Encryption

DOJ Attempts to Force Apple's Cooperation, Calls Our Data Security a 'Marketing' Concern, Hopes We Ignore the Big Picture

The government wants what it wants, consequences be damned.

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The Department of Justice is not waiting for Apple to file its formal objections to a judge's order that they assist the FBI in getting access to the contents of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook's iPhone. They've just filed a brief asking a judge in California to compel the company's cooperation.

The DOJ is objecting to the characterization by Apple CEO Tim Cook that what the government is asking for could threaten the security of other apple products or of everybody else's data privacy:

DOJ
DOJ

It's one of those arguments that is technically correct yet hopes that everybody (or the judge, at least) ignores the entire encryption debate going on. Senators are literally right now drafting laws that would force tech companies to weaken encryption. We know full well that while the Farook case may be unique in its particulars, it is absurd to attempt to argue to act as though this will be an isolated request. And it, like many defenders of the order, hopes to disguise the issue with legalese. They're not making Apple create "back doors" into encryption! They're just making Apple bypass certain security features so that the FBI can more easily hack into the phone! That's totally different.

More insultingly (but predictably), the order dismisses any effort on Apple's part to fight for the data security of its users as a "marketing" issue to protect its brand name rather than actual concern about privacy rights.

All I can say to that, as an iPhone owner, is thank God somebody here is concerned the accessibility of my private, personal data. Because clearly the DOJ, based on the condescending and arrogant way it is responding to Apple's concerns, does not.

Read the DOJ's filing here.

Also: Why everybody should be worried about this push.

NEXT: PBS Paints Rosy—Maybe a Little Too Rosy—Picture of Technology's Future

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  1. All I can say to that, as an iPhone owner, is thank God somebody here is concerned the accessibility of my private, personal data. Because clearly the DOJ, based on the condescending and arrogant way it is responding to Apple’s concerns, does not.

    Um…pretty sure the DOJ is very concerned about the accessibility of your private personal data.

    1. The DOJ is run by a bunch of faggot cookies!

      1. Get lost, shitbird.

        1. No. M’kay bitch?

  2. Fuck those clowns (DOJ).

    And this is another reason to care about SCOTUS appointments, because this will almost surely be litigated at some point and may end up before them. Any thoughts on whether Obama appointees are good on 4A?

    1. I’m blanking on any specific cases off the top of my head but I think Sotomayor has a decent record here.

    2. They won’t be.

    3. Jane Kelly was a federal public defender I think. Maybe she would be a decent nominee for this issue?

    4. Obama appointees are being hindered by the Constitution…

    5. Sotomayor is.

    6. They’ll be good on the 4A, until they aren’t. They’ll ‘evolve’ to whatever the government class wants them to be.

  3. “The Order is tailored for and limited to this particular phone.”

    Yes, the Order is.

    1. Remember, this is the *law* we’re dealing with here. As far as the government is concerned, strict adherence to the letter of the law is what judges are supposed to do when its in the government’s favor that they do so.

    2. Then why do they need the software delivered to them by Apple?

      Why can’t they bring the phone to Apple, have Apple unlock it in their presence, and leave?

      1. If they did that then Apple would inundated with both domestic and foreign political request.
        Also It is un-needed since the NSA has been monitoring everything anyway all they have to do is go to the people these people called or texted. this is purely an excuse to have the ability to get into all phones whenever they like without a warrant once they have the key.

  4. If only Comrade Obama knew of this injustice! Surely he would do something…

    1. For what Apple donated to him over the last seven years, he damn well better.

    2. Damn, I came here to say this.

      But Obama did trash talk Trump the other day, so *swoon*

      1. That just makes me like Teump more.

        1. You’we a Twump fan?

    3. My Obot friends are still mum on this. I guess the talking points haven’t yet gone put.

      1. *out

        Maybe the DOJ will do something about autocorrect, too.

        1. My auto spell is already bad enough without involving the government, thank you very much.

  5. More insultingly (but predictably), the order dismisses any effort on Apple’s part to fight for the data security of its users as a “marketing” issue to protect its brand name rather than actual concern about privacy rights.

    Wait a minute. A big part of Apple’s brand name is an actual demonstrated concern about privacy rights.

