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Thread: Apple opposes judge's order to hack San Bernardino shooter's iPhone

  1. #1
    You give Love..A BAD NAME
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Apple opposes judge's order to hack San Bernardino shooter's iPhone

    Apple opposes judge's order to hack San Bernardino shooter's iPhone

    Quote Originally Posted by
    Apple is opposing a judge's order to help the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters, calling the directive "an overreach by the U.S. government."

    A public letter, signed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and published Tuesday, warns that complying with the order would entail building "a backdoor to the iPhone" -- "something we consider too dangerous to create."

    "The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers -- including tens of millions of American citizens -- from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals," the letter said.

    Such a move would be an "unprecedented step," threatening the security of Apple's customers, it said.

    "No reasonable person would find that acceptable."

    The letter called for a public discussion on the order, saying the company was "challenging the FBI's demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country."

    "We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications," the letter said.

    Passcode thwarts investigators
    The standoff is the latest flashpoint in an intensifying debate between law enforcement and the tech industry over encryption.

    A judge in California ordered Apple on Tuesday to help the FBI break into the phone of San Bernardino shooter Xxxx.

    Xxxx and his wife, Yyyy, killed 14 people in the December shooting. The couple, radical Islamists who supported ISIS, later died in a shootout with police.

    Investigators had obtained permission to retrieve data from the phone but had been unable to search the device as it had been locked with a user-generated numeric passcode.

    Apple's operating systems included an auto-erase function that, when enabled, would result in the information on the phone being permanently wiped after 10 failed attempts at inputting the passcode, the government wrote in documents seeking the order.

    "We have made a solemn commitment to the victims and their families that we will leave no stone unturned as we gather as much information and evidence as possible. These victims and families deserve nothing less," Eileen Decker, U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, said in a statement in response to the court order.

    "The application filed today in federal court is another step -- a potentially important step -- in the process of learning everything we possibly can about the attack in San Bernardino."
    The iPhone is owned by the San Bernardino Health Dept.
    What IF one of the Victims was related to Apple CEO Tim Cook?
    Where is Justice vs Privacy?
    (I redacted the Killers Names)

    ***DO YOUR JOB***

  2. #2
    A poor corrupt official CaptRenault's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    I support Tim Cook and Apple:

    The Encryption Fight We Knew Was Coming Is Here—and Apple Appears Ready
    Company will not compromise user security to help access terrorist’s phone.

    Scott Shackford|Feb. 17, 2016 10:40 am

    We have one massive test case for Apple's commitment to end-to-end encryption on its smart phones in the dock. Syed Farook, one of the terrorists responsible for killing 14 people in San Bernardino, California, had a locked iPhone, and the FBI has not been able to access its contents. So they're trying to get help from Apple, and they've turned to a judge to try to force the company's assistance.

    Yesterday a judge sided with the FBI, ordering Apple to not exactly create a back door to bypass its encryption, but pretty damn close. The judge has ordered Apple to assist the FBI by making it possible to bypass or deactivate the auto-erase function that deletes the contents of the phone after too many failed password attempts; to allow the FBI to electronically submit passcodes rather than manually; and to eliminate any delays in the system between password attempts. The demands are clearly designed so that the FBI would be able to try to brute force the password by attempting every possible number combination. (You can read the full order and some technical analysis at Techdirt here).

    Apple does not appear to have the ability to comply with the order at this very moment. But it seems clear that Apple can possibly develop such a tool that will comply based on President Tim Cook's response. So among the many questions we're dealing with here is whether the judicial system can force a private company to develop certain tools for the purpose of furthering the government's goals.
    Cook is saying no. And his response on behalf of Apple (directed toward Apple's customers) provides a clear, level-headed understanding of why this encryption must exist and must be protected, even if it "helps" the occasional terrorist:

    In today's digital world, the "key" to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.
    The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that's simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

    The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.
    We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them.

