FBI Holds Press Conference To Claim Apple Prevented It From [Checks Notes] Verifying Attribution In The Pensacola Air Base Shooting

from the what-a-compelling-argument-for-broken-encryption dept

The FBI held a very performative press conference to announce it had finally gained access to communications and data originating from the Pensacola Naval Air Station shooter. The coup, apparently, is that the FBI was able to -- after months of fighting iPhone encryption -- um... nail down attribution. Here's CNN's report on the FBI's press conference:

The Saudi military trainee who killed three US sailors and wounded several others in a terror attack last year on a military base in Pensacola, Florida, was in touch with a suspected al Qaeda operative, according to multiple US officials briefed on the matter.

US investigators uncovered the al Qaeda connection after the FBI broke through the encryption protecting the Saudi attacker's iPhones, the officials said.

So, the FBI discovered that a shooter who al Qaeda claimed to be one of theirs was actually one of theirs. I'm sure the FBI found a few more leads to investigate -- potentially targeting US persons involved with the terrorist group -- but it's far from the wealth of evidence the agency continually asserted was definitely present on the phones agents weren't able to access.

It's big news in a smaller way.

If Alshamrani was directed or trained by al Qaeda, it would mark the first time since 9/11 that a foreign terrorist organization had done so in a deadly attack in the US, according to New America, a think tank.

That's an 18-year gap between foreign terrorist group-directed attacks on US soil. Not much to write home about, but the FBI seems to feel we all should be writing about it. Hopefully, this isn't the FBI's linchpin argument, because something that happens once every other decade is hardly worth the broad undermining of encryption the agency seeks.

CNN's report says something the FBI doesn't actually say: the "FBI broke through the encryption" statement. Chris Wray's remarks at the press conference don't actually state that the FBI broke the phones' encryption. (And nothing is said about the iPhone that was damaged by a bullet, which possibly rendered it completely useless.)

On the topic of innovation—I want to thank and congratulate the men and women at the FBI who devoted months of hard work to accessing these devices. They successfully tackled a problem that required tenacity, creativity, and technical expertise. Those qualities are valuable in any organization—so I know how fortunate we are, and how fortunate the American people are, that we have so many people with those qualities at the Bureau. That’s why we work to recruit the kind of people we do.

The magnitude of the challenge they faced is hard to overstate.

[...]

Unfortunately, the technique that we developed is not a fix for our broader Apple problem—it’s of pretty limited application. But it has made a huge difference in this investigation.

This doesn't clarify anything. This just says the FBI was finally able to access some of the contents, which means it could have found a way to exfiltrate or recover some data without actually breaking encryption.

What I've excised in this quote shows that this press conference wasn't about announcing these findings. It was an anti-encryption pep rally pretending to be a dry announcement about an ongoing investigation. The FBI's ulterior motives made their way to the forefront, starting with this:

We received effectively no help from Apple.

Wrong. The FBI received all the help Apple could give it. Apple was compliant with turning over all data and communications it could access. What it didn't do was offer to break the encryption on the seized devices. And while Wray may talk about delays and (no, seriously) agents "toiling through the pandemic," it was the FBI that sat on this investigation, waiting a month before asking Apple for assistance.

Then there's this statement, in which Wray says everyone's been misinformed about encryption-breaking tools sold by a handful of vendors.

We canvassed every partner, and every company, that might have had a solution to access these phones. None did, despite what some claimed in the media.

"What some claimed in the media" is a fucking disingenuous statement. This is what was claimed by vendors offering tools that bypassed Apple's built-in protections to provide access to iPhone contents. The media didn't spin this. If vendors over-promised and under-delivered, that's on them, not the journalists reporting on the latest in encryption-breaking tech.

This is twice as disingenuous when you remember the FBI refused to seek outside options in the San Bernardino shooter case because it really would rather have had legal precedent. While the FBI and DOJ went after Apple in court, vendors tried to offer their assistance. When the FBI finally decided to work with a still-undisclosed vendor to obtain the (useless) contents of the shooter's iPhone, FBI officials were upset this had derailed their attempt to obtain judicial blessing for compelled decryption. This is pure spin and it was delivered by the head of the FBI solely to portray Apple as an enemy of the rule of law and the public's safety.

