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Thursday, February 18, 2016

FEATURED QUESTION: Technology (With Addendum)

Apple has challenged a court order requiring the corporation to access the data on the iPhone used by San Bernardino jihadist Syed Farook.

Apple has refused to comply with the court order. See Apple CEO Tim Cook's letter to customers.

According to this article, which supports Apple's position on the matter:
In the past, Apple was able to use a tool that would physically plug into the phone and let it respond to search warrant requests, but since 2014, the company has encrypted the contents of its iPhones and iPad tablets by default, and only those with the password can access the data on it.
According to another article:
...The investigators are trying to determine to what extent married couple Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were influenced by radical Islamic terrorist groups, as well as who they had been communicating with before the shootings. Investigators have been unable to access Farook’s iPhone 5C.

Sheri Pym, the federal judge, has ordered Apple not to turn off its encryption but to make it easier for federal agents to randomly guess the iPhone’s passcode. Apple has built a security feature into iPhones so that a phone slows down anyone trying to “brute force” his way into a phone by guessing passcode after passcode.

The built-in delay is so substantial that Apple said it would take someone 5 1/2 years to guess every possible code for a single device.

The court order requires Apple to circumvent that delay. “[Apple] will ensure that when the FBI submits passcodes to the SUBJECT DEVICE, software running on the device will not purposefully introduce any additional delay between passcode attempts beyond what is incurred Apple hardware,” it reads.

The magistrate also wants Apple to turn off any “auto-erase” functions on the phone, if enabled. This will be done with a program Apple is ordered to write and will allow FBI agents to install it on the suspect’s phone at a federal or Apple facility, according to the order....
Read the entire article HERE.

Some are praising Apple's stand, others are vilifying it.

FEATURED QUESTION:

Should Apple be required to comply with the court order demanding access to the iPhone used by jihadist Syed Farook? Please explain the reasons for your answer.


ADDENDUM

Beamish has posted the following to this thread:
There is more than one way to skin a cat. All cell phone OS's are tied to their phone's IMEI serial number.

Apple would simply have to push an altered OS update to the specific phone, and that altered OS would only work on THAT phone if it were coded specifically for that IMEI.

Otherwise, they force the Feds to code a patch that could affect ALL IPhones.
If that is accurate, then Apple CEO Tim Cook is grandstanding.

134 comments:

  1. "They that can give up essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    ~ Franklin (1706-1790)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AN ANCIENT ARABIAN FABLE FURTHER ILLUSTRATES FRANKLIN'S POINT - IF YOU HAVE the WIT to DRAW PARALLELS and UNDERSTAND ANALOGIES:


      The CAMEL in the TENT

      One cold night, as an Arab sat in his tent, a camel thrust the flap of the tent aside, and looked in.

      "I pray thee, master," the camel said, "let me put my head within the tent, for it is cold without."

      "By all means, and welcome," said the Arab; and the camel stretched his head into the tent.

      "If I might but warm my neck, also," he said, presently.

      "Put your neck inside," said the Arab.

      Soon the camel, who had been turning his head from side to side, said again: —

      "It will take but a little more room if I put my fore legs within the tent. It is difficult standing like this without."

      "You may also put your fore legs within," said the Arab, moving a little to make room, for the tent was very small.

      "May I not stand wholly within?" asked the camel, finally. "I keep the tent open by standing as I do."

      "Yes, yes," said the Arab. "I will have pity on you as well as on myself. Come wholly inside."

      So the Camel came forward and crowded into the tent. But the tent was too small for both.

      "I think," said the Camel, "that there is not room for both of us here. It will be best for you to stand outside, as you are the smaller; and then there will then be room enough for me."

      And with that he pushed the Arab a little, who made haste to get outside the tent.

      THE MORAL: It is always wise to resist the beginnings of evil.


      For those are remain perplexed: The CAMEL represents TECHNOLOGY; the ARAB represents HUMANITY.

      If you still don't get it, you richly deserve to be enslaved.

      Delete
    2. FT,
      I won't disagree with the lesson from that story.

      Humanity is far down the path of becoming cyborgs.

      In many ways, our use of technology -- and using it required for so many things -- brings a false sense of security. Even a sense of power!

      I have never had the expectation of privacy once I started using the web. The web is a public forum -- even with all the passwords, encryption, etc.