    1. Yeah, I don’t get that either. If given the choice between Android or Apple for phones I go with Apple mainly because they have better security and there are less viruses infecting Apple’s OS.

      Saying it’s a bad thing to advertise that your phone does a better job of securing your personal data is one of the dumber arguments that I’ve heard on this subject.

      1. It’s a smear tactic. It is designed to give the impression that Apple is not acting out of principle, but for crass profit considerations.

      2. sort of like DOT trying to prevent Subaru from marketing their cars on the issue of safety thanks to the insane number of airbags they have…… makes a lotta sense… must be a gummint job…..

  6. Um…

    And the Order will facilitate only the FBI’s efforts to search the phone; it does not require Apple to conduct the search of access any content on the phone. …Apple may maintain custody of the software, destroy it after its purpose under the Order has been served, refuse to disseminate it outside of Apple, and make clear…

    That…doesn’t make sense.

    1. “Hey we need you to make this key to open this box. You don’t have to open the box, but we need the key and we extra-pinky swear to give you the key back when we’re done with it, and we totally promise not to make a copy of the key. Sound good to you guys?”

      1. They want Apple to write a firmware update and sign it using Apple’s key, so that the FBI can brute-force this phone. So they could send Apple the phone, Apple could make the firmware update, and send the phone (still encrypted) back to the FBI.

        Really, it sounds like the thing they really need Apple for is the key that will enable the firmware update. The FBI could, with some effort, do the rest (or so I have been lead to believe).

        1. it sounds like the thing they really need Apple for is the key that will enable the firmware update

          Thus my point that Apple would be trusting them not to make a copy of said key, and also that they would give this key back.

          1. My understanding is that Apple doesn’t have to give them the key.

          2. That is not how keys work. The firmware is fingerprinted with a public-private key. Only Apple has the private key that allows the fingerprinting, but the phones have the public key that can verify that the fingerprinter was Apple.

            So the FBI is not getting the key they need to pass off firmware as “apple approved” as Apple would retain the private key. At most they could copy the fingerprint. But that fingerprint is tied to the firmware.

            So, take firmware and create a hash using the firmware. Then sign it (encrypt) with the private key. The phone’s public key validates (decrypts) the signature and validates the hash of the firmware matches the hash in the signature. This public/ is used in your browser all the time to validate that a cookie set on your browser was put there by the website rather than tampered with.

            1. Yes, and then they *copy* that firmware off the phone, keep it handy for the next one, et voila!

            2. The reality is that Apple (if they’re smart) has made it so they can’t comply… if they show that they’re really, really sorry about it and prove it by say, putting a back door in future versions of IOS the FBI might just forget about their order this time.

        2. If they give the phone with the new OS back to the FBI, how is that not disseminating the software though?

          1. See below.

            Agammamon seems to have a better understanding of how this works, but if I had to guess, I’d say that the key that Apple needs to provide is tied to a particular hash (like an md5 sum) of the firmware. Any change to the firmware (such as the phone-specific ID) would change that hash, making the key useless. And without that key the phone won’t accept the firmware update.

            1. Sorry, I was unclear. If you’re right about the key, I agree that this isn’t necessarily a problem. However, I still think it counts as “disseminating” the software for purposes of making this particular brief full of shit.

              1. Yeah, I agree with that.

    2. by custody, they mean rights to the IP.

  7. I’ve been trying to read up this afternoon, and it actually does sound like the FBI’s request is narrowly tailored and that the tools Apple would develop could not be used on other phones without Apple’s cooperation. So I’m cautiously starting to side with the FBI when it comes to the risk this poses to encryption at large.

    Senators are literally right now drafting laws that would force tech companies to weaken encryption

    That is different and deeply troubling. But at the same time, their political ammunition for passing those laws would take a hit if Apple agreed in this case.

    1. b/c Apple holds the passkey for forcing firmware updates?

    2. it actually does sound like the FBI’s request is narrowly tailored and that the tools Apple would develop could not be used on other phones without Apple’s cooperation

      Not sure what you have seen on that, but everything I have read suggests it would be a simple swap of a single ID number in the code to make this work on a different handset.

      1. I read that it was more than a single number, but more importantly, that doing so would require Apple to re-sign with one of their keys.

        If I’m wrong on that, let me know. I’m going against my instincts here only because of what I have read so far.

