Apple’s iPhone encryption is a godsend, even if government snoops and cops hate it

“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:
Short-timer U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder blasts Apple for protecting users’ privacy against government overreach – September 30, 2014
What if Osama bin Laden had an iPhone? – September 26, 2014
FBI blasts Apple for protective users’ privacy by locking government, police out of iPhones and iPads – September 25, 2014
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

22 Comments

  1. Freedom now is about six months away. Could be gone already. And nobody cares about freedom, that means you need a job and no guarantees from the government about “free food, free houses, free phones, free school, free condoms, free abortions.” All as long as you give up your life to the Masters in Washington.

  2. I find it funny and ironic that those who spew hatred at those of us on the right as dangerous and intrusive into private lives are the very same people who are screaming about Apple’s attempts to secure our privacy….and seem to have no problem with Big Government intrusion into our lives and our privacy; as long as its a Socialist/Marxist like Obummer and company doing the intrusion, of course…….

    Hypocrites!

    1. By and large, members of both political parties are hypocrites who do not adequately examine and challenge their own belief system, preferring instead to demonize people who believe differently from themselves.

      That is what makes political parties dangerous: the leadership of both parties want the same things (power, wealth, influence, control) and exercise similar means to achieve their ends. They just use different narratives to get there, because they need to convince their followers that only the one narrative is correct.

      If you look at the ACTIONS of liberal and conservative leaders in this country, you will see that the differences between them are largely meaningless, and often achieve the same goals. That is why I would rather “throw my vote away” on a third-party candidate who will never win than lend my support blindly to one of the ruling parