Publicity Seeking Florida Sheriff Promises To Put Tim Cook In Jail For Refusing To Decrypt iPhones

from the the-crazy-sheriffs-are-acting-up-again dept

We've written quite a few times about Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd. You may recall him from the time he arrested two teenagers because they admitted to "bullying" another teen who committed suicide. Judd also promised to arrest the parents of both girls as well, stretching an already ridiculous understanding of the law to absolute breaking points (in fact all of the charges were dropped against the girls, because, all the talk of bullying was basically not true).

Judd also has made news for falsely arresting and then publicly shaming men, saying that they're "sexual predators" and parading them in front of the press, seizing their money and possessions and then "negotiating" to only give them back some of what they seized. Oh, and then there was the time that Judd used Craigslist to help arrest prostitutes... but then blamed Craigslist for the problem.

Judd certainly has a reputation for generating press attention by saying the most outrageous things, and he's keeping that up now, by holding a press conference to announce that if Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn't decrypt an iPhone for him, Judd will arrest Cook. Yeah, good luck with that plan.
"Let me tell you, the first time we do have trouble getting into a cell phone, we're going to seek a court order from Apple and when they deny us I'm going to go lock the CEO of Apple up," Judd said in a press conference Wednesday.
Another report of the press conference said that Judd followed this up, for emphasis, with: "I'll lock the rascal up."

Yeah, you see, that's not how the law actually works. And you'd think, as Sheriff, Judd should know that. But he doesn't. Or he does and he doesn't care. Neither of which is a good sign in a sheriff.
"You cannot create a business model to go, 'we're not paying attention to the federal judge or to the state judge, because we're above the law,'" Judd said.
Of course, that's not the issue at all. It's not about ignoring a judge, it's about building a secure product, and what kinds of things a court can or cannot force a company to do to the security of its products. No one is saying they're "above the law." Except, it seems, Sheriff Grady Judd, who thinks that he can put Apple's CEO in jail based on his own desires, rather than what the law actually says.

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  • icon
    rw (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 6:47am

    His understanding of the law is flawless...for someone from another country, with no constitution, possibly in another galaxy.

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 8:42am

    This is how broken our law is

    What with all the horrendously abusive things that Apple execs legitimately deserve to be locked up for, how is it that this is the one people actually talk about making arrests over?

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

  • icon
    ThatFatMan (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 8:49am

    Sounds like someone would fit in perfectly with a Trump Presidency. I can see him being nominated to head the FBI

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

  • icon
    ArkieGuy (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 8:54am

    When will Judd arrest himself?

    I'm pretty sure that drug trafficking is illegal and as such it's the Sheriff's job to arrest all drug dealers. Assuming there's at least one drug dealer in his county, he is isn't doing what he has been legally ordered to do. So he needs to arrest himself, right?

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

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 15 Mar 2016 @ 8:13pm

      Re: When will Judd arrest himself?

      Well, given the CEO of Apple doesn't reside in Florida, and threatening to commit kidnapping is itself a crime, the Sheriff would need to arrest himself for that too.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:02am

    Beneath Above the Law

    "No one is saying they're "above the law." Except, it seems, Sheriff Grady Judd, who thinks that he can put Apple's CEO in jail based on his own desires, rather than what the law actually says."
    Except maybe the FBI (create fake cases, entice low IQ persons to execute, supply 'munitions', effect the arrest of the century), the NSA (listening to conversations without a warrant), the Executive (secret laws with secret interpretations and secret torture and extra judicial killings), the Judiciary (FISA courts, though this might be more of an Executive issue, no court has come out to express the illegality of FISA), the DOJ (for putting up with all these shenanigans), Congress (for being corrupt and playing politics instead of upholding the constitution and the commitments made during campaigns), etc.

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

  • icon
    Derek (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:04am

    Court Order

    "we're going to seek a court order from Apple"

    Is there an app for that?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:04am

    'Rascal'. He actually used the word 'rascal'? I'm surprised he didn't whip out his six-shooters and start shooting the ceiling and yelling "Yee-HAW!!!"

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

  • identicon
    Anomynuos Crowad, 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:19am

    "You cannot create a business model to go, 'we're not paying attention to the federal judge or to the state judge, because we're above the law,'" Judd said.