        1. Yeah, I’m not at all sure.

        2. Couple things.

          If they can force Apple to sign it once, they can force Apple (and everyone else) to sign anytime they want. They will have created a backdoor into the backdoor.

          Certificates can be forged. That’s not even taking into consideration subornation.

          Finally, its not like the FBI has the software they need and just need Apple to provide a valid certificate, they’re demanding Apple spend money to develop and test a completely new tool.

          1. Plus,

            Once hackers know that a key exists, they are going to find it. It’s what they do.

            1. I heard John MacAfee make that same point on CNBC earlier today. It won’t just be the feds abusing this, it would also be foreign governments and thieves & hackers of all stripes.

          2. Not only that, but they are demanding that Apple lose hundreds of thousands to millions in profits because buyers will be wary of purchasing iOS devices. The overseas market is huge; for instance, China’s gov’t may coerce Apple into making the same break-in techniques for them, which will undermine demand in China for iPhones and open up opportunities for competitors to step in with products that are perceived to be more secure. A small competitor could grow to unseat even a giant as large as Apple, as many tech giants have learned.

      2. So anyone can create firmware that breaks the password-lockout feature.

        But only apple can sign that software so that the phone will ACCEPT and load that firmware.

        To that extent, the specific firmware image- once created and signed- could be used on any phone unless apple can create the firmware/signatures such that it will ONLY load on a specific phone. If they cannot target firmware to a specific phone, then theoretically the FBI could copy the image to any phone matching the hardware specs. I am not clear on the ability to sign firmware only for a specific phone.

        If apple can’t yet assign firmware to a specific phone, then the FBI is asking them to create that functionality. And of course that brings all sorts of problems with it- that the government is de-facto forcing Apple to become government contractors for hire without their will.

        1. From what I have read, they can tailor the firmware for this specific phone.

          1. But is not clear to me whether they have the tool already to target a specific phone or if they would have to write code to do so.

          2. I don’t know, but perhaps as they give the DOJ an entry into this phone, they can write an update that will make the key useless in the future? At least that’s what I would do.

            The problem is that this will create a precedent. Next week, there will be some other phone the DOJ will want to get into. The day after that, it will be the Ohio State Police. Next month, seventy-eleven local police forces will be going to their pet judges to force Apple (and Samsung) to open up their encryption. At which point, there will be no more encryption.

            You’d think a judge would have an understanding of legal precedent, but I guess these modern derp-gressive types don’t understand anything but ‘I win’.

    3. I’ve been trying to read up this afternoon, and it actually does sound like the FBI’s request is narrowly tailored and that the tools Apple would develop could not be used on other phones without Apple’s cooperation. So I’m cautiously starting to side with the FBI when it comes to the risk this poses to encryption at large.

      That means you have to believe the bolded part, I would not trust that to be true.

      1. Forgot link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/…..ack-phones

    4. What the court is ordering Apple to do, security experts say, does not require the company to crack its own encryption, which the company says it cannot do in any case. Instead, the order requires Apple to create a piece of software that takes advantage of a capability that Apple alone possesses to modify the permanently installed “firmware” on iPhones and iPads, changing it so that investigators can try unlimited guesses at the terror suspect’s PIN code with high-powered computers. Once investigators get the PIN, they get the data…In this case, the government wants Apple’s help in exploiting such weaknesses. But experts say they could find ways to do it themselves, and the NSC “decision memo” could lead to more money and legal authorization for a smorgasbord of similar workarounds.

      Hey, they only have secret memos and White House meetings talking about national law enforcement strategy to break through encryption. But I’m sure once the feds get Apple to spill all of their secrets, it TOTALLY won’t be applied in anyway the government isn’t currently admitting.

      1. Instead, the order requires Apple to create a piece of software that takes advantage of a capability that Apple alone possesses to modify the permanently installed “firmware” on iPhones and iPads, changing it so that investigators can try unlimited guesses at the terror suspect’s PIN code with high-powered computers. Once investigators get the PIN, they get the data.

        I think this is the important part. Once they can modify the firmware, they can get into any phone. And you know they will keep that bit of software.