Flow my collective tears, the federal policeman said.

Public servants, already swamped with important things to do to protect the American people—and toiling through a pandemic, with all the risk and hardship that entails—had to spend all that time just to access evidence we got court-authorized search warrants for months ago. Our engineers and computer scientists working to access these phones were also needed on other, pressing, national security and criminal investigations.

But the delay getting into these devices didn’t just divert our personnel from other important work. It’s also seriously hampered this investigation.

Finally getting our hands on the evidence al-Shamrani tried to keep from us is great. But we really needed it months ago, back in December, when the court issued its warrants.

Needed it for what? Confirming what al Qaeda said after the shooting? If that's all there is, it really isn't worth undermining the security of millions of encryption users, including those who work at the FBI. And it sure as hell didn't stop the FBI from performing an investigation. Wray states the FBI interviewed 500 people and obtained all the evidence it could from sources other than the locked iPhones. The investigation continued and personnel still worked round-the-clock "through a pandemic" to put this case together. Apple's contribution (or lack thereof) is only a footnote, but Wray insists it's the headline.

Don't be swayed by Wray's cheap shots. This press conference was held to directly (in Apple's case) and indirectly smear every US company that offers encryption to their users. If the FBI had held an intellectually honest press conference, it simply would have noted it found evidence linking the Pensacola shooter to al Qaeda and left it at that. (It also might have explained why it still hasn't updated its count of encrypted devices in its possession.) Instead, Wray grabbed a bunch of nails and hung his agency on the cross, punctuating every hammer strike with oblique assertions that a refusal to create encryption backdoors may result in another foreign-directed terrorist strike on the homeland sometime in the next twenty years. When the facts alone aren't compelling, the rhetoric has to make up the difference. And all we have here is a lot of anti-encryption filler.

Filed Under: al qaeda, chris wray, encryption, fbi, iphone, pensacolar, phones, terrorism
Companies: apple


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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 3:52am

    Every single sentence in that appears to be false.

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

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 3:54am

      Re:

      Me, my family, and my friends were personally targeted in sept 11 and sept 11 anniversary attacks inside the US.

      They major sept 11 anniversary garbage at least every few years if not more often.

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

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        Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 3:55am

        Re: Re:

        They do major

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

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        Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 4:01am

        Re: Re:

        2012 was a major one

        2018 is the last one I am aware of

        Bush and Trump denounced terrorists with WMD every week of their presidency in some way and Obama claimed there were no WMD in iraq while Iraq publicly stated they were being attacked his entire presidency and asked US troops to continue to help against them if possible

        Also, I don't know which fake news media piece of garbage thinks it likes to use guns in most of its stuff but its the exact opposite of every public statement about them

        The media that reports that stuff is fake and full of morons, like Trump and Bush said also every week of their presidencies

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        Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 4:10am

        Re: Re:

        Read the actual legal documentation of them

        They traffick in opium, LSD, hostages, mass executions, biological and chemical weapons, and supposed "sovereign rights" of other nations among other things.

        People were trying to take away their man portable ground to air missiles and drug labs. They don't even usually use firearms.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 4:07am

    Had they done proper vetting of these foreign visitors this tragedy could have been prevented. But apparently that was not their priority.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 5:17am

      Re:

      Oh, the US does vet foreign visitors. Except for Saudis who are still given preferred status.

      The FBI itself was aware that saudi nationals were training to pilot commercial aircraft AND that those same saudi nationals had solid links to groups classified as bona fide terrorists. That, essentially, was the public reveal right after 9/11.

      What became less spoken of but equally available official information resulting from that investigation was that the FBI were explicitly ordered to back off from those saudi individuals.

      Then cue 9/11 and suddenly a number of well-connected saudi citizens were escorted - by the FBI and the secret service - to aircraft getting them home well in time before law enforcement started investigating the links they had to the Bin Laden family and Al Quaeda. It's somewhat understandable that conspiracy theorists bray about 9/11 being an inside job given that the US state department went to ridiculous lengths to not offend the US only major OPEC ally. It wasn't. Just ordinary realpolitik.

