'Unfortunately we have not been able to trust the federal government when it comes to surveillance'

Kennedy and Matt Welch defend Apple against the FBI


Last night I appeared on Fox Business Network's eponymous Kennedy program to debate Apple vs. the FBI with fellow panelists Tom Shillue and Gillian Turner, who were contemptuous of our alleged desire to "prioritize the privacy rights of Syed Farook, a terrorist." Here's a video of the exchange:

Reason on Apple vs. the FBI here.

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  1. Last night I appeared on Fox Business Network’s eponymous Kennedy program

    Must’ve been hard, Welch. All those memories.

    *pours one out*

  2. What, no Kmele?

    I’m completely unsurprised that the argument of the pro-government people here was “But terrorism bad!”.

  3. Let’s give the FBI the benefit of the doubt; let’s just say they were only after a single phone. Even in that case, why is Apple responsible to crack that phone’s encryption?

    If the San Bernardino had a safe in their house, would the safe manufacturer be obligated to crack the safe? Or, would the FBI hire a locksmith?

    Okay, then, let’s say Apple caves, and agrees to crack the phone. What if Apple employees were to refuse to cooperate? Does government have legitimate authority to coerce individuals to serve its ends?

    (I’m pretty sure it’s in the FYTW clause.)

    1. OMG, they wouldn’t crack the encryption they would sideload a version of iOS that didn’t have the “wipe drive” password protection.

      1. If you believe this is different from cracking the encryption, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Removing the drive wipe and allowing electronic entry of keys is equivalent to making a the dial on a safe only turn in one direction… All you would have to do is give it a good spin and wait for it to open.

        I’m only a passable programmer, and I could right the program to crack it in an hour, then sit back and wait the week or two it would take my computer to brute force it. No skill required, no supercomputer required.

        You’re technically correct that they’re not asking for a key to the door. They’re asking for the door to be weakened to the point that anyone with a hammer can smash right through it.

        1. *making the dial
          *write the program

          Apparently someone incapable of composing a coherent statement could do it.

        2. Not if the guy used a strong password. I doubt the info would be of use 10, 20 or 50 years from now.

      2. they wouldn’t crack the encryption they would sideload a version of iOS that didn’t have the “wipe drive” password protection.

        So they aren’t cracking the encryption, they are introduce a flaw that allows an exploit to defeat the encryption overriding the user’s desires.

        Gosh! Thanks for clearing that up! Totally different!

        1. No, they would defeat the password protection so if the FBI guessed it the phone would just decrypt itself and the phone is owned by the county who has given permission to crack it.

  4. Terrorists reject freedom and the open society and engage in behavior diametrically opposed to these values.

    Why should supremely fallible government bureaucracies model themselves after this deplorable tendency?

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