    5. the FBI’s request is narrowly tailored and that the tools Apple would develop could not be used on other phones without Apple’s cooperation

      That’s true right now, though. The tools that Apple have developed can’t be used without Apple’s cooperation. The DoJ is just holding a gun to Apple’s head in the hopes that Apple gets pretty goddamn cooperaty like right fucking now. You think if Apple goes along all nice and peaceful-like this time there won’t be a next time and a next and a next? The Order only applies to this one phone this one time, but we’re establishing the principle that the FBI can order Apple to unlock phones at will.

      1. That’s a good point and I don’t know the precedent for that. I’m perfectly satisfied that a search of the phone is warranted. If this were, say, a safety deposit box at a bank, is there precedent for ordering the bank to open it? Should there be?

        1. Based on what I’ve read, there isn’t precedent for making someone unlock a physical space like that. The government just breaks into it if you don’t.

          1. Yeah, this is ultimately what it comes down to. I actually heard a pretty decent analogy today, in that if the person can’t let you in to his property, or doesn’t cooperate, the government just breaks the door down. The government should be forced to break the door down in this situation. If they can’t…

            Apropos of this, I have a friend obsessed with living in an impenetrable fortress. He always wondered what would happen if the government attempted a no-knock raid, but simply couldn’t get in.

            1. What the government wants is for everyone to leave their keys under the doormat.

          2. Interesting.

            Setting concerns over encryption aside, I still have a problem with this from the point of view of compelling Apple to create the tool and to use it in service of the government.

            1. Setting concerns over encryption aside, I still have a problem with this from the point of view of compelling Apple to create the tool and to use it in service of the government.

              It’s a sticky question. There’s evidence there’s a precedent for that in the broad sense. The problem here, of course, is that if Apple creates THIS tool for THIS application, it amounts to a master key for all doors.

              1. if Apple creates THIS tool for THIS application, it amounts to a master key for all doors

                Not exactly. The technique could be used on other phones, but the the “key” itself is phone-specific.

                What it does is to create a precedent for making a key. I think that, in this specific case, there is good justification, if Apple was willing. As I said above, though, they aren’t willing, and that strikes me as the most problematic aspect of this.

                1. I would more look at this as forcing apple to create a master key, but letting them keep it. And of course now that they have the master key, they must use it any time some FBI guy can get a sympathetic judge.

              2. There’s evidence there’s a precedent for that in the broad sense.

                Without having researched it, my understanding is that it has only been done in very limited circumstances.

          3. So if the physical property you want to break into is booby trapped with lots of bombs, does the govt get to force the manufacturers of the bomb triggers go in to disarm them?

            1. If the trigger was a homemade device by the person who placed the bombs, then they’re going to be forced to break into the space with brute force.

      2. Apple’s head in the hopes that Apple gets pretty goddamn cooperaty like right fucking now.

        The battery on that phone’s gonna run out any time now.

    6. Even assuming the tool could only be used on this particular phone (a proposition I’m skeptical of), you also have to consider the legal precedent created by Apple’s cooperation. How long before the bar is lowered from terrorists to drug dealers and prostitutes?

      Once the government has an edge case like this to establish a precedent for forcing tech companies to compromise their security, it’s a matter of time before they find other uses for it.

      1. I think the bigger fear here is that if Apple loses and is forced to cooperate, what’s the fundamental difference between forcing apple to provide a bypass to the auto-delete function (which is specifically what the government is asking here) and simply provide a ‘back door’ to an encryption scheme itself– which is ultimately what the government wants.

        1. Well, if there is a company that could tell the government ‘fuck you’ and get away with it, Apple may be the one who could.

          This could get interesting.

          1. I need a ‘usage’ button lol. could could could.

            *sigh* I’m tired.

  8. The DOJ, condescending AND arrogant? You go to far.

  9. I wouldn’t give anything to the FBI. This is NOT about getting data off of this one phone. The FBI can do this by simply cloning the memory and then brute-forcing the PIN (up to a 1000 times if the PIN is a 4 digit numeric with 10 tries before wipe).

