora! We really need to open it!"

    If he had at least argued that it might contain fairy dust and unicorn farts.

    But a "cyber pathogen"? Does he remember which side of the case he is supposed to argue, or rather make his prancing clown act for?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:47am

    I think the only accurate word in there is 'lying'.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:48am

    ONLY LOSERS DO DRUGS!!!!



    ...oh, and, apparently, San Bernardino District Attorneys.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:50am

    Not only is the argument entirely fictional, it would also support the idea of destroying the phone in order to prevent the phone from connecting to a network and releasing the cyber pathogen it could supposedly carry.

    This DA seems to have gotten his tech knowledge from watching Skyfall when the otherwise tech-savvy Q decides to plug a known criminal mastermind's laptop into a secure network and doesn't think anything bad would happen.

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

  • identicon
    JD, 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:53am

    It could be deadly! Quick, open it!

    "There's a potentially dangerous, computer-infecting, system-invading, malware of absolutely unknown potential and terror on that phone, so BY GOD LET'S POWER IT ON AND HOOK IT UP TO A NETWORK!!"

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:55am

      Re: It could be deadly! Quick, open it!

      The funny thing is they already did that. They took it to his office in hopes that it'd automatically connect to the network and back itself up to the iCloud where Apple could get at it's information for the FBI. That failing was when we learned that the FBI had had the phone's iCloud password reset, rendering that method of access impossible.

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

  • icon
    sorrykb (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:55am

    This DA had a lock on worst/best law story of the week. The a judge had to come along claiming he teaches immigration law to 3- and 4-year-olds (https://t.co/Ssmhq0u4XD).

    DA still wins for most likely CSI: Cyber plotline.

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

  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:56am

    Somebody needs to remind the San Bernardino district attorney that courts do not allow law enforcement or prosecutors to go on "fishing expeditions" based o0n nothing more than a wild theory. The above statement the prosecutor made:

    The seized IPhone may contain evidence

    Courts have said in the past that prosecutors and law enforcement need a valid reason to search anything that a suspect might own. Prosecutors and law enforcement need legal justification to search something that a suspect possesses or possessed. Telling the court that they "might be evidence" is not a legal justification for a search, which is why courts routinely toss out evidence when it has been obtained illegally and without due process.

    Recently, the Supreme Court ruled in Rodriguez v. United States that police officers who detained a driver and then extended the vehicle stop by calling for a K9 unit where the police found methamphetamine in the car amounted to nothing more than an illegal search.

    With Apple, even though the iPhone is owned by the government (the state of California), neither law enforcement nor the government can force any company, corporation, business or private citizen to engage in behavior solely for the benefit of the government.

    It's simply ridiculous how little this prosecutor knows ab out the law, which he is supposed to be quite familiar with.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:06am

      Re:

      It's simply ridiculous how little this prosecutor knows ab out the law, which he is supposed to be quite familiar with.

      Ridiculous, but expected. The government doesn't have anything beyond 'well there might be something valuable on the phone' as an argument, so of course their claims of why they really need to be able to force Apple to unlock it are going to be based on some pretty shaky(or utterly ludicrous in this case) logic.

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

      • icon
        Vidiot (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re:

        Best part:

        "... contained solely on the seized iPhone..."

        Very affirmative. Definitely just on that one, specific device.

        "... could..."

        Ummm... not so affirmative.

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

  • icon
    bcross52 (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 8:56am

    This guy has seen too many episodes of CSI Cyber . . . .

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:02am

    Also possibly on the phone:

    - The entire collection of the Library of Alexandria, digitized.

    - The script for the tv show 'Lost', explaining everything in full detail.

    - Full translation of the Voynich Manuscript.

    - Winning numbers for the next 100 lotteries.

    - A copy of an email from Quentin Tarantino explaining exactly what was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction.

    - The cure for all forms of cancer(but not the common cold).

    - An absolutely superb, made-from-scratch BBQ sauce recipe.