      The message sent was extraordinary, however. It informed every terrorist organization in the middle east with a hateboner aimed at the US that if you wanted to go stateside and blow shit up, make sure the triggerman is a saudi citizen.
      After all, they'll get waved past customs even if they're on public record as an ISIS demagogue. And no one will ask them any questions even if they spend every day handing out "Join the caliphate today" leaflets.

      I still wonder sometimes just how much of the US focus on Iraq and Afghanistan was really to distract from the fact that almost every member of Al Quaeda's core leadership was a scion of well-to-do saudi families?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 7:22am

        Re: Re:

        "I still wonder sometimes just how much of the US focus on Iraq and Afghanistan was really to ..... "

        .... idk - but I have thought that it was to dominate the drug trade. What better way to fund your off balance sheet wars errrr, I mean colonization, oh wait ... I mean winning hearts and minds - yeah that's it.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 May 2020 @ 12:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "idk - but I have thought that it was to dominate the drug trade."

          Even the british stopped that in the 18th century.

          The real reason Afghanistan became a target has to do with exactly three reasons;

          1) The Mujaheddin being taught guerilla and terror tactics by the CIA during the soviet invasion had become a liability - none more so than Al Quaeda which had a historical stronghold in those mountains and had proven willing to aim those tactics at the US.
          2) Afghanistan is what is known as a strategic position. It's a sad historical fact that ANY empire looking for hegemony and influence in the mid and central asia immediately goes and tries to conquer Afghanistan. Used to be due to trade considerations, now it's primarily because the country is that one traversable link between oil and gas fields in the east and the western markets.

          As for Iraq there were...similar reasons.
          1) Saddam was off his leash and the saudis were adamant that Iraq had to be smacked down.
          2) GWB's neocon regime had ideas - published ones, right in the open - on how a more US-friendly regime in Iraq would add to US influence in that area in general. With Saddam going rogue, a replacement was, to a lot of influential neocon armchair generals, desirable.
          3) Saddam had started trading oil in Euro instead of in US dollar. That's probably the most obvious argument. The US dollar is a jenga tower which relies heavily on the fact that it is THE international currency used in world-class transactions for stability.

          There was a lot of dissent in the US army with those plans. Notably just about every actual combat officer was opposed, prompting Rumsfeld - the "Armchair General" - to remove them and install a cadre of yes-men without much ability. Resulting in the shit-show which, among other things, served to make US China's biggest debtor to keep the war efforts running at a whopping 2 billion USD a day.

          I'm pretty sure the guild of clowns known as the neocon faction thought they had a plan.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 May 2020 @ 12:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Eh, damn, forgot to write the third reason afghanistan became a target;

            3) The last thing the US wanted to see was the possibility of an emerging "islamic" power with Al Quaeda and its wealthy saudi backers starting up Yet Another Iran. Hence the focus on keeping the warlords killing one another and bombing the crap out of anyone actually capable of uniting the scattered tribes.

            Of course, due to the hamfisted and bomb-happy US meddling the islamic extremists became the less bad choice for many of the afghanistan tribes, the same way it became so when the US beat Iraq without a single shred pf a plan as to how to administer it. One side effect of which was ISIS.

            It's somehow telling that every nasty issue emerging from the middle east since the 50's has to do with either a US-built monster or the consequences of the US then trying to build another monster to keep the first one in check...

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            • identicon
              Talmyr, 20 May 2020 @ 11:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Including the US' creation of Iran as a problem by removing the democratically elected leader and imposing the Shah, who was so dictatorial the only way to topple him was a full-blown Islamic coup...

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2020 @ 9:52pm

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

                The middle east conflict is about oil and sand....

                Human lives ect also

                but it is actually a conflict over oil and silicon from sand

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              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 May 2020 @ 1:37am

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

                "Including the US' creation of Iran as a problem..."

                Yah. US backed Iran. Then Iran threw their puppet out and they had to meddle again, resulting, indirectly, in Khomeini...so they had to have a counter - cue Saddam and the Iran-Iraq war.