      Add to the above that our digital data of all types are subject to search warrants.

      Delete
  2. No, Apple should refuse the Court order. Our Constitutional system is built on the principle of negative liberty. If the government wants to hack the phone, that's THEIR problem, NOT Apple's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And a resounding, hearty AMEN!

      Delete
    2. But when some lofty thing is done
      I gird at once my harness on.
      Up with what’s low, what’s high eschew,
      Call crooked straight, and straight askew.
      What need I more, for health and worth:
      I’d have it so throughout the earth.


      -Thersites (Goethe, "Faust")

      Delete
    3. Do the TSA solution. Everyone with a locked IPhone should be waterboarded until they give up the password.

      Delete
    4. It's a no-no to cause case evidence to be destroyed.

      Waterboard Tim Cook until he cries for mercy, then waterboard him some more for crying without permission.

      Delete
  3. Housekeeping notice:

    Off topic comments and replies thereto will be deleted as soon as they are detected by a blog administrator.

    If you want to blab about the SCOTUS crisis, please go to the thread just below this blog post.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All right, but I DID want to talk about Mr. Trump's "Town Hall Meeting" last night. It was very revealing to say the least, and greatly reduced whatever respect I may have had for The Donald.

      Delete
    2. FT,
      I understand that. But this thread is about a completely different topic.

      Delete
  4. A bomb is placed in a safe that could substantially damage a large facility, say a hospital threatening patients who cannot readily be evacuated.
    The safe builder, knowing the technology of the locking mechanism, is called on to help open the safe by remotely opening the safe, but refuses, even though the safe owner is dead.
    What is your opinion of the safe builder?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a given.
      Do you think he would be complicit in the deaths of those exposed to the resulting explosion?
      Remember, he is only opening the one safe and not exposing the security of the others.

      Delete
    2. If he doesn't open it in time, and dies with the others in the explosion, are the police his murderer?

      Delete
    3. Remember - Apple doesn't currently "have" a remote break-in device. You'd force them them develop one at their own expense.

      Delete
    4. You might as well demand that auto manufacturers develop cars that runs over accident victims people and bring them back to life....

      ...or every manufacturer develop the antidote-cure for every product they make.

      Want to sell Viagra? First you must also develop "Make-soft-a"... to prevent those agaonizing four hour embarrassments at the hospital.

      Delete
    5. Thersites,
      Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought that the court order entailed paying Apple.

      Delete
    6. Does it also involve compensating Apple for all the money they've already spent on developing the encryption technology they have today as well as all lost revenues from future phone sales? If not, then it it's not a "fair" financial transaction, just "proof" that their encryption technology can be beat/hacked.

      Once Apple hacks their own phone, or establishes a path to a "back-door" nobody is going to buy it anymore.

      Delete
    7. It's like asking our "safe-builder friend to encode a universal combination into it's locks. Who's going to buy his "safe" if it comes with a Trojan horse built-in?

      Delete
    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    9. No. My analogy was:
      Knowing the technology of the proprietary mechanism that would give them an edge over the authorities in cracking the safe (and the remote was to avoid putting them in the proximity of the explosive for the analogy).
      By them doing the cracking, as requested by the authorities, the technology is not compromised.
      The security of other devices is not compromised.
      Lives are saved (put a loved one of yours in one of those hospital beds).
      Not asking for a universal backdoor.

      Delete
    10. You missed the point. Just knowing that the manufacturer can crack my safe at any time makes me want to buy my safe from someone who can't.

      People either have an "absolute" right to privacy, or they don't. There is no "terrorist exemption"... or "torture" exemption. That's why it's called "negative" liberty. Either you have it, or you don't have ANY liberty.

      Delete
    11. DO you believe it should be legal for the government to develop and use "mind reading" technology? Or is THAT a level of personal privacy that no one should be allowed to violate.

      Should a court be able to "order" America's leading neuro scientists to develop mind reading technology? Prevent them from working other projects and focus on mind reading?

      Delete
    12. Would you like to live in a society where the government CAN do the above?

      Delete
    13. ...cuz if they can force Apple to develop the I-Phone breaker, then any judge in America today can conscript YOU to clean Obama's toilet at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for the rest of your natural life, too.

      Delete
    14. Remember. The safe builder has done NOTHING criminal.