    - The last will and testament of Emperor Norton, revealing that he was a genuine emperor the entire time.

    - A file containing approximately three dozen slightly offensive jokes, every single one of which ends with '... and that's why you don't ask.'

    - Half a dozen funny cat gifs.

    - Schematics for a machine capable of producing endless free energy, along with instructions in making a material that acts as a perfect conductor of electricity.

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

    • icon
      Lord_Unseen (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:31am

      Re: Also possibly on the phone:

      -The Gnostic Gospels

      -The key to interstellar travel

      -Elvis

      -A "Cyber Drug" that makes the San Bernardino DA actually make sense

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:58am

      Re: Also possibly on the phone:

      How about Donald Trump's humility. THAT could be on that phone as well.

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

      • icon
        Eldakka (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 11:45am

        Re: Re: Also possibly on the phone:

        Nah, since that doesn't exist it's not possible for it to be on the phone.

        However, what we might find is a secret government report detailing an investigation into what that thing on his head actually is. My suspicion is that it's alien life.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 11:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Also possibly on the phone:

          Are you suggesting that "cyberpathogens" exist?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 12:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Also possibly on the phone:

            I don't know. But the school sent my smartphone home with the cyber-chickenpox and admonishment to update its vaccinations before it could come back.

            And here I've been an anti-Vax'er ever since that problem with the Vax 11/780 back in my college years...

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 12:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Also possibly on the phone:

              I hear there is a new program opening up at Trump University in cyberpathology.

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

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 7 Mar 2016 @ 5:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Also possibly on the phone:

            Are you suggesting that "cyberpathogens" exist?

            Sure. Haven't you heard of iBola?

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

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 7 Mar 2016 @ 5:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Also possibly on the phone:

            Are you suggesting that "cyberpathogens" exist?

            Sure. Haven't you heard of iBola?

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

      • identicon
        David, 4 Mar 2016 @ 2:09pm

        Re: Re: Also possibly on the phone:

        Naaah. They don't make flash memory that large. Trump's humility is huge, HUGE, larger than life, nobody has seen a humility that size before, it's breathtaking, staggering, truly outrageous. Americans deserve no less.

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

    • icon
      John85851 (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 10:27am

      Re: Also possibly on the phone:

      It could even be information from the future, such as:
      - Will this guy win another term as DA?

      - Will this guy become governor of California and how did he do it?

      - Will this guy continue to be famous by making outlandish claims like this?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:14am

    Full brief?

    The full brief is incredibly short and basically makes no actual legal argument…
    The document that you're linking is entitled, “San Bernardino County District Attorney's APPLICATION to Participate as Amicus Curiae” (bold-allcaps added.)

    The APPLICATION says, on p.1-2:
    A copy of the District Attorney's proposed brief is ATTACHED to this motion.
    (Bold-allcaps added.)

    Further, on p.4, the application says:
    The People of the State of California, if permitted to file the ATTACHED amicus curiae brief…
    (Bold-allcaps added again.)

    ISTM, that the linked document, which the article above characterizes as the “full brief” is not actually the amicus brief. The linked document is just the application to file another document, to wit, the aforementioned amicus brief, which we're not seeing.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 12:28pm

      Re: Full brief?

      The Lavabit Amicus Brief likewise was attached to its application, and likewise not provided (in the other article).

      The article above has been modified to note that, yes, it was just the motion and not the brief.

      Re Lavabit, I note that the EFF brief referred to is hosted on the Apple servers rather than the court's system. I'd wager that the brief itself is available, just not from apple's servers. ... or not when Techdirt wrote it up.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 12:35pm

        Re: Re: Full brief?

        … the EFF brief referred to…
        I got the EFF brief yesterday from an EFF press release. EFF also has Deeplinks blog post up with a link to their brief.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 12:50pm

        Re: Re: Full brief?

