Encryption Wars Ramp Up As Apple Improves Phone Security

Law enforcement is upset, but data security is vital to prevent crimes.


Tashka2000 / Dreamstime.com

Apple is making it even harder for people to break into iPhones and steal their contents. While that is good news for consumers, law enforcement agencies complain that Apple is giving free rein to terrorists and pedophiles by impeding government access and surveillance.

The data port you use to charge your phone or connect it to your computer can also be used to access and download your data. Apple is planning a software update that will block port access to a phone's data if the phone has not been used for an hour. Anybody who wants to access the data will have to enter the phone's password.

This change means that if somebody steals your phone it will be harder for them to access the contents. It also means that if law enforcement agents take your phone, it will be harder for them to access the data. You can guess which aspect of this security update is getting the media attention. From The New York Times:

Such a change would hinder law enforcement officials, who have typically been opening locked iPhones by connecting another device running special software to the port, often days or even months after the smartphone was last unlocked. News of Apple's planned software update has begun spreading through security blogs and law enforcement circles—and many in investigative agencies are infuriated.

"If we go back to the situation where we again don't have access, now we know directly all the evidence we've lost and all the kids we can't put into a position of safety," said Chuck Cohen, who leads an Indiana State Police task force on internet crimes against children. The Indiana State Police said it unlocked 96 iPhones for various cases this year, each time with a warrant, using a $15,000 device it bought in March from a company called Grayshift.

A cryptography professor notes that Apple is fixing a huge security vulnerability, because these Grayshift devices could easily get out into the public and be used for purposes other than law enforcement. Apple's statement makes it clear why the company needs to update its systems: "We're constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves and intrusions into their personal data."

Motherboard, which broke the news of the security improvement earlier this month, notes that Grayshift won't simply give up and may have already figured out a workaround. If that's true, no doubt Apple will try to close any new security loopholes. And so it goes.

NEXT: I.G. Report Won't Settle Any Arguments About Hillary Clinton's Emails

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  1. Anybody know about Android phones and this USB loophole?

    1. Doesn’t matter: Google will happily share your info with any government on the planet.

    2. However, there is a setting on your android that keeps your files unshared to a connected computer. Not sure how secure it is.

  2. Won’t somebody please think of the children!

    1. If they encode their phones, then our benevolent leaders won’t be able to arrest teens sending each other risque photos and charging them as sex criminals.

      Does Apple have no sense of decency?!?!?!?!?!!?!?

    2. They really like shoving that shit phrase and its variants down our throats and through our ass pussies.

    3. The pedophiles certainly are.

  3. OT – “Muffin Man” Duke Dean defends himself

    “After a recent incident at former on-campus coffee shop Joe Van Gogh that ended with the firing of two baristas, (Larry) Moneta said that he is misunderstood. Some said Moneta “dictated” free speech after he went to Joe Van Gogh on May 5, heard the song “Get Paid” by Young Dolph being played, and asked that it be turned off. He said he objected because he heard the words “And then I f*cked her up real good”?the exact line is “I f*cked her so good, she got up and started cooking.”

    “Moneta said his objections had nothing to do with the racial slurs, including “n****,” which is used several times in the song, stating that he never heard it….

    “Although Moneta declined to go into specifics of all the issues because he didn’t want to “embarrass” Joe Van Gogh, he said that cleanliness and orderliness had been an issue at the location. He said that management had known that he was unhappy about the conditions there.”

    1. Hmm, the presence, or rather absence, of that little word “up” makes a big difference in the line’s meaning, doesn’t it? But why do we have words like “f**k” that carry the double meaning of sexual relations and a damaging assault or hostile action? It’s not an odd linguistic twist in the word’s evolution, because we have another word, “screw”, that has the same double meaning. I’m wondering if most languages have words that have the same two seemingly disparate meanings, and what it says about us as a species if they do.

      1. These verbs are called “phrasal verbs” by the way.

        One’s like, “look up”, “fuck up”, “make sure of” and they certainly can change things a it. Interesting unusual English quirk.

      2. English is a dirty slut of a language full of worldly STDs, French semen, and father’s disappointment.
        And it’s great.

    2. he said that cleanliness and orderliness had been an issue at the location. He said that management had known that he was unhappy about the conditions there.

      I know when I find a shithole restaurant I make sure I keep going back there just to nag them about what a shithole they’re running. Food poisoning is a small price to pay for the satisfaction of finding something to bitch about.

    3. Student affairs is about comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable,” Moneta said. “That always had meaning to me.”

      Almost no one who breezily trots out that trope actually believes it.

    4. Moneta said his objections had nothing to do with the racial slurs, including “n****,” which is used several times in the song

      N asterisk asterisk asterisk asterisk? What’s so offensive about that?

    5. “If one were to just spend some time understanding what my role is and the work I’ve done, I’ve been a very loud and vocal advocate for our underrepresented and marginalized communities,” Moneta said. “Nothing hurt me more than being portrayed as racist.”

      Herpetologists handshake. You got bitten and lost a few fingers. That’s what happens.

    6. Twenty five years later, Moneta said that although Penn’s policy restricting free speech was against his principles, he had to enforce it because it was his job to follow policy.

