“Apple Inc opposed a court ruling on Tuesday that ordered it to help the FBI break into an iPhone recovered from a San Bernardino shooter, heightening a dispute between tech companies and law enforcement over the limits of encryption,” Dustin Volz and Joseph Menn report for Reuters. “Chief Executive Tim Cook said the court’s demand threatened the security of Apple’s customers and had ‘implications far beyond the legal case at hand.'”

“Earlier on Tuesday, Judge Sheri Pym of U.S. District Court in Los Angeles said that Apple must provide ‘reasonable technical assistance’ to investigators seeking to unlock the data on an iPhone 5C that had been owned by Syed Rizwan Farook,” Volz and Menn report. “That assistance includes disabling the phone’s auto-erase function, which activates after 10 consecutive unsuccessful passcode attempts, and helping investigators to submit passcode guesses electronically.”

“In a similar case last year, Apple told a federal judge in New York that it was ‘impossible’ for the company to unlock its devices that run an operating system of iOS 8 or higher,” Volz and Menn report. “According to prosecutors, the phone belonging to Farook ran on iOS 9.”

“Prosecutors said Apple could still help investigators by disabling ‘non-encrypted barriers that Apple has coded into its operating system,'” Volz and Menn report. “Apple and Google both adopted strong default encryption in late 2014, amid growing digital privacy concerns spurred in part by the leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.”

MacDailyNews Take: Let’s get real: Google’s me-too promise of encryption will take several years to roll out to a significant number of fragmandroid sufferers.

Android 5.0 and 5.0 only comprise 35.3% of Android devices. The percentage of those are encrypted by default is far less than even that due to significant performance issues. Android 6.0, with full-disk encryption on by default, is only running 1.2% of Android devices!

With 17% running iOS 8 and 77% running iOS 9, 94% of Apple’s iOS devices are encrypted.

In other words, stop trying to equate Android with iOS by including Google’s efforts with Apple’s. Android is a bad joke, as usual.

“Forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski said on Tuesday that Apple might have to write custom code to comply with the order, presenting a novel question to the court about whether the government could order a private company to hack its own device,” Volz and Menn report. “Zdziarski said that, because the San Bernardino shooting was being investigated as a terrorism case, investigators would be able to work with the NSA and the CIA on cracking the phone. Those U.S. intelligence agencies could likely break the iPhone’s encryption without Apple’s involvement, he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple should appeal this wrongheaded decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if need be.

SEE ALSO:
U.S. House lawmakers seek to outlaw states from banning encrypted iPhones – February 10, 2016
Obama administration wants access to smartphones – December 15, 2015
Obama administration’s calls for backdoors into encrypted communications echo Clinton-era key escrow fiasco – December 14, 2015
Donald Trump: To stop ISIS recruiting, maybe we should be talking to Bill Gates about ‘closing that Internet up in some way’ – December 8, 2015
Hillary Clinton: We need to put Silicon Valley tech firms to ‘work at disrupting ISIS’ – December 7, 2015
Apple CEO Cook: ‘You can’t have a back door that’s only for the good guys’ – November 21, 2015
Apple CEO Cook defends encryption, opposes back door for government spies – October 20, 2015
Do not let the government snoops weaken encryption – November 4, 2015
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Judge compares government request for Apple to access users’ iPhone data to execution order – October 27, 2015
U.S. judge expresses doubts over forcing Apple to unlock iPhone – October 26, 2015
Apple tells U.S. judge it can’t unlock iPhones running iOS 8 or higher – October 20, 2015
a href=”http://macdailynews.com/2015/10/20/apple-ceo-cook-defends-encryption-opposes-back-door-for-government-spies/”>Apple CEO Cook defends encryption, opposes back door for government spies – October 20, 2015
With Apple court order, activist federal judge seeks to fuel debate about data encryption – October 12, 2015
Judge declines to order Apple to disable security on device seized by U.S. government – October 10, 2015
Apple refused to give iMessages to the U.S. government – September 8, 2015
Obama administration war against Apple just got uglier – July 31, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
Apple, others urge Obama to reject any proposal for smartphone backdoors – May 19, 2015
U.S. appeals court rules NSA bulk collection of phone data illegal – May 7, 2015
In open letter to Obama, Apple, Google, others urge Patriot Act not be renewed – March 26, 2015
Apple’s iOS encryption has ‘petrified’ the U.S. administration, governments around the world – March 19, 2015