    1. That isn’t strictly speaking true – you can clone the drive but it works like this: in hardware there are a few pieces to unlock the ‘master key to the phone lying in different places, each with apple signed things to guarantee they haven’t been tampered with. Once you provide the pin code, this unlocks the ‘master key’ which is effectively a 43 character password (super hard to brute force – about 1.15×10^77 combinations). Thus you can’t just clone the phone onto another phone, because parts of the hardware itself go into the ability to unlock the ‘master key’, and the master key is beyond the reach of reasonable computation time

      1. read up on secure boot if you’re interested

  10. Condescension, thy name is ‘government attorney.’ Simply put, the Federal government (or any government for that matter) cannot and will not allow citizens to keep anything secret from their prying eyes and ears. They blather on about ‘terrorism’ and ‘safety’ and ‘stopping crime,’ but the bottom line is that government abhors its citizens doing anything that can’t be tracked or investigated. Today it’s your electronic information, tomorrow it will be the loss of cash to use in commerce, in the end it will be 1984 and we will have screens in our homes watching our every move. Paranoid, much? You bet.

    1. +1 rat sized face cage.

    2. Do you mean like this??

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..cally.html

      You’ve fallen two outrages behind.

  11. Been away from the links so don’t know if this has been posted:

    John McAfee: “I’ll Decrypt San Bernardino Phone for Free”

    He also blasted the FBI for not being able to defeat the encryption on their own, taunting them while also boasting of his own capabilities. Bragging that he worked with the best hackers on the planet, McAfee wrote simply,”I would eat my shoe on the Neil Cavuto show if we could not break the encryption on the San Bernardino phone. This is a pure and simple fact.”

    1. McAfee is a nut and seems to lack common sense. I have no doubt that the FBI and the feds can get into a god damn Iphone. If they couldn’t, that would be an incredible level of incompetence even for government. This has nothing to do with technical capability and getting into this one phone. It’s simply a test case where they want to force Apple’s compliance and give law enforcement free and cheap tools.

      The feds lost the lost the public battle last year when they tried to get what they wanted through legislation. So here they have picked a case that will make Apple look as bad as possible and are painting it as a one time thing. And this shit starts from the White House. See the Bloomberg article posted above.

      1. Brochettaward, you’ve nailed it! FBI has been bitching about encryption on private devices for decades.

        1. isn’t that why they shut down that auto-encrypting email system when Snowden dumped all that data on NSA soying? Or maybe it was the Silk Road guy, or even both? Somehow Uncle Stupid didn’t want folk to be able to encrypt their emails and strip them of their IP’s before sending. Too hard for them to spy that way.

      2. Right.

        That’s why this isn’t about a single phone. They want a tool that they can dump into a mass computing system that just decrypts every phone image that they can dragnet from the cloud. If they had to brute force decrypt every single phone they found, then they would only be able to decrypt the high priority phones of true suspects/criminals.

      3. Penn Jillette has a funny story about his chat with McAffee (starts around the 1 hour mark).

        The best part was McAfee’s answer to Penn’s question about whether he was sober or not (spoiler: the answer was “Now?”)

    2. This was covered previously. I’m EXTREMELY curious about this. Going to Nikki’s comment above, if that were the case- and the government couldn’t break down a door to gain entry, if there’s a third party offering his services to do this for free, then they should take him up on it. No law or universal master key required.

    3. It’s an amusing op-ed.

      1. the guy offering this service sees right through FBI’s intent… and is calling their bluff. Good on him, I say…..

  12. Personally, I think if this happens the way the DOJ/FBI hopes (Apple gives in or is compelled), it will do tremendous damage to people’s perception of technology and their information’s security. I can see a Luddite like groundswell developing that permanently cripples the IoT and parts of the internet.

    I would not hesitate for a second to destroy my smartphone and go dark but for one, dedicated system for media. Everything else I can do with mail, in person or on a land line.

    1. If the rise of Facebook didn’t give people a clue about protecting (or caring about) their privacy, nothing will.

      1. Oh I certainly agree with that (and have never ‘Facebooked’), but I think there’s a decision that has already been made by many, that the services Google (as an example) provide is worth sharing some of our information; and some probably even believe that nothing will ever happen from that sharing.

        In my experience talking to others about these issues, It’s become apparent there’s a psychological difference for many people if they don’t feel they have a choice, and/or are feeling spied on, which seems to give them the message (rightly so in my mind) that they are being judged as guilty of something by the government.

        Not a way for the government to develop trust, but what do I know? I’m just a target for the AmeriStasi like the rest of you.

