February 26, 2016
Apple motion to deny FBI to be backed by Google and Microsoft
The FBI argues that public safety hangs in the balance if they cannot command tech companies to help with its investigations.
The FBI orders that Apple create new software to allow the FBI (and hackers of course) to break into the iPhone 5C. Apple said that assisting the government to crack into the phones is “in conflict with the First and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution,” referring to free speech and the right to avoid self-incrimination.
“The government wants Apple to build in flaws with a backdoor,” says Harvey Anderson, chief legal officer at computer-security company AVG Technologies. “It’s like asking an automaker to design a less-safe car. This undercuts Apple’s relationship with its customers, who value the security of its products.”
According to reports, Apple is in fact working on new encryption technology that would make it impossible for anyone – including its own engineers – to access data in a mobile device.
Microsoft president Brad Smith announced Thursday that his company also would be filing a friend of the court opinion. Similar briefs will also be filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Amnesty International.
What’s really at stake in the Apple vs. FBI fight
Apple knows that any “key” it creates for the FBI, once used on the Internet, is itself vulnerable to hacking, thereby jeopardizing all Apple products and negating the privacy of tens of millions, and even exposing the government to foreign hackers.
Instead, the DoJ has obtained the most unique search warrant I have ever seen in 40 years of examining them. Here, the DoJ has persuaded a judge to issue a search warrant for A THING THAT DOES NOT EXIST, by forcing Apple to create a key that the FBI is incapable of creating.
There is no authority for the government to compel a nonparty to its case to do its work, against the nonparty’s will, and against profound constitutional values. Essentially, the DoJ wants Apple to hack into its own computer product, thereby telling anyone who can access the key how to do the same.
If the courts conscripted Apple to work for the government and thereby destroy or diminish its own product, the decision would constitute a form of slavery, which is prohibited by our values and by the Thirteenth Amendment.
Yet, somewhere, the government has the data it seeks but will not admit to it, lest a myth it has foisted upon us all be burst. Since at least 2009, the government’s domestic spies have captured the metadata — the time, place, telephone numbers and duration of all telephone calls — as well as the content of telephone calls made in America under a perverse interpretation of the FISA statute and the Patriot Act, which a federal appeals court has since invalidated.
The DoJ knows where this data on this killer’s cellphone can be found, but if it subpoenas the NSA, and the NSA complies with that subpoena, and all this becomes public, that will put the lie to the government’s incredible denials that it spies upon all of us all the time. Surely it was spying on the San Bernardino killers.
There is more at stake here than the privacy of Apple’s millions of customers and the security of power grids and all that the Internet serves. Personal liberty in a free society is at stake. A government that stays within the confines of the Constitution is at stake.
Apple vs. FBI: Here’s One Fact the Press Got Totally Wrong
FEBRUARY 19, 2016,
No, Apple Has Not Unlocked 70 iPhones For Law Enforcement.
At the heart of the misunderstanding is the difference between extracting data from an iPhone without unlocking it, which Apple AAPL 0.16% was able to do before iOS 8,
Harris’ piece in the Daily Beast attributes the 70 iPhones figure to “prosecutors.” Asked for his source, Harris pointed to court records and transcripts from a 2015 case involving a Brooklyn meth dealer with an iPhone running iOS 7. In a contemporaneous report in Motherboard, an assistant U.S. attorney is quoted saying Apple “has never objected” and “has complied” with at least 70 similar requests. That’s not the same as saying Apple did in the past what it now refuses to do.
Apple vs. FBI is a sign of a dangerous divide
February 24, 2016
Similarly, encryption advocates have a strong case; as encryption is necessary to protect political dissidents in authoritarian countries and civil liberties for everyone. The American people and the business sector clearly need reassurances that their data will be protected from illegal intrusions, whether from digital theft by criminals or unwarranted access by government officials.
Any backdoor accessible to law enforcement can and also would be used by a hacker for any number of nefarious reasons.