    What Cook doesn't say but should be extremely obvious is that even if Apple creates only one of these devices for the government, the feds will most certainly try to backwards-engineer the tool to figure out how to replicate it. We have seen every single surveillance authorization given to the federal government abused and expanded to snoop on citizens for inappropriate reasons and without due process. There's no reason to believe the same thing won't happen here and that the justification for breaking encryption won't be defined downward from "terrorist who killed 14 people" to "suspected drug dealer" or what the FBI defines as a domestic "extremist." Cook does make note of how this authority would eventually be corrupted:

    The implications of the government's demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone's device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone's microphone or camera without your knowledge.

    Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

    Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has no interest in any sort of nuanced discussion of privacy and civil liberties and has demanded that Apple comply, saying, "To think that Apple won't allow us to get into her cellphone? Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it."

    On this situation, Trump sounds just like the "establishment" politicians in both parties, who have no interest in Americans' privacy if it gets in the way of government authority, and they really don't seem to be interested in the negative consequences. Folks like Trump (and senators like Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr) care only that the government can access any information it wants to at any time. They do not seem to care that this process will open up their own constituencies to further fraud and potential crimes.

    So we have to rely on one of the biggest tech corporations in the world to protect us from the government. I wonder how many sci-fi cyberpunk writers saw that twist coming.
    Strasser: I advise that this place be shut up at once.
    Renault: But everybody's having such a good time.
    Strasser: Yes, much too good a time. The place is to be closed.
    Renault: But I have no excuse to close it.
    Strasser: Find one.

  3. #3
    You give Love..A BAD NAME
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Bill Gates says Apple-FBI fight is not black and white.
    Quote Originally Posted by
    Bill Gates said headlines that he supported the FBI in its legal fight with Apple went too far. Gates has taken a decidedly more nuanced view of the issue than many others in the technology industry.

    While many tech executives have voiced their full support for Apple CEO Tim Cook, the Microsoft founder said that Congress and the courts must help strike an appropriate balance between security and privacy.

    "I do believe there are sets of safeguards where the government shouldn't have to be completely blind," Gates said in an interview on "Bloomberg <GO>" Tuesday morning.

    Yet Gates said it's important not to get too caught up in the emotions following a terrorist attack. Similarly, he said that people shouldn't act to quickly after revelations of government abuse, such as when Edward Snowden revealed the scope of the NSA's bulk collection.
    "It is a challenge to update the policies," Gates said.

    Gates pushed back against the headline in a Financial Times story on Tuesday that reads, "Bill Gates backs FBI iPhone hack request."
    "I was disappointed 'cause that doesn't state my view on this," Gates told Bloomberg.
    In his FT interview, Gates suggested that Apple is mischaracterizing its fight against an FBI request to unlock the iPhone of deceased San Bernardino shooter Xxxx Yyyy.

    "It is no different than ... should anybody ever have been able to tell the phone company to get information ... should anybody be able to get at bank records," the Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) founder said. "There's no difference between information."

    Apple (AAPL, Tech30)'s Cook has vigorously opposed the FBI's demand, saying the government is asking the company to "hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers." Breaking into the smartphone, Cook claims, requires building a backdoor that "could be used over and over again, on any number of devices."

    The tech industry has rallied around Apple as it resists the FBI's order. Google (GOOG), Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) and Facebook (FB, Tech30) have all backed the company.

    But Gates appears to see the issue differently.
    "This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case," Gates said.

    FBI Director James Comey has described his agency's request as "limited."
    "We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist's passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly," he said. "That's it. We don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land."

    Gates is still on Microsoft's board of directors, but he's no longer involved in running the software giant day to day. Although the company hasn't issued its own official statement on the Apple case, it is a member of the Reform Government Surveillance alliance.

    That group of companies, which also includes Yahoo (YAHOF) and AOL, put out a statement last week saying that "technology companies should not be required to build in backdoors to the technologies that keep their users' information secure."
    (I redacted the Killers Name)

    ***DO YOUR JOB***

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