FBI blasts Apple for protective users’ privacy by locking government, police out of iPhones and iPads

FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Apple on Thursday “for developing forms of smartphone encrytption so secure that law enforcement officials cannot easily gain access to information stored on the devices — even when when they have valid search warrants,” Craig Timberg and Greg Miller report for The Washington Post.

“His comments were the most forceful yet from a top government official but echo a chorus of denunciation from law enforcement officials nationwide. Police have said that the ability to search photos, messages and Web histories on smartphones is essential to solving a range of serious crimes, from murder to child pornography to attempted terrorist attacks,” Timberg and Miller report. “‘There will come a day when it will matter a great great deal to the lives of people…that we will be able to gain access’ to such devices, Comey told reporters in a briefing. ‘I want to have that conversation [with companies responsible] before that day comes.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Fear mongering. How did these people do their jobs before 2007 when Steve Jobs delivered the smartphone to the world?

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

“He said he could not understand why companies would ‘market something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law,'” Timberg and Miller report. “Comey’s remarks followed news last week that Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, is so thoroughly encrypted that the company is unable to unlock iPhones or iPads for police… For detectives working a tough case, few types of evidence are more revealing than a smartphone… But the era of easy law enforcement access to smartphones may be drawing to a close as courts and tech companies erect new barriers to police searches of popular electronic devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A note to FBI Director James B. Comey: Dear lazy bastard, stop whining and go read the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution for what sounds like will be the first time in your life.

Again, prior to 2007, there were no evidence bonanzas from warrantless searches and seizures available right in suspects’ pockets and, yet, somehow, law enforcement personnel actually managed to solve crimes without infringing citizen’s basic constitutional rights. Use valid search warrants the way you used them before Steve Jobs gave the world the modern smartphone and tablet.

Let’s go back to following the U.S. Constitution, shall we? If it takes force from leaders like Apple for constitutional rights to be enforced, so be it.

Related articles:
Apple thinks different about privacy – September 23, 2014
Apple’s iOS Activation Lock reduces iPhone thefts, Samsung phone thefts skyrocket – September 18, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
Would you trade privacy for national security? Most Americans wouldn’t – August 6, 2014
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

55 Comments

    1. Although, it is likely a narrative constructed by Apple PR given to the FBI. What better way to make folks think their phone is completely safe? Apple gives key to FBI in exchange for them doing this press conference and denouncing Apple. My tin foil hat is kinda heavy on my head but do you really think this is far fetched?

      1. There would be evidence. Someone would figure it out. That’s why I hate tinfoil. There’s no need for evidence for the tinfoil crowd. And even when the evidence is powerfully indicating the truth, a tinfoil hat can shield it. Or turn it into “part of the conspiracy.”

      1. The Founding Fathers understood the nature of governments and the men who run them. They did not understand that their carefully crafted three part system would become corrupted over time. The Judicial Branch has become a partisan mouthpiece with strong political affiliations, despite their lifetime appointments that were supposed to enable their independence from political pressures. The Legislative Branch has become bought and paid for tools of business interests with one goal, reelection to 535 of the best jobs in the country, despite the Constitutional provision that their pay be limited to reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses while in Washington. They are not supposed to make careers of the job. The Executive Branch is doing pretty much what the Founding Fathers expected, overreaching, except when reined in by the other two branches. But I see the problem as the complete failure of the Legislative and Judicial branches to behave as intended. The Executive branch is pretty much true to the Founding Fathers expectations.

        1. All well stated. What all the foolish people undermining the US government don’t comprehend is that their behavior makes the USA irrelevant in the world and ruins its future. These people are careless parasites who are killing their host, and therefore themselves and their future. I call this the Self-Destructive Imperative. These days it’s a product of short term thinking leading directly to long term disaster. It’s the most baffling aspect of humanity in my experience, part of the overall problem of we humans being capable of believing almost anything to be ‘absolutely’ true.

          The political bent at MDN is all part of this same insipid short-sightedness.

  1. My post on the WaPo website on the original story:
    “Tell the Federal Bureau of Intimidation to go pound sand. When you get a warrant based upon probable cause you can peek at my stuff. Until then it is none of your damn business.

    The cops need to get back on the leash and remember exactly who pays the bills, who grants the government their authority and who can revoke it. That goes from the Feds to the local boys and girls in blue.

    My privacy is not negotiable, it is not a joke and it is not taken lightly.

    I am more worried about the FBI and NSA running around unaccountable- not some citizen’s phone files.”

  2. Pffff. “…allow people to place themselves beyond the law.” If anything, I am placing YOU within the law is what I am doing. Privacy is my right and that shall not be infringed.

    1. My understanding, which may be wrong, is that the message was decrypted on BB severs before encrypted to the destination giving law enforcement a way to demand data from BB.

      BB kept saying that it’s peer2peer encryption, but then I always ask myself that if Tantra were true, then what was all that hoopla about BB server locations (in India, Pakistan) a while back.

      Either way, BB had your key. So they can decrypt on request.

  3. Oh no! Here comes another false flag event. Concocted by the government to kill a few thousand civilians. After which they will be able to do anything they want. giving up keys to your privacy will seem so trivial.

  4. My guess is that the Feds have been secretly bullying Apple (and other tech co’s) and abusing the fact that Apple could crack iOS devices. I also suspect that if the Feds had not abused Apple and Apples customers then Apple would not have locked out LEOs.

    In other words I bet there is far more to this then we will ever know.

  5. #MyStupidGovernment at work:

    He said he could not understand why companies would ‘market something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law

    No, idiots. The problem is why my government would ever prove to be THEMSELVES ‘beyond the law’. The FBI, NSA, ad nauseam proved that they CANNOT BE TRUSTED. So of course we citizens who RESPECT THE LAW are forced to ENFORCE our Fourth Amendment Rights.

    IOW: Hey #MyStupidGovernment! You screwed us over. YOU OWN THIS. You are getting what you deserve:

    We The People PROTECTING OURSELVES whenever our government becomes criminal. It shall forever be so.

    The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution:
    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    “There is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation (United States of America) if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand it’s meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit, to the extent that it’s in my control.”
    John F. Kennedy on April 27, 1961

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    [Yes, my local elected officials know very well my POV on these matters and they agree with me!]

  6. The Headline “FBI blasts Apple for protective users’ privacy by locking government, police out of iPhones and iPads” is false, as is the statement.

    Apple merely decided to protect its customers privacy by APPLE not storing customer’s private information at all…as this allows hacking and government abuse. Apple did not “lock ANYBODY out”. Apple just decided NOT to aid ANYONE (including Apple) to get to their customer’s info. Good for them.

  7. So, now people are complaining that Apple is NOT bending? 😉
    (go ahead, I deserve the negative stars for that one)

    You know that the FBI has already cracked the code. This public complaining is just for show.

  8. Perhaps Comey should also be complaining to those who wrote the forth amendment. It seems to be interfering with their investigations of serious crimes, from murder to child pornography to attempted terrorist attacks.

    Damn! I think they just started a file on me. 😉

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