      “The conduct office reported to me so the obligation to deal with the incident was based on the fact that that policy was in place,” Moneta said. “It was not one that I endorsed or supported, but it was in place. I actually have never veered in my own principles around freedom of expression.”

      So a guy who’s family was nearly destroyed by the holocaust falls back on, “I was just following orders.”

      That’s rich.

  4. “Indiana State Police said it unlocked 96 iphones for various cases this year.”

    For what crimes? Teenagers sexting each other or legit pedophiles?

    With what outcomes? Any actual convictions that occurred because of this?

    Evidence that you accessed the phones is not evidence that you NEED to access the phones.

    1. Exactly. And why did they suspect the phones might have pedo images? Most likely because they already had evidence against the person, so the phone evidence wasn’t necessary, except to pile on more charges.

      1. Since when do the cops need evidence to get a search warrant?

  5. Chuck Cohen, who leads an Indiana State Police task force on internet crimes against children.

    If I were a pedophile looking to gain risk-free access to child porn, I’d get me a job as the head of a police task force investigating child porn. Just sayin’.

  6. My advise is to not have a fucking smart fucking phone.

    The Deep State has eyes and ears on you.

    No clouds either

    Fuck them.

    1. Then how come they rarely catch criminals?

      1. Because it’s easier and safer to go after teenagers what done sent dirty pictures to each other?

    2. Old man yells at iCloud.

  7. Where are all the Russia fever dreams? I don’t care about real issues. I want some bat shit crazy nonsense and strong defenses for our brave FBI

    1. That pos Comey has a column in the NYT headlined “The IG Report Says I Was Wrong. But That’s Good for the F.B.I.”
      I’m not gonna read it.

  8. Needs more Clipper Chip.

  9. To those who want to have a smartphone but want more privacy, more openness, and ostensibly more security, I’d encourage you to check out the Librem 5.

    I also encourage all of you reading this to digitally send me photographs of your penises. I prefer feminine ones, but I don’t mind some toughies, bears, and the infamous but rare walruses.


    Yellow Tony
    Director of Phallus Studies & Vice President
    The Tony Foundation
    069 Sandy Corridor Avenue, McAfee City, VA 90512, UDD(Alternate Dimension Directory)#8FB6E724E69

    1. “I also encourage all of you reading this to digitally send me photographs of your penises.”
      Can’t. Don’t have a wide angle lens.

  10. OT:
    My email provider has a new news-feed on the home-page. They are not good at targeting; it’s easy to tell since they include NYT articles on *my* page.
    NYT doesn’t allow copy paste, so you’ll have to search, but I am now informed that, courtesy of the suicides of a cook and a purse designer, that “Suicide has Morphed into a Public Health Crisis!”.
    Imagine if it had been a women’s shoe designer! The HORROR!

    1. Yeah they only notice when it involves celebrities and then it is a “crisis”. Suicide rates in the US have been continuously on the rise since 1999 as recently reported by the CDC. It is good that they called attention to it.


      1. It would help if they were honest about the stats:
        “X increase in Y states!”
        Uh, how about not picking those cherries?

          1. Oh, look! Turd shows up with the most intelligent comment he’s posted in years!
            Fuck off, you slimy piece of shit, and please commit suicide. The world’s IQ level would show an immediate increase.

            1. Sevo, your perpetual anger stems from your repressed homosexual self delusion.

              Please seek professional help.

              1. Palin’s Buttplug|6.15.18 @ 12:10AM|#
                “Sevo, your perpetual anger stems from your repressed homosexual self delusion.
                Please seek professional help.”

                Turd, my ‘perpetual anger’ is directed towards slimy lefty liars, slimy lefty liar. Seek help for your daddy issues, you slimy lefty liar.

                1. Every Sevo needs his Buttplug.

                  1. Chipper Morning Baculum|6.15.18 @ 12:38AM|#
                    “Every Sevo needs his Buttplug.”

                    Every irrelevancy hopes for redemption!

  11. Fuck the police. Fuck Apple.

    1. Don’t even get him started on the iPolice.

      1. A star fall, a phone call, it joins all.

    2. iCops?
      CiPs (California iWay Patrol)?

  12. One more OT:
    Hardly ever do I not finish a book, but…
    “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism”, Doris Kearns Goodwin. A gift. Her “Team of Rivals” was worth the read, not so here.
    The first 9 pages detail what should be embarrassing to anyone not fascinated by royalty: A celebration of TR’s return from his African vacation.
    He was received on arrival in NY as pretty much the second coming. No one in a republic should be so taken by a politico, even one with a such a big smile (and an equal disregard of the law; see Panama).
    During those pages, she states clearly why he was so treated; he had made the press his lap dog, treating them as ‘equals’ since he had some article published somewhere; shades of that slimy Obo. They licked his boots and more.
    By page 11, she justifies his popularity:
    “-to distribute the nation’s wealth more equitably, regulate the giant corporations and railroads, strengthen the rights of labor and protect the country’s natural resources from private exploitation”
    I can’t tell you what is written on Pg 12; enough.
    Earlier this year, I slogged through Daleck’s “Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life”, but there are limits to the amount of bullshit I’ll spend time reading and critiquing. Ms.Godwin has found it.

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