    Ah, it finally comes out. He wants to sue Apple for trademark infringement.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:24am

    Ahhh....Judd! I live one county away from this clown.

    I pretty sure that one day we will find out that he has been taking bribes, sexualy abusing young boys, paying male prostitutes and using confiscated drugs. Anyone who grandstands like that guy has something to hide - be sure of it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:34am

      Re:

      Maybe he wouldn't object to being spied then. If he has nothing to hide he has nothing to fear.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:35am

      Re:

      Grandstanding is just part of the political game we have allowed to be designed.

      We need a new game with new rules.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 12:19pm

        Re: Re:

        "Grandstanding is just part of the political game we have allowed to be designed.

        We need a new game with new rules."

        Yeah! one with no lobbyist! No need for fund raising if the process was prepaid with equal exposure for each candidate.

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

  • identicon
    Dan, 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:26am

    There should be two version of secured software

    Well, may be Apple (another tech companies) should build two variations of their secured products.

    1. With a "backdoor" or "golden key" for all government, congressmen, people in the law enforcement community, DOJ etc...
    2. The other type with actual security for the rest of the world.

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

  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:34am

    Sheriff Grady Judd is ignorant of the law. First, this idiot sheriff couldn't arrest jack shit unless that company, business or entity is within his jurisdiction. Second, it's not the sheriff but rather the district attorney who would need to petition the courts in California and obtain an extradiction warrant. Even if this sheriff were able to convince the district attorney within his jurisdiction, there isn't a federal court in California that would grant such a request simply because Apple refused to unlock an iPhone.

    Believe it or not, Apple is allowed to appeal any order issued by any court. It's hilarious that law enforcement seems to think that the appellate courts don't exist.

    Due process must be a real bitch to law enforcement.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 10:21am

      Re:

      ...sheriff couldn't arrest jack shit unless that company, business or entity is within his jurisdiction...

      Or the crime was committed within his jurisdiction. Most jurisdictions (at least in the US) have policies and procedures on allowing an outside jurisdiction to execute an arrest within for such circumstances.

      And if the suspect is declared a 'fugitive from justice' the courts will NOT observe or enforce jurisdictional restrictions.

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

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:45am

    What about safes

    It would be interesting to see how people like this sheriff react to safes, such as those found in banks. Would he arrest the CEO of the Smith Safe Company for making a bank vault that the police couldn't break into? Them why is it any different for electronic devices? The whole point is that people want privacy and security. What would he tell banks if they said they didn't want a safe for $5 million worth of jewels?

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

    • identicon
      JBDragon, 14 Mar 2016 @ 5:18pm

      Re: What about safes

      What about company's that make Paper Shredder's? Should the government force that company to try and piece together bags full of tiny little pieces of paper?

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

  • icon
    Avatar28 (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:57am

    I would love to see that

    Let's get a picture of Tim Cook in cuffs on the front page of the papers and see how long any remaining goodwill between the tech industry and law enforcement lasts. Not to mention that I'm quite sure that Apple's lawyers could easily bury them in so much paperwork they'd have to hire more help.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 10:19am

      Re: I would love to see that

      Let's get a picture of Tim Cook in cuffs on the front page of the papers and see how long any remaining goodwill between the tech industry and law enforcement lasts.

      If there's any goodwill left in the tech industry towards law enforcement at this point the one who has it isn't paying attention. It's been clear for a good while now that a great many in the latter see the tech industry as their enemy, or at the very most a useful tool to use for their own gains no matter the cost.

      When you've got the DOJ/FBI arguing that because Apple has helped them in the past that they should be forced to do so again, despite the significant differences between the cases, it's clear that willing cooperation is a good way for a company to open themselves up to a world of trouble down the road, and they're better off refusing any request until they get a court order forcing it, and even then should weigh how much compliance will cost versus an appeal.

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

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 12:53pm

        Re: Re: I would love to see that

        Pretty much this. Everything I've heard law enforcement agencies say, and even what Obama said at SxSW, shouts loud and clear that the government is pretty much declaring war on the tech industry and every citizen who dares to use good tech.

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

  • identicon
    ryuugami, 14 Mar 2016 @ 9:59am

    Publicity Seeking Florida Sheriff Promises To Put Tim Cook In Jail For Refusing To Decrypt iPhones

    I believe we more accurately call this type of "promise" a "threat".