        … rather than the court's system…
        At the risk of disclosing sources and methods—

        • If trustworthy people are willing to take a physical trip to the courthouse, then physically eyeballing the clerk's file is an option.
        • There might still be reasons to have someone available in a publishing chain who has never agreed to the PACER terms.

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

      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 3:00pm

        Re: Re: Full brief?

        Re Lavabit, I note that the EFF brief referred to is hosted on the Apple servers rather than the court's system. I'd wager that the brief itself is available, just not from apple's servers. ... or not when Techdirt wrote it up.

        I got the briefs directly from PACER or from Apple. For whatever reason some of the "attached" briefs aren't in PACER (or posted by Apple).

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:17am

    Speaking of the Unknown

    It appears that the elephant in the room isn't actually in the room, it's on the phone.

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

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:19am

    > ...a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino County's infrastructure

    The National Enquirer warned us about this. Hackers creating a virus that could make your computer explode. We didn't listen.

    See if you can laugh when all the electronic parking meters on your street are popping like popcorn.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:22am

    Nest thing you know, He will be suing Apple for making him look silly, as if they had done as asked, he would not have had to invent reasons to try and scare the judiciary into agreeing with the order.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:23am

    Fort Detrick

    Oh, btw, perhaps the “pathogen” needs to be delivered to Fort Detrick, rather than Fort Meade?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:31am

      Re: Fort Detrick

      um, on second thought, that is PREZACTLY where any and all pathogens should be sent to keep the psychopaths company...

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 11:32am

        Re: Re: Fort Detrick

        um, on second thought, that is PREZACTLY where any and all pathogens should be sent
        Probably don't want to use either Joint Base Andrews or Baltimore-Washington International Airport to land a “pathogen”.

        It starts out just thinking through the contingencies, and then moves to tabletop exercises, and then writeups land in filefolders… if you've got an F-15 in the air already, and KC-135 or KC-10 support arranged, then where do you put it all down? What's the next stage?

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

  • icon
    crade (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:26am

    You've got to admit it has a nice ring to it

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

  • identicon
    chad holbrook, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:26am

    Historically...

    Historically, CA has always made crazy legal arguments and federal judges have backed them. During the trial of Kevin Mitnick, "law enforcement officials convinced a judge that he had the ability to "start a nuclear war by whistling into a pay phone", meaning that law enforcement told the judge that he could somehow dial into the NORAD modem via a payphone from prison and communicate with the modem by whistling to launch nuclear missiles. " (Wikipedia - Kevin Mitnick) The judge put him in solitary confinement for eight months.

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

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:28am

    Time to cash in on the anti-LDCP market.

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

  • identicon
    ConfusedDev, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:41am

    So let me get this straight...

    So this DA is arguing that there may be a dangerous "cyberpathogen" dormant and safely encrypted so it can't spread on this phone and therefore we should decrypt this phone and the dangerous "cyberpathogen" and in doing so possibly weaponize the now un-encrypted "cyberpathogen"? Seriously? Am I the only one struck by the stupidity of this argument? Why would you decrypt a dormant encrypted malware? It can't execute while encrypted!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:56am

    CYBER CYBER CYBER!

    Are you scared now?

    Okay, then....

    CYBER CYBER CYBER CYBER CYBER CYBER CYBER CYBER CYBER CYBER!

    What about now?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:56am

    Wow. Just wow.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:58am

    The dude is dead. His phone is free game. unlock it. if ppl really gave a shit about this stuff they would live off the grid.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 10:15am

      Re:

      So what you are saying is that people can have a rich social life if they agree to letting the government look over their shoulders, or they can go and live like hermits. A better idea is work to rein in government over reach.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 10:16am

      Re:

      The dude is dead. His phone is free game. unlock it.

      Something which the FBI, DOJ, and any other agency that wants to take a crack at it is more than welcome to do on their own.