      Delete
    15. ...and YOU are perfectly capable of cleaning Obama's toilet.

      Delete
    16. The analogy was clear, but does not bear on the Apple case. The request is to weaken the security mechanism (the delay between failed password attempts), which is analogous to purposefully hobbling the safe lock. This would definitely compromise all apple devices.

      Delete
    17. Tim Cook is grandstanding a non-issue, as Apple can and has unlocked,their phones before.

      They wouldn't be able to push software and app upgrades to their phones if they couldn't bypass the lock. It's bullshit.

      Delete
    18. One. I don't remember insisting on the safe mfr doing anything.
      I asked: "What is your opinion of the safe builder?" given that he could save lives at no expense to his other customers, but won't.
      Two: Assisting in the breaking in to one phone does not compromise any other phone. I will say that if they exposed their technique to the feds, it might compromise other phones to being cracked by the Feds.
      The request, as I recall, was to in general assist in the
      cracking of the phone. Not to weaken any other phone's security.

      Delete
    19. My IPad won't download software and updates unless I tell it to. Apple only "pushes" what I allow it to push, when I allow it to.

      Delete
    20. BTW, having broken into a safe and posting the results on Youtube I found in comments that their are a myriad ways of breaking into a safe.
      No safe is safe. Some safes are safer than others.
      Anyone who assumes the mfr can't get in is ill-informed.

      Delete
    21. Anyone who assumes that the mfr CAN get in is also ill-informed.

      Data Security is a multi-billion dollar industry. ARe all those people wasting their money?

      Delete
    22. Apple can do anything they want to your devices, locked or unlocked up to and including the Stephen Wright virus, which deletes your files and replaces them with exact duplicates ;)

      Seriously though, the security lock can be bypassed with a pin number assigned to the phone's IMEI serial. It's what identifies the phone to a network along with its SIM card, and Apple can (and has) sent commands to locked phones via SMS texting.

      Again, Tim Cook is trying to sell Swiss cheese and call it a brick wall.

      Delete
    23. ...quantum encryption is just down the street. It is literally "unbreakable".

      Delete
    24. Are you going to make it illegal for Apple to use it just because it is?

      Delete
    25. Have you heard of Apple Pay? It comes with System 9. Do you think it has any chance as a product, if it's NOT secure?

      Delete
    26. President Obama receives his daily Intelligence Briefing on an IPad.

      How secure is it?

      Delete
    27. It's not on Simple Street, but definitely in Possibleville.

      Wireless / cellular devices by nature have a security "flaw" in that they have to be able to send and receive signals to their network hub / cell tower in order to function. It's like Nixon in China, lots of ports open.

      Delete
    28. When I worked for AT&T, we could track a cell phone's location via aGPS tech to within a 50 foot radius. That capacity has been since fine tuned to 3 feet.

      Delete
    29. Ed,its more akin to ordering the safe builder to design and manufacture a drill that can easily and quickly penetrate the case and cut through the locking pins.

      Delete
    30. But the user could turn GPS off, right? (you can still track which part of the cell network he's connected to).

      Delete
    31. You can turn off GPS, but that doesn't turn off the ping to cell tower(s) via which the signal strength is measured and can pinpoint you during a phone call or where you were when you sent a text.

      Also, photos you take will be geotagged with EXIF metadata of where the photo was taken unless you turn off GPS or go in and edit that data out of the file. Scary that you could potential give yourself away with a bathroom mirror selfie ;)

      Delete
  5. From what I have heard and read elsewhere, these cases were two separate cases.The court order for this one phone was read on the radio by a talk show host, and all that was asked was that this particular phone that was owned by the county in fact be accessed. The Judge did not ask for a change in all phones be changed, nor direct access to the code. Just that Apple turn off this phone encyption. I think this is simply an advertisement for Apple but then I am a cynic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bunkerville,
      I think that Apple is maintaining that it is impossible to alter the self-destruct device on only one phone.

      Is that true?

      I don't know.

      But I do know that this case is great free advertising for Apple.

      Delete
  6. Bunkerville points out something that I neglected to put in the body of the blog post.

    This phone did not belong to Syed Farook.

    This phone belonged to the county government, which, apparently, has no objections to the phone's being hacked.


    Wouldn't all data on this particular iPhone belong to the county by default?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there's not a company owned device my former employer cannot get into.
      San Bernadino was lax.