  13. I’m not a Tim Cook fan, but what motivation does he have in not cooperating with the FBI in this case? If it really were simply a DOJ request to hack a single Iphone, I’m sure Cook would cooperate. He obviously thinks and believes more is at stake and, therefore, he’s being difficult. Good for him.

    1. -what motivation does he have in not cooperating with the FBI in this case?

      Shareholders?

    2. Re: Lady Bertrum,

      but what motivation does he have in not cooperating with the FBI in this case?

      Irrelevant. He has that right and the FBI has not.

  14. I haven’t seen anyone say this yet, but is the government incapable of simply asking the PHONE COMPANY who these idiots were calling from their stupid phone?

    I mean, who really cares about the PHYSICAL DATA on the PHYSICAL PHONE when the calls and texts themselves can be in a subpoena?

    Jesus H. Christ people.

    1. Makes you wonder the purpose of NSA collecting all the stuff they collect!

      1. Oh no, I know the reason for that. I also know it’s too much data to be of any real use in any grand sense.

        It’s is enough that if you ever ping on their radar, you’re forever fucked though.

        1. Or if you piss off a politician or administration member. Or if you are a person that the politician or administration might want to influence.

      2. its a huge make-work scam… on OUR nickel. Its been proven that by collecting EVERYTHING, they are overloaded and cannot process even a fraction of what they collect… several bad guys have been allowed to “slip through the cracks” and do bad things….. which is part of why we have those laws about getting warrants…. when coppers can simplyh walk up to your house, go round the back, let themselves in, and help themselves to whatever they see/want, the corrupt creatures will be so busy lining their own pockets THEY will be the criminals, the competition will keep the would be criminals out of the game. THIS is why we have those laws requiring warrants, signed by a judge of competent jurisdiction, on the sworn testiminy of witnesses, and explaining who they are and why this case requires therr service. It protects our individual right to privacy… something, with which nor FBI nor FedGov at any level concerns itself.

    2. Yes. I do not get this at all – it is either (a) lazy or (b) an attempt to secure more rights to the government.

      All the government needs is to know the phone numbers texted to (and that seems easy to do — get the billing statements — the device itself is connected to a network and probably has branding on it) and the hosts or servicer of the email accounts. So just send subpoena’s for the guys name, addy, phone number, etc to facebook, google, instagram, twitter, msft, yahoo, aol, whatever. If that turns up nothing then maybe you need to go through the unlocking process.

      But the provider should know what the phone has done in terms of microwave networks. Maybe apple has data about location that it can give you as well.

      It seems to me to generally violate the policy against positive injunctions to uphold this — we’re gonna make a slave out of someone who isn’t a party to the acts and we’re going to do that even thought there are less intrusive ways of getting the same (and better) information.

  15. There’s no privacy or fourth amendment concern here. The phone belongs to the SB county. The user is dead and his guilt is beyond all doubt. The proper warrant has been acquired. This is a fact finding mission that concerns national security.

    Once the government obtains this “master key”, making sure they don’t abuse this tool becomes a separate issue unrelated to the criminal investigation. The courts won’t be too interested in hearing slippery slope argument if the search (and the evidence obtained from it) is legally kosher.

    And surprise, Apple cracked iphones in service of the government at least 70 times already, and the “All Writs Act” has been invoked to compel tech companies to aid in decryption efforts in the past. And it’s no secret that Apple has supplied customer data to the NSA.

    Tim Cook cares not for religious liberty or 2A, and he doesn’t care about your “privacy”. This is about him pandering to the anti-surveillance crowd, the same people who don’t want government snooping into their phones but are fine with it running healthcare and making college free.

    1. If it is the property of SB then they are free to do whatever the fuck they want to do.

      That doesn’t mean they get to compel the manufacturer of their property to create a bypass that would not only work on SB property but also conceivably the property of half the rest of the country. This is absolutely a privacy and 4th amm issue.

      1. There’s no privacy and 4th amendment issue in unlocking THIS particular phone. If the court finds that the All Writs Act can be used in this case, then Apple will have no choice but to comply. And they have no moral standing either, since they decrypted phones before and they supplied the NSA with customer data.

