“It took the upheaval of the Edward Snowden revelations to make clear to everyone that we need protection from snooping, governmental and otherwise,” Kevin Poulsen writes for Wired. “Snowden illustrated the capabilities of determined spies, and said what security experts have preached for years: Strong encryption of our data is a basic necessity, not a luxury.”

“And now Apple, that quintessential mass-market supplier of technology, seems to have gotten the message. With an eye to market demand, the company has taken a bold step to the side of privacy, making strong crypto the default for the wealth of personal information stored on the iPhone. And the backlash has been as swift and fevered as it is wrongheaded,” Poulsen writes. “At issue is the improved iPhone encryption built into iOS 8. For the first time, all the important data on your phone—photos, messages, contacts, reminders, call history—are encrypted by default. Nobody but you can access the iPhone’s contents, unless your passcode is compromised, something you can make nearly impossible by changing your settings to replace your four-digit PIN with an alphanumeric password.”

“Rather than welcome this sea change, which makes consumers more secure, top law enforcement officials, including US Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI director James Comey, are leading a charge to maintain the insecure status quo,” Poulsen writes. “Rather than welcome this sea change, which makes consumers more secure, top law enforcement officials, including US Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI director James Comey, are leading a charge to maintain the insecure status quo… That has lead to a revival of a debate many of us thought resolved long ago, in the crypto wars of the 1990s. Back then, the Clinton administration fought hard to include trapdoor keys in consumer encryption products, so law enforcement and intelligence officials—NSA being a chief proponent—could access your data with proper legal authority. Critics argued such backdoors are inherently insecure.”

“Apple has come to the right place,” Poulsen writes. “It’s a basic axiom of information security that ‘data at rest’ should be encrypted. Apple should be lauded for reaching that state with the iPhone.”

Much more in the full article – highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Adhere to the U.S. Constitution.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. – Ronald Reagan, March 30, 1961

Related articles:
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Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
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Apple begins encrypting iCloud email sent between providers – July 15, 2014
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up U.S. feds’ surveillance – April 4, 2013