      Delete
    2. Ed,
      I suspect that many government entities and even private companies are lax in exactly the same manner.

      Those iPhones are being handed out like candy. Last summer, I noticed that the plumbing company I use provides iPads and iPhones. So very convenient, you know.

      Delete
    3. Just check with the NSA Utah Data Base Center. They probably already have it.

      Delete
  7. Aside from the philosophic argument, as a practical matter, if they put a back door in the code, it's going to eventually be hacked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Duck,
      Agreed about the vulnerability of a back door. But it that what the court order is demanding?

      Delete
    2. As I understand it, they want help with THIS ONE DEVICE.

      Delete
    3. The government hacked Hitler's ENIGMA. They can hack Apple. Make them waste their OWN resources.

      Delete
    4. also... once it is known that Apple can hack the IPhone, consumers no longer possess a 4th Amendment based "reasonable expectation of privacy" for the device, and therefore in the future, the Authorities will NOT require ANY warrant to extract the contents of your IPhone.

      Delete
    5. Zacharias Mossaoui is known as the 20th hijacker and was arrested on August 16, 2001 and a computer found. The computer was not searched because of a concern about potentially violating his 4th Amendment Rights and three weeks the hijackings and destruction of the World Trade Center known as 9/11 occurred. Had the computer been searched, many believe the 911 tragedy would have been prevented.

      Delete
    6. Democracy Now! featured this issue today and I government agencies are asking for a universal change to the software to allow a back door.

      In that case you're giving the NSA and the Chinese access.

      I believe the agencies are using the notoriety of the case as a wedge to have all phones opened.

      Delete
    7. I agree with your assessment that the government is using this as a wedge case. If Apple software geeks can write the code so can government software geeks.

      Delete
    8. Finntann,
      If Apple software geeks can write the code so can government software geeks.

      Are the government computer geeks as skilled as the Apple geeks? Just askin'.

      Delete
    9. AOW: No. But they can contract it out.

      Delete
    10. SF,
      Are only geeks employed by Apple to solve this problem?

      Delete
  8. Great discussion. I regret arriving so late.

    As usual, Farmer makes an excellent philosophical case, but I agree with Beamish that Apple can do this an the weasel who runs the company is grandstanding.

    I also agree with Ducky that this could be a government request for a universal backdoor, which leads me back to Farmer: If the government wants a universal back door, let them make it themselves and not tell anyone. That's how they did it back in the old days.

    Encryption schemes exist to the ordinary person that make it extremely difficult to crack your password, and government worldwide have already expressed alarm at this.

    I remember years and years ago when government looked like they would go after blowfish.

    The next step for the tyrants is to declare legal only certain schemes that they already can crack, and declare anything else the equivalent of burglary tools, possession punishable by fines and imprisonment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the "expectation of privacy" argument that seals it for me. If there is "none," then the 4th Amendment is moot.

      Delete
    2. Your cell phone/ PDA becomes the privacy equivalent of "sitting on the front porch in plain sight". ANYONE can "look".

      Delete
    3. Your "privacy" ends where the curtilage "begins".

      Delete
    4. "The next step for the tyrants is to declare legal only certain schemes that they already can crack"
      IIRC you already can't develop open-source SSH tools in the USA because of bone-headed laws along those lines.

      Delete
    5. SF,
      You haven't arrived too late to this discussion. It's still ongoing.

      Delete
    6. I agree with SF 100%.

      And Ducky, God help me. :-)

      Delete
  9. Here's what will happen:

    The FBI will quietly provide Apple with the IMEI serial number from the dead terrorist's cell phone. Apple will quietly provide the FBI with a skeleton key password derived from that phone's IMEI.

    Obama will publically lament that he can't force Apple to give up the booty.

    Tim Cook will sashay in a feather boa and lisp about how he's saved the universe for homos and other kinds of Apple users.

    It'll be their little secret.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a HUGE different between "private" knowledge, and "common" knowledge. Either the Emperor is NAKED, or he's NOT.

      All of your civil rights lie in the "difference".

      Delete
    2. Not sure how my civil rights are violated by asking the manufacturer of a phone made in China to unlock one of their music playing doorstops that belonged to a now dead terrorist.

      But, I'm a Windows phone user.