      What they aren't welcome to do is order someone else, in this case Apple, to write custom code for the sole purpose of removing key security features protecting the contents of the device in the process. What they are 'asking' for goes well beyond 'unlock it', both in what is being demanded and what it will mean if their demand is accepted by the court.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 11:41am

      Re:

      The dude is dead. His phone is free game. unlock it.

      No one's stopping them.

      They just need to guess the passcode and hope the phone doesn't erase if they don't guess it correctly.

      They've got a 1 in 1000 chance of guessing it right before the phone auto-erases. That's hardly Apple's problem.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 1:27pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, they have a 10 in 1000 chance of guessing it right before it auto-erases the key.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 1:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          they have a 10 in 1000 chance
          It looks like you've slipped a digit.

          Regardless, someone who is capable of physically replacing the ”Toshiba THGBX2G7B2JLA01 128 Gb (16 GB) NAND flash” on the “Apple make: iPhone 5C, Model: A1532, P/N: MGFG2LL/A, S/N FFMNQ3MTG2DJ” has a better chance.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 1:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Incidentally, I've been informed that “effacable storage” is located on block 0 of the NAND.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 1:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Replacing the drive will not help. The phone doesn't erase the data on the drive after 10 bad guesses. It erases part of the key that is unique to the phone which was added in at the time it was manufactured. If that key gets erased, it won't matter whether you made a backup of the encrypted data on the drive to a new one or not.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 2:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It erases part of the key that is unique to the phone which was added in at the time it was manufactured.Source?

              My understanding is that the hw uid in the A6 is “fused” which I read as possibly either “fused” or “anti-fused”. Either way, doesn't that require a higher write voltage than read voltage?

              Where are the voltage regulators?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 2:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              [Sorry, hit submit too quick. Here's my previous post, reformatted for readibility.]

              It erases part of the key that is unique to the phone which was added in at the time it was manufactured.
              Source?

              My understanding is that the hw uid in the A6 is “fused” which I read as possibly either “fused” or “anti-fused”. Either way, doesn't that require a higher write voltage than read voltage?

              Where are the voltage regulators?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 2:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                My understanding is that the hw uid in the A6 is “fused”
                IOS 9 Security Guide, p.10
                The device’s unique ID (UID) and a device group ID (GID) are AES 256-bit keys fused (UID) or compiled (GID) into the application processor […] during manufacturing.
                (And please note that the A6 does NOT have a “secure enclave”. See p.7 of the Guide, indicating that the “secure enclave” applies to the A7 and later. The A6 is earlier.)

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 2:30pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Either way, doesn't that require a higher write voltage than read voltage?

                Not since fuse became synonymous with flash technology used as where fuse bits used to be.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 2:48pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  flash technology used as where fuse bits
                  Sources for these assertions, please?

                  This is a consumer device. You're telling me that Apple is spending processor die area like this? I'm finding this improbable.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 10:02am

    Terrifying

    With the prevalence of cell phones, it must be frightening for the residents of San Bernardino County to close their eyes and try to sleep at night with the "cyber pathogens" springing forth then laying dormant waiting to strike the infrastructure.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 10:12am

      Re: Terrifying

      I know. We could be on the verge of a cyberebola pandemic and not even know about it. Just ask any cyberpathologist and he will gladly tell you just how much we are really at risk.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 10:23am

    If this super scary thing exists, why are they not uprooting the earth to learn what was on the two destroyed phones that likely were destroyed because of evidence being on them? Rather than going a speculative route to the one phone that was not destroyed and unlikely to carry anything of value to the incident.

    This is all about precedent and nothing else. If the ruling stands there are LEOs all over the nation standing in line to get a look at the private thoughts/papers/associations of iPhone owners.

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

    • identicon
      David, 6 Mar 2016 @ 3:54am

      Re:

      Rather than going a speculative route to the one phone that was not destroyed and unlikely to carry anything of value to the incident.

      It carries a dangerous cyber pathogen that can disrupt the whole national communication infrastructure.

      The name of this pathogen is "precedent".