                Running parallel to that the creation and training of Al-Quaeda to counter the soviets in afghanistan and their steadfast support for the saudis...I'd say about 90% of the issues the middle east has is directly related to the US screwing themselves longterm while grabbing for a short term advantage by backing the monster of the moment.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 4:23am

    just a way the FBI (and other Law Enforcement Agencies) is trying to use so that it and all the other agencies can remove the last remnants of Privacy and Freedom we have in the US and throw so much more of the Constitution right out the window!!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 7:27am

      Re:

      Thing is ... they do not really or figuratively toss it out the window. They selectively enforce the contents as they interpret it, hoping the scotus will not eventually rule it unconstitutional.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 4:37am

    The message is getting more and more muddled the more they retell it and try to make Apple look like they are terrorist lovers.

    In the recent CBS reporting its been Apple couldn't unlock the phone & they wanted it unlocked.

    What isn't being covered nearly enough is that when they FINALLY got off their asses to vette the other visiting pilots they deported almost all of them for having terrorist materials in their possession. (IIRC there as also CP found)
    How is it they can't be bothered to check people from the country where they KNEW (and hid for a very long time) a Saudi official had aided the 9-11 terrorists?
    How is it with all of the data they are gobbling up, no one caught this until AFTER the attack? Yet they have deep dive investigations into people who protested Pipeline XL?
    How is it our leader bypassed channels to sell more weapons to a nation that we know provided material support to the 9-11 terrorists?
    How will giving DoJ free reign to see what we search for make us safer when they can't detect white nationalists who talk about shooting people at Jewish churches & museums for months before they do it?

    They can't/don't/won't use the powers they have now to protect us, but they keep demanding more power so they can ignore real threats & make sure the little people don't chalk the sidewalks outside a bank expressing disgust in their actions. (fusion center deep dive into grandmothers chalking sidewalks in protest as seen previously on TechDirt.)

    I think its time we demand access to all of the accounts our employees are using so they can prove its perfectly fine for anyone for any reason to go through your browsing history in the name of safety. Given how many of them are promoting things that will lead to American deaths, I think we need this access now.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 5:59am

      Re:

      "How is it they can't be bothered to check people from the country where they KNEW (and hid for a very long time) a Saudi official had aided the 9-11 terrorists?"

      Realpolitik. Saudi Arabia is a longstanding US ally and its OPEC seat guarantees US influence and intelligence collection in a traditionally anti-american part of the world. People usually mention US-Saudi banking as well, but honestly, i think the intelligence pipeline into the middle east is what keeps american statesmen performing stunts like dogs at an agility contest in order to keep the saudis happy.

      "How is it with all of the data they are gobbling up, no one caught this until AFTER the attack?"

      Because just as it was before 9/11 the FBI still appear to have standing orders to back off from saudi nationals.

      "Yet they have deep dive investigations into people who protested Pipeline XL?"

      Well, as a federal agent, what would you rather do? Fill your curriculum vitae with cushy collars you could claim protected american jobs and finances...or spend the same time becoming an ever increasing political festering boil on the ass of your superior? I'll give you a hint - one of those options ensures a smooth career and a decent pension. The other means you spend the rest of your time in the bureau in a cellar cubicle hunting UFO's or doing statistics on the last twenty years of statewide traffic citations and finally retire never having moved a single pay grade.

      "How will giving DoJ free reign to see what we search for make us safer when they can't detect white nationalists who talk about shooting people at Jewish churches & museums for months before they do it?"

      You really need the answer to that one? It won't.
      It just provides a great excuse as to why they can't do normal police work without unlimited access to every citizen's private phone and computer.
      Once they get that the great excuse will be they don't have the manpower to go through all the data and/or the executive power to act on it. Rinse and repeat. There are quite a number of current and former FBI leaders who still long for the good old days when Hoover was the boss and the G-man was the king.

      "I think its time we demand access to all of the accounts our employees are using so they can prove its perfectly fine for anyone for any reason to go through your browsing history in the name of safety."

      You'll get that as soon as significantly more than half US citizens bother to even go to vote - and ask hard questions of their representatives. Up until that time being a republic works rather against you. Forget about full access, you couldn't order the politicians in your employ to pass the salt.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 1:23pm

        Re: Re:

        There are quite a number of current and former FBI leaders who still long for the good old days when Hoover was the boss and the G-man was the king.