        If the government acquires a universal backdoor access to all iphones, then it’s up to the courts and possibly Apple to ensure that they don’t use it for their own gain. In the meantime, the courts will allow the DOJ to use this tool for the investigation and unearth information that could save lives and possibly reveal the location of additional cells.

        If I understand this situation correctly, what the government would get is a software update that disables password protection feature that deletes information upon multiple failed attempts. Beyond that, they still have to run programs that finds the right password and access the information.

        1. Incorrect. Apple has not decrypted any phones for the government before. You read some bad reporting.

          http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/…..forcement/

    2. Once the government obtains this “master key”, making sure they don’t abuse this tool becomes a separate issue unrelated to the criminal investigation.

      Bull. Shit. The government can get into this phone already without Apple’s help, and as covered above, the government can order someone to open a physical room or to give them something, but when their is a refusal to comply they still have to ultimately do it themselves. More over, Apple is just a third party here. So your argument is that a third party is somehow obligated to do the government’s bidding and this is allowed by the fourth amendment. It’s absurd as Overt already stated. Apple has no obligation here, courts be damned. These powers the government claims do not exist.

      I don’t know everything Apple has or hasn’t done. I do know a NY court struck down a case like this last year where the feds tried the same thing with Apple. So they’ve fought it before. I don’t give a fuck about the history of Apple or how honest their convictions are. I don’t care who they pander to in general. In this instance, they are right and doing the right thing which all libertarians should support.

      1. Third parties can be compelled to assist investigation, that’s where the All Writs Act come into play.

        DOJ says they can’t get past the password protection features. The tools they used to break previous phones applied to older / different versions. When the government has the tools to do the jobs themselves, the courts might be skeptical.

        If they have the tools to break all phones, then they effectively (already) have this backdoor access. NSA could probably hack into 99% of anything online if it wanted to. So the argument becomes “Let’s not bother poor Apple with helping the government find info that could save lives”?

        I’m against UNJUST searches and violation of privacy. Almost none of that applies here. There’s consent and warrants all around. The government COULD use the new code they legally obtained for unethical means. Addressing that issue becomes another matter. If the court is convinced that the government cannot bypass security measures set by the private market (who tends to do things better), they may very well compel the manufacturer to assist in a criminal investigation.

        1. Third parties can be compelled to assist investigation, that’s where the All Writs Act come into play.

          Yea, because that is definitely what was intended with the law. To make third party manufacturers use their resources to help the federal government with criminal investigations. There are a boatload of laws passed that address this matter since and we just had an entire political fight over it all of a year ago where the legislature declined to pass a bill giving them the power to do so. Claiming that Apple has a legal obligation is stupidity and abuse of power.

          It is unjust to force a third party with no actual involvement in the crime to comply with a criminal investigation. Especially when that requires producing special tools and investment of resources. This isn’t as simple as compelling testimony. You apparently take what a judge is willing to agree to or allow as just.

          1. The All Writs Act allows for the compelling of nonburdensome technical assistance. The creation of new software seems to go beyond that definition. Which is another Liberty issue raised by this case: how much of a burden can the government impose on private persons to “assist” government action?

        2. Third parties can be compelled to assist investigation

          According to a deeply authoritarian government that has zero respect for the constitution. They have no credibility whatsoever.

          So the argument becomes “Let’s not bother poor Apple with helping the government find info that could save lives”?

          No, the argument is that we shouldn’t allow the government to force companies to take actions which would destroy the security of their customers, and that this would enable the government to bypass the security of other phones.

          Mentioning that this “could save lives” is something straight out of an authoritarian asshole’s playbook. Even if it is true, it’s irrelevant, because freedom must prevail.

          I’m against UNJUST searches and violation of privacy.

          Sadly, you aren’t.

    3. The phone belongs to the SB county.

      I am unclear on this point. I would have thought that the phone properly “belonged” to the estate of the deceased and was being held as evidence. Am I incorrect?

      1. It was a work phone and he worked for SB county. They own the phone.

        1. Thanks for the clarification.

    4. @XM

      Incorrect, your sources are bad. Apple has not previously de-crypted or cracked 70 phones, the actual number is zero.

      Apple may have assisted with other court ordered requests, but they’ve never done anything like what the court is asking for now.