      Delete
  10. What do you think Tim Cook would do if the phone contained information about a serial killer who was killing gay's?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who knows.

      What do you think he'd do if the IPhone brand became known as the go-to platform for ISIS terrorists and those who want to emulate them?

      Delete
    2. Is the iPhone already the preference of Islamic terrorists, precisely because Apple devices are purported to be so difficult to hack into?

      Delete
    3. I think it's rather that IPhones are made for people who don't know or want to know how to use technology.

      They're the Velcro shoe of the laced-up world.

      Delete
    4. There is more than one way to skin a cat. All cell phone OS's are tied to their phone's IMEI serial number.

      Apple would simply have to push an altered OS update to the specific phone, and that altered OS would only work on THAT phone if it were coded specifically for that IMEI.

      Otherwise, they force the Feds to code a patch that could affect ALL IPhones.

      In the end, Apple is only "protecting" a damned terrorist.

      Delete
    5. Beamish,
      Then why doesn't Apple do that?

      Delete
    6. Apple isn't protecting anyone. The terrorists are dead. This is just an order to perform forensics to determine how badly the government bungled its' responsibilities to protect the public. And if they have to destroy all of our remaining civil rights to do it, we might as well just drop it. The government will ALWAYS bungle its' responsibilities and look to distract you with forensic cases like this one.

      Delete
    7. FJ,
      The government will ALWAYS bungle its' responsibilities and look to distract you with forensic cases like this one.

      Yep.

      I am suspicious of both sides: Apple and the federal government.

      Delete
    8. The NSA already has the contents of all the terrorists phone conversations and who they called. All they want to do now is go back a track their movements of K-Day. Hell, the should just put the JLENS blimp over San Diego/ Los Angeles instead of Baltimore and they wouldn't need the IPhone... they'd have the data.

      Delete
    9. AOW,

      Apple won't do that because Tim Cook is grandstanding and counting on the general public's ignorance of technology that fuels the sales of his music playing doorstops.

      Delete
    10. (I'm not a fan of Crapple products, lol)

      Delete
    11. Beamish,
      I confess that I have an iPhone5S. I got it because a homeschool parent gave me a mini iPad, which I use a lot.

      But here's the thing...I don't worship these devices. Many Apple users do just that. I don't get it!

      Delete
  11. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/18/technology/apples-stance-highlights-a-more-confrontational-tech-industry.html?_r=0

    Before the analysis above (excellent arguments) was written, I stood in Apple's corner.

    Device access is not the nirvana we seek. Top to bottom shake down of DHS and the inordinate and overly dependent reliance of digital data to do their jobs is a good place to start.

    Visa reform is needed.

    HumInt is needed on grander scale. *How long has it been since a star was put on that wall at Langley? We lack the foot soldiers compared to Dr. Evil's team.

    Before Apple's technology, before locked phones - we had 9/11.

    Future intelligence failures may be blamed on Apple, but they are a small slice of that pie.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I believe an exception should be made for terrorist activities.
    Apple could take the phone in house, unlock it, transfer the data to another medium, give that to the FBI, then destroy the software used to unlock the phone without any possibility of that unlocking software getting loose.
    I read today, Apple has previously unlocked 70 phones. Maybe that was prior to their current encryption scheme.

    Apple should provide access to that data to the FBI.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kid,
      I read today, Apple has previously unlocked 70 phones. Maybe that was prior to their current encryption scheme.

      It was before the current method of encryption, I think.

      Delete
  13. I thought the cell phone was found on the road after it had been run over by the vehicle they were driving just before they got into the shoot-out with the gendarmes— shooting out the back window of their SUV in a blatant attack on law enforcement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Waylon,
      According to what I've read, Syed Farook had two cell phones -- the one in dispute and a personal one he owned. The one destroyed during the shoot-out was his personal one.

      Delete
    2. AOW, according to THIS STORY the police already had a cell phone that belonged to Farouk which had photos of schools that were supposedly part of an earlier terrorist attack. Then there was the other one that was run over and destroyed in the final show down on the street that ended in a hail of bullets (upward of 250 to 400 rounds fired)to bring an end to the lunacy.

      And whatever happened to his "friend" Enrique who was supposed to have supplied him with the weapons and planned the earlier school attack? Maybe his phone would be more valuable in unraveling the mystery—but he supposedly said that the weapons he provided were provided for him by "law enforcement".