        I have recommended your services to my employers, and they have authorized me to offer you a job. They agree with me that you have limitless potential.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 7:05am

      Re:

      They do not want more power to prevent crime, they want easy access to the data that allows them to solve/explain the crime.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 1:19pm

      Re:

      How is it our leader bypassed channels to sell more weapons to a nation that we know provided material support to the 9-11 terrorists?

      We are actively helping them blow the shit out of other countries? So sure, why not?

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  • icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 5:24am

    "The message is getting more and more muddled the more they retell it and try to make Apple look like they are terrorist lovers."

    Part of it no doubt because of their stance against encryption in the hands of the citizenry...but I'm convinced there's also a lot of incentive to find a scapegoat to distract the public from the fact that middle-eastern terrorist organizations have known since the aftermath of 9/11 that a saudi citizen will often be given a pass by US authorities.

    That's not a flattering image for the FBI who don't like to be reminded that they knew in advance that a number of saudi nationals with terrorist associates were learning to pilot airliners and planning something big, and still backed off because of politics.

    Easier by far to point the finger at a US tech company and cry "J'accuse!!".

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    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 10:31pm

      Re:

      I think it might be time to report the FBI to someone in power...
      They've created more terrorist plots than AQ even dreamed of...

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 May 2020 @ 1:19am

        Re: Re:

        "They've created more terrorist plots than AQ even dreamed of..."

        Ironic choice of words there - because you do realize the history of Al Quaeda? Much of their leadership, and especially Bin Laden - the son of a saudi billionaire - was expressly taught terrorist tactics and guerilla warfare by the CIA. The idea was to have the organization fight the soviet afghanistan invasion. Once the soviets left of course, that organization kept right on trying to beat up infidels with the US being the next logical target.

        If you take a closer look at just about every issue emerging from the middle east you find that it concerns either a monster created by the US or the monster they created to keep the first one in check.

        The guilty parties are the CIA and the State Department though, not the FBI - who are more like opportunists trying to safely navigate the political shit-show which happens when the fallout from ill-advised US forays in middle-east politics spills over to the US.

        US State department: "Who gives a shit if the saudis let their angry young men go on extremist headbenders? We get good intel and trade deals as long as we shut up about our involvement"

        G-man: "Uh, Sir, those angry men are here. In the US...going on about 'pagans' and 'infidels'. They bough a buttload of weapons and are scoping out people in our military"

        US State department: "Why the hell are you doing intel on the sons of our closest allies, you dimwit? Back away before I start getting angry calls from my good friend Mohammad Bin Laden again!"

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2020 @ 5:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Didn't the middle east conflict start long before the US existed?
          Trivia, but significant. So many say they want to solve the crisis in the middle east but do they really?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2020 @ 9:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            depends on your political beliefs about what the middle east is and what the US is

            it's not even trivia, there is no obvious answer to your question

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 May 2020 @ 1:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Didn't the middle east conflict start long before the US existed?"

            Which one?

            Sure, the british are to blame for initially carving up the "palestinian mandate" and making the Israeli-Arab conflict that much worse...and the old feud between sunni and shia dates back centuries.

            But if you want to find the one sole power directly responsible for most of the more odious and successful monsters in the region since the 60's you'll find no one other than the US repetitively backing psychopaths and fanatics who look useful for the moment.

            Without heavy US interference, financial and military, there would have been no Khomeini, no Saddam, no Bin Laden...and those are just the obvious ones.

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  • icon
    Koby (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 7:24am

    Relieved

    The press conference seemed to indicate that the FBI had to do a lot of work just to access the contents of one phone. Although noone should take what the FBI says as the truth, this comes as a relief that they have no reliable way to quickly examine everyone's communications. Which is as it should be. Only the targets of important investigations should be examined, and leave everyone else alone. If the FBI blows massive resources just to confirm attribution, then that's their mistake, not Apple, and not the citizens.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 7:30am

      Re: Relieved

      "they have no reliable way to quickly examine everyone's communications"

      (smirk)

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      • icon
        Koby (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 8:11am

        Re: Re: Relieved

        You're right, this very well could be a deception on their part. But I have to question-- is the FBI getting angry and preachy because they want to lull us into a false sense of security? Or is it because they were denied something that they wanted very very badly? Well, in either event, the tears were delicious.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 1:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: Relieved

          Mostly they are just lying about the usual suspects not being able to break into the phones per usual. But hey, their crack team of FBI kids finally did it.