    1. I read two paragraphs and thought “this guy is an idiot”, then I thought “I just don’t have the energy to explain how much of an idiot he is”, then I thought, “Fuck this, I’m not reading any more of this.”
      Those were my thoughts.

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  17. If you had an android you could secure it yourself. Custom security, custom encryption, no reliance on a corporation not bowing to govt force. The libertarian way.

  18. The solution is quite simple, and would comply with existing law. Have FedGov send the phone to Apple, along with a warrant authorising Apple to access and archive all the information on that single phone. Apple could then, with clear conscience, access that one phone, archive the data and files on it, return the still-locked phone, still inaccessible to FeDGov agents, along with a trahscript of all the data on that single phone.

    FedGov have the information they want, and no more, and no way to get more from Apple. Apple have not obstructed a just investigation, nor have they revealed, divulged, parted with, any information that might cmpromise other similar phone, or any of Apple’s other customers, nor have they enabled FedGov to access anyone else’s phone or other device.

    What FedGov are wanting is far more than the data on that phone… they want the keys to unlock any phone in the future. And they MUST not have that access. Apple need to stand their ground and say NO WAY JOS?.

    1. Apple’s argument is that they don’t have the ability to access that one phone, that to do so would require creating software that would allow access to all phones and that would open the flood-gates to FEDGOV, or STATEGOVE, or LOCALGOV to obtain whatever they want, so long as they can find a compliant glorified lawyer, in a black robe.
      This becomes a lot more far-reaching than a single case, where they don’t, even know what they may find, anyway.

  19. The fact that the DOJ is using the rhetoric that marketing is somehow bad is the logical result of rhetoric like Liz Warren’s insipid speech about how the government is really responsible for your success, or the jabbering of every douche who talks about profits before people. This pile of shit belongs to you, anti-corporation people, enjoy eating it, you slimy fucks.

    1. Not entirely true. Friday morning I heard Breitbart News and John Bolton condemning Apple as a “multinational corporation” that was out of control, loyal to nothing but its own profits, and needing to be forced by government to kneel to the public interest in catching terrorists. This is language straight out of the Occupy Wall Street playbook, and it is coming from the “right.”

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  22. Demand the government provides evidence that they have a moral right to the personal information of the people. They will of course point to a law, but then simply point out that does not constitute a moral right. Laws are merely the opinion of politicians. Until you prove to our satisfaction that you, the government, have a moral right to personal information, we do not have to comply with your unjust and illegitimate demands.

  23. i find the dojs argument about the proprietariness of the software very compelling. it’s not like it’s possible to pirate hacked copies of programs.

  24. I read the government’s brief. My take is that the government is worried that Apple has touched a nerve with the public on privacy issues, and that the government pushed the notion of “nonburdensome assistance” under the All Writs Act too far, and the government’s motion is a pre-emptive strike designed to get its story out first and to besmirch Apple’s defenses as a mere “marketing strategy.”

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  26. Apple devices are the favorite brand for terrorists, human traffickers, narcos, and pedophiles. Of course terrorists are people too, and that pedophile is someone’s son!

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  28. Well, I decided to send in an email of support to Apple. I know it doesn’t effectively do anything, but its probably good for Apple to know that there are people who agree with and support what their doing in the middle of the storm the powers that be are sending their way.

    Its not much, but something is hopefully a little better than nothing.

  29. This is ridiculous. About as ridiculous as the clai that if a court allows wiretapping for a case, the govt will go wild wiretapping everything. Beasides, Apple only has to supply the data, not the keys to the kingdom, although in the case of China, Apple did give them access, so Tim Cook’s principles evaporate when money is involved. Tim Cook is one brainless asshole who should be thrown in jail, for obstructing justice and contempt of court..

  30. You’re never going to get secure phones through some legal understanding between governments and manufacturers; you’re going to get secure phones only through technology.

    And the simple fact is that if Apple has to debate the FBI over whether to comply or not to comply, their security is broken. If it were working as intended, no software update and no tool that they could develop could recover data from a phone that someone don’t have the unlock code for, and it wouldn’t compromise the security of future phones. If it were working as intended, Apple could simply tell the government to go away.

    I don’t quite understand why Apple is posturing like this; it makes no technical sense. Somebody at Apple screwed up big time, either in developing the Apple encryption, or in crafting Tim Cook’s message.

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