      There's way more to the story than what has been dished up by the media, is all I'm saying, since I don't believe you can trust a word coming from the main stream media today.

      Delete
    3. And we shouldn't forget that "Mrs. Farouk", his beloved bride, was a late import from Saudi Arabia. And, of course, Saudi Arabia, is our great trusted and true ally in this great war against terrorism, which Saudi Arabia is, of course, the main supporter, supplier and financier of terror around the world.

      Is that too deep a conspiracy?

      Delete
    4. Waylon,
      There's way more to the story than what has been dished up by the media, is all I'm saying, since I don't believe you can trust a word coming from the main stream media today.

      No doubt about that!

      Delete
  14. I don't think for one minute that Tim Cook or anybody at Apple is concerned about anybody's privacy rights. If the truth were known there is not only a commonly used in-house method for Apple to suck the information out of an iPhone, but other "back-doors" that were created during the assembly and testing phases of the device. Apple just doesn't want anybody to know.

    I think it is a load of horse-feathers for Apple to refuse to help the Feds in this particular case. I would hate to see legislation forcing manufacturers and dealers to record encryption keys with the Feds for every potentially encrypted device sold.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Magistrate Sheri Pym, in the US District Court of Central California, ordered the tech giant to provide the FBI with software designed to defeat a self-destruct mechanism on the iPhone, according to the Associated Press, which first reported the news. The self-destruct mechanism automatically erases data on a phone after ten failed password attempts, or rather erases a key that could be used to decrypt that data.

    “Apple’s reasonable technical assistance shall accomplish the following three important functions,” the document notes. “It will bypass or disable the auto-erase function whether or not it has been enabled; it will enable the FBI to submit passcodes to the subject device for testing electronically via the physical device port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or other protocol available on the subject device and it will ensure that when the FBI submits passcodes to the subject device, software running on the device will not purposefully introduce any additional delay between the passcode attempts beyond what is incurred by Apple hardware.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finntann,
      In a comment above, Kid typed in:

      Apple could take the phone in house, unlock it, transfer the data to another medium, give that to the FBI, then destroy the software used to unlock the phone without any possibility of that unlocking software getting loose.

      But according to that text you provided, that method is disallowed, right?

      Delete
  16. And when all is said and done, the FBI is going to give that capability back to Apple and not ever use it again on other 5C phones. Yeah, right. ROFLOL

    ReplyDelete
  17. NOTE:

    I have posted an addendum to the body of the blog post.


    Discuss?

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  19. Much earlier in this thread, Thersites typed in the following, which is likely important to consider:

    Once Apple hacks their own phone, or establishes a path to a "back-door" nobody is going to buy it anymore.

    And maybe Apple already has such a back door, but is pretending that the door doesn't exist so as to sell Apple products, which are quite expensive.

    Yes, I'm a cynic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've noticed that Apple users worship their products because Apple user believe that Apple products are so much superior to other products.

      But what if they're really not so very superior?

      Then, Apple users have been scammer because they've shelled out big bucks.

      Delete
    2. Thersites, note this:

      Apple says complying with the FBI would undermine Apple's brand and hurt its profitability.

      $$$!

      Delete
    3. AOW,

      I believe you are right on two counts:

      Apple does have a backdoor, and wants to keep it secret.

      Apple phones are $500 more expensive than and do less than a $75 base Nokia 920 running Windows 10.

      Delete
    4. It's all about the Benjamins. And if Apple can't pursue them, then this isn't our country anymore.

      Delete
  20. So, what is Apple's next move? The link explains the options for both federal law enforcement and Apple.

    Note the last three paragraphs:

    This is a landmark case. It will establish a precedent that asserts new powers for law enforcement.

    Kendall Coffey, formerly the top federal prosecutor in Miami, noted that it's rare for a major company to pick such a huge legal battle.

    "What's striking about this scenario is the opposition in the face of a court order," Coffey said. "It signals it's going to be a big fight. A lot of companies don't want to be on the wrong side of the FBI. Their jurisdiction is broad, and it can be akin to tugging on Superman's cape."

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just don't trust Tim Cook to be honest or sincere. Not only did he fail to mention that the IPhone 6 is an overpriced useless piece of shit in his letter, he didn't apologize for it either. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lotsa upvotes!

