It's wrongheaded for the NSA not to disclose vulnerabilities it finds. Even if their only job was "keeping Uncle Sam secure, not Wal-Mart," which would be a really stupid objective, keeping vulnerabilities secret in security products would mean the government itself is more vulnerable. Kind of stupid all around, if you ask me.
There's a reference for you. Basically, it's Portuguese barbecue, which is kind of big in Brazil. It would be like suing for the use of BBQ here in the US. It's not a tagline, it's simply telling you what it is. There's no way this lawsuit is going to stand.
You make a good point. I hadn't even thought about that aspect of what the FBI was asking for. I would like, however, to argue for my use of the word backdoor. To my way of thinking, a backdoor is a vulnerability that the creator knows about and can exploit for their own reasons. Would you agree with this definition? If so, I think this firmware upgrade process fits that definition.
But that's just the thing. Apple isn't crippling the encryption here. It isn't installing a backdoor. The backdoor is already there. That is the real story here. Everybody is concentrating on the FBI angle and completely ignoring the fact that Apple already has the ability to do what they want to your phone, passcode be damned. And now that we know about this ability, you can bet the legality is just an afterthought. The mere knowledge of it is enough that somebody (NSA) is already working on a way to exploit it.
I don't want to think about it. I would hope that Apple has the clamps on their little backdoor, but that seems too much to hope for and now that it's been talked about, several organizations, including the NSA are already working on exploiting it. Hopefully Apple does the smart thing and closes it in later iPhones.
I'm terrified to admit this, but I think what the FBI is asking for is surprisingly restrained and limited. Asking them to remove the passcode limits so they can more efficiently brute-force the thing is almost admirable compared to what they've been asking for. At least they're going to do some work in this thing.
That being said, terrifies me that Apple can do this at all. Note that I didn't say they were willing to do this, only that they can. This means that Apple isn't building a backdoor, so much as they already have one that they will use to accomplish this. If you can perform firmware/OS updates that remove security features with the device supposedly unlockable/uncrackable, that's a backdoor. It already exists and Apple just tipped their hand.
Let's make one thing perfectly clear. The FBI already had the means to crack this iPhone. All this backdoor does is make is slightly easier to do. There are software/hardware out there that can crack a 4-6 digit PIN, even with the lockouts/erase enabled. It just takes longer. That's really what this is about. The FBI didn't want to take the amount of time it would take to brute force the PIN without Apple's help, so they used the courts to force Apple to backdoor the lockout/secure erase functions, shaving quite a bit of time off the brute force attempt. So, while this is terrible, it's not quite as bad as it seems.
Process is important people. There should never be only one person responsible for anything, especially something as important as fraud protection. All decisions should run through multiple people, things have a much harder time flying under the radar then. It's the same reason the top levels of our government has checks and balances. Granted, that hasn't been working as well lately, but it does keep one person from screwing up the whole system, at least.
So, that's the lesson for the IRS. Get a process for everything and force everybody to stick to it. No exceptions.
“We’re in the business of creating addicts,” he said.
That quote alone tells me HBO knows what it's doing. They're pulling the long con and they know college kids tend to mooch of their parents. So, when their parents cut them off in a few years, they're still going to want to watch their Game of Thrones and HBO now is more convenient than piracy. Guess what they do then?
There's even less correlation than that. Take the media's favorite punching back for example, Grand Theft Auto. GTA V sold 15 million copies within the first ten days after its release. There's a whole lot more been sold since then. What does that mean? It means, if you grab a random teenager/20-something, the odds are good that they have a copy of GTA V. Add in all the other violent games (older versions of GTA, the Saints Row series, Manhunt, Etc.) and it would be far more surprising if a violent kid didn't have at least one of them.
That's... terrifying. What really scares me though, if they can't be bothered to even hash these passwords, what else are they not securing properly. Is credit card information stored in plain text? How about SSNs? If they really are getting this big, this is a news story waiting to happen.