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

  • icon
    Black Art (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 10:30am

    The Breakdown of the Bicameral DA

    What it really contains is the Snowcrash virus as transcribed from Babylonian tablets.

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

  • icon
    Zangetsu (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 11:01am

    Cyber Pathogen = Pandora's Box

    The San Bernadino DA is incorrect in his assumption. The cyber pathogen is out of the box and it's name is Donald Trump who "poses a continuing threat to the citizens of San Bernardino County"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 11:19am

    Well, you started it!

    If this gets anywhere, I think that someone should file a request for the DA's rectum to be examined. There might, quite likely, be found evidence of severe drug use there.

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

  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 12:07pm

    I think if you ask any attorney, they will tell you that law enforcement and prosecutors need a legal basis on which to get any type of warrant, whether that's an arrest warrant, a search warrant or whatever.

    Prosecutors saying that "there might be" evidence is NOT a legal justification, that's just a biased opinion coming from the prosecutor and they aren't allowed to go on fishing expeditions just because they think there might be evidence.

    What happens if Apple is forced to unlock the device and there is no evidence? That opens up to the filing of lawsuits against the police department and the prosecutor.

    Courts do not grant warrants based on guesswork. If they did start doing this, it would open up every case to being appealed in the federal courts and cost local jurisdictions millions of tax dollars in wasted court proceedings.

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

  • icon
    OldGeezer (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 1:07pm

    I have seen many times CNN and other news channels have broken for live breaking coverage. If the story is big enough regular networks will follow. All you will hear is one small scrap of what they think maybe, remotely, might have happened. They keep repeating this following "If you are just joining us". Other than this one unconfirmed tidbit all they can do is go on endlessly about what they DON'T know. They show blurry, shaky telephoto clips in an continuous loop and keep trying to guess what they are seeing because no reporters can get within a mile until law enforcement has cleared the scene. They relay unsubstantiated and often contradicting rumors. They could go on with regular broadcasting and just condense it into brief updates until they actually have the facts. They should admit when nothing is confirmed and they really don't know for sure what the fuck happened. Don't believe anything until a press conference is called. That's when you find out that nearly everything you have heard for hours is completely wrong.

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

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 1:17pm

    The judge should consider holding commitment hearings for the DA.

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

  • identicon
    David, 4 Mar 2016 @ 2:24pm

    Ok, let's think this through.

    You have
    it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino County's infrastructure, a violation of Cal. Penal Code §502 (Lexis 2016) and poses a continuing threat to the citizens of San Bernardino County.

    Now suppose you are a hardened terrorist with a powerful "cyber pathogen" at your disposal. What do you do? You take to guns and start shooting people in the street until you are killed.

    I mean, focus!

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

    • icon
      HegemonicDistortion (profile), 4 Mar 2016 @ 4:51pm

      Re: Ok, let's think this through.

      And, if you have such cyber pathogen, do you use it to attack the networks of San Bernardino County?

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

      • identicon
        David, 5 Mar 2016 @ 12:46am

        Re: Re: Ok, let's think this through.

        Well, it does seem like a good place to start rooting out stupidity, and rooting out stupidity goes against U.S. core values.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 2:56pm

    Pathogen definition

    a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 5:07pm

    "The seized IPhone may contain evidence that...it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen..."

    With a fishing expedition that bad, bruh, you will definitely NOT be needing a bigger boat.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 7:09pm

    Doers anybody in the house have a rail? We seem to be out of tar and feathers.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2016 @ 11:48am

    Give that man a Hollywood script!

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

  • icon
    tqk (profile), 5 Mar 2016 @ 1:38pm

    Ah yes.

    Last year he was blathering on about charging drone operators for murder for flying drones near wildfires.

    It's almost like he's a professional problem seeker looking to turn it into a cause which gets him elected to "higher" office. He's not the sort of solution anyone needs. There's far less costly and more effective solutions than him.

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


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