      Apple could take that phone, crack it, and turn the data over to the FBI, and nobody else would be harmed.

      Privacy is a fiction. Afraid of the government spying on you? Apple is spying on you, and so is Google, Yahoo and the rest of them...

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous,
      I do occasionally allow mild profanity if the rest of such a comment has importance to the discussion.

      My blog. My rules.

      Delete
  22. Part of this stems from using phones for far more than phones.
    How much info resides on servers (the "cloud") that is more damaging than what's on the phone?
    You want ultra security in your comms because you are afraid of big brother? Don't depend on any device.
    "Make the FBI do it's job."?
    Getting intel off that phone falls right in that demand.
    Some concern about search and seizure down the road should not impinge on determining the status of a potential ticking bomb, the contacts in a sleeper cell.
    The discussion has gone far afield.
    Crack one phone that was in the possession of a dead terrorist which may implicate others waiting to do harm.
    Leave all the other phones alone.
    As for Apple? What better advertising than "Your data is safe with us, the Feds can't crack it, and unless you are a nefarious character, we won't help them."

    ReplyDelete
  23. Using phones for more than phones... I can replicate the :::cough::: "quality" of the IPhone 6's camera by smearing Vaseline on the lens of my Nokia 935 ;)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Well, well, well....

    https://gma.yahoo.com/san-bernardino-shooters-apple-id-passcode-changed-while-234003785--abc-news-topstories.html

    Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  25. From the link that Tammy left above:

    The password for the San Bernardino shooter's iCloud account associated with his iPhone was reset hours after authorities took possession of the device.

    The Justice Department acknowledged in its court filing that the password of Syed Farook's iCloud account had been reset. The filing states, "the owner [San Bernardino County Department of Public Health], in an attempt to gain access to some information in the hours after the attack, was able to reset the password remotely, but that had the effect of eliminating the possibility of an auto-backup."

    Apple could have recovered information from the iPhone had the iCloud password not been reset...

    [...]

    The auto reset was executed by a county information technology employee, according to a federal official. Federal investigators only found out about the reset after it had occurred and that the county employee acted on his own, not on the orders of federal authorities...

    Apple executives say the iPhone was in the possession of the government when iCloud password was reset. A federal official familiar with the investigation confirmed that federal investigators were indeed in possession of the phone when the reset occurred....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the link offers this, too:

      According to court records, the iPhone had not been backed up since Oct. 19, 2015, one-and-a-half months before the attack and that this “indicates to the FBI that Farook may have disabled the automatic iCloud backup function to hide evidence.”

      Read the entire link HERE.

      Delete
  26. I had to read the link twice to let sink in the possible ramifications. We need to now consider an individuals cell phone part of the crime scene package, something which must not be tampered with except in official capacity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prince,
      Another county employee who was in on the jihad plot?

      Delete
  27. Hooboy!

    Syed Farook's brother is a computer technician -- Information System Technician

    Is Syed Farook's brother (Syed Raheel Farook) also a county employee? If not, does he know a county employee whom he persuaded to tamper with Syed Farook's phone?

    ReplyDelete
  28. This may be worth recalling:

    Initial news reports and witness accounts led to a search for up to three shooters, but police eventually determined that there were only two.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This I know for sure: At my place of employment a ticket must be generated to request assistance with an IT problem.

    From how it reads, the county employee stepped outside of normal protocols in place to access the phone of Syed Farook. IT services are a request-driven task when it comes to information retrieval.

    Why? Why did the employee remotely access and reset the password?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Are we sure that this isn't just another FBI Disinformation Campaign to encourage terrorists to use IPhones because it already has an NSA back door built in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Back in 2003 the Pentagon announced to the media that they were shutting down their disinformation department.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, but that was planting stories in the foreign press. The 'American Press' operation is non-stop.

      Delete
  31. Another wrinkle:

    In the chaotic aftermath of the shootings in San Bernardino, California, in December, FBI investigators seeking to recover data from the iPhone of one of the shooters asked a technician in the California county to reset the phone's iCloud password.

    That apparent fog-of-war error has foreclosed the possibility of an automatic backup by the phone to the Apple iCloud servers that might have turned up more clues to the origins of the terrorist attack that killed 14 people....

    ReplyDelete

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