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

  • icon
    Oblate (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 10:27am

    Clearly he hasn't throught this through

    IANAL, but isn't restraining someone and keeping them in a place against their will without any legal justification also known as kidnapping? I believe that's a felony. And he's plotting this kidnapping across state lines, which would make it a violation of federal law.

    Has he said enough to actually be in trouble?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 10:28am

    The problem is NOT Sheriff Judd. The problem are the idiots who keep electing him.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 10:35am

    Due Process is Not a Crime (yet)

    Sheriff Judd seems to think due process is the same as someone thinking they're "above the law". So, I guess he's trying to stomp out that "due process" stuff in his county.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 10:42am

    So... this guy is the epitomy of a Dirty Cop?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 10:43am

    He's obviously not going to lock the CEO of apple up. Either Apple wins the appeal and they don't have to disable security, or they lose the appeal and they cooperate. I don't see a scenario where Apple loses their appeal and decides to just defy court orders.

    It's a publicly traded company - it's not like they could even do what LavaBit did and shut down; the shareholders wouldn't allow it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 11:02am

      Re:

      I don't see a scenario where Apple loses their appeal and decides to just defy court orders.

      No, you see Sheriff Judd and his type construe filing an appeal itself as "defying court orders". Remember, these are people who taser other people for not moving fast enough. They don't tolerate being questioned. At all.

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

    • icon
      beltorak (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 3:18pm

      Re:

      Although it's extremely unlikely, they could do a public Lavabit; post the source code repository and signing key online then liquidate. The ultimate scortched earth.

      If yer going to get disappeared anyway, may as well go out with a bang.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 12:05pm

    If it walks like a duck...

    Sherriff Judd wants to lock up people who act like they're 'above the law'? Starting with himself, presumably?

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

    • icon
      Wyrm (profile), 18 Mar 2016 @ 12:37am

      Re: If it walks like a duck...

      In his mind, he is the law. From there, he's never wrong, and anyone defying him always is.
      Clear case of someone who should never be granted any amount of authority. Even if this is just grandstanding for the next election, it raises the expectations of some voters.

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

  • icon
    ThatDevilTech (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 1:04pm

    You missed a part of the hilarious quote where the Sheriff actually said he'd do it IF he could get a judge to sign off on it.

    Ars Article: Here


    "But believe you me, if I get a toehold in this county and I can get the state attorney's office to prosecute, and a judge to back us up with it, I'll lock the rascal up,


    He's a moron.

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

  • icon
    streetlight (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 1:14pm

    1- Some people can't learn and 2- disobey a judge

    This sheriff has a certain mind set the prevents him from leaning when things don't go his way. His mind and thought processes are getting in the way of knowing, much less understanding, the law.

    With regard to ignoring a judge's order he might find himself in jail. Judges can do that. Putting him in jail with some folks the sheriff put there might be an interesting experience for him.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Mar 2016 @ 2:42pm

    Buford T. Justice

    This clown is EXACTLY the kind of ignorant, racist, bigoted, stupid, clueless, violent, retarded, redneck, douchebag, dirtbag, asshat, mean, child-molesting, klan-supporting asshole that Jackie Gleason was making fun of.

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

  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 14 Mar 2016 @ 2:42pm

    Or the crime was committed within his jurisdiction. Most jurisdictions (at least in the US) have policies and procedures on allowing an outside jurisdiction to execute an arrest within for such circumstances.

    AC is an idiot. First, Tim Cook is only the CEO. The sheriff wouldn't be able to arrest him. Second, The sheriff would have to prove that Tim Cook committed a crime within his jurisdiction. Since I seriously doubt Tim Cook has been to Florida when a crime was committed requiring the unlock of an iPhone, this argument falls flat.

    There's not a court in this country who would extradict a CEO of a tech company to the state of Florida simply for refusing to install a backdoor or unlock an iPhone.

    Finally, when it all comes down to it, Tim Cook would never be extradicted until it makes its way through the federal courts.

    AC is also an idiot because it's obvious he believes that we don't have "due process" in this country. Everyone is entitled to appeal any order handed down by any court.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2016 @ 5:14am

    Sounds like Grady has a crush on Tim to me. Not to worry Grady, your secret is safe with us. Thank goodness Tim has better taste than that.

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


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