          So... wasn't so damn hard then was it, FBI?

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 May 2020 @ 1:30am

          Re: Re: Re: Relieved

          "You're right, this very well could be a deception on their part."

          I'll trust the non-government experts on this one, I think. My own pet theory on what happened is that the FBI were sitting around bemoaning the bricked hardware while their leadership was bitching up a storm.

          Then some investigator sufficiently low on the totem pole to have to do the actual flatfoot work either managed to dig up a note with the shooters PIN or enough clues to be able to reasonably guess it.

          Cue the hysterical self-backslapping and the renewed rant against Apple they now reformulate as "Even if we solved the problem we're still angry for Apple being so uncooperative. Boo hoo!".
          The FBI are likely to keep being governed by brown-nosing yes-men so deep in dunning-krugers they'd blame nike for themselves not being able to tie their shoes.

          One of the few very openly good things about direct democracy is that at least it means the politicians are quick to rid themselves of the more obvious clowns running law enforcement.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 7:32am

    If anyone other than the intended recipient is able to decrypt the message, then that encryption is broken, no good, and should not be used if one wants it to be a secure communication.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 1:28pm

      Re:

      Only one does not know what the exploits are. It does not mean encryption itself is broken.

      As has always been said, when the enemy has physical access to the hardware, all bets are off. (Encryption or no.)

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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 7:38am

    Why is the sky blue when we know space is black?

    .'...oblique assertions that a refusal to create encryption backdoors may result in another foreign-directed terrorist strike on the homeland sometime in the next twenty years."

    Encryption doesn't cause attacks, people do. Backdoors to encryption won't prevent attacks, good investigations into the actions of people, without ignoring things (even for political reasons) will. Getting into encrypted phones probably won't gain any evidence usable in court (with the exception of child pornography) that isn't available without decrypting the phone.

    Which brings us to the agenda of the FBI and DoJ. To some it is about being lazy and looking for ways to avoid work that takes place away from the office. To others it's about gaining surveillance abilities that should not be allowed because of the 4th Amendment (and Wray's assertions about having gotten warrants mean nothing when their deep dives into NSA collections). To others still, it is about power and the ability for the government to impose itself into the lives of its constituents (with or without their permission) forgetting that ours is a government of the people, by the people. And to many it is all of the above and some other lame ass and petty reasons.

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

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 7:45am

    What Barr wants

    Barr wants the following:

    Companies design a secure product.

    But it magically becomes insecure when a judge signs a piece of paper.

    The stroke of a pen somehow changes the technology to be insecure -- on this one device.

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  • identicon
    Michael, 19 May 2020 @ 12:28pm

    Where's the outrage?

    Why isn't anyone questioning Trump about the terrorist attack on US soil that happened on his watch?

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 1:13pm

    Apple this, Apple that...

    Unfortunately, the technique that we developed is not a fix for our broader Apple problem—it’s of pretty limited application. But it has made a huge difference in this investigation.

    They don't have a problem with Apple, what they have a problem with is privacy and security, namely the fact that anyone but them has any.

    At this point it would be both stunning and nice if they were just honest enough to admit that they really don't like the idea of the general public having any privacy, and would much rather have a system where they can look listen in, track and read the communications of anyone, at any time, on nothing more than a hunch or a whim.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2020 @ 6:01pm

    checks notes

    Comey was fired for doing a bad job on cyber.

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

  • icon
    Tim R (profile), 19 May 2020 @ 11:32pm

    Because why pay a foreign company millions when you can strongarm a local company to do it for free???

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

  • icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 25 May 2020 @ 12:52am

    One Problem is Lack of Clear Thinking

    They spent months working to extract information from the phone to figure out who this guy called. Some success, and a self-laudatory news conference follows.

    If they were an actual investigating agency, rather than a jobs program for the otherwise unemployable, they would have called his phone company and grabbed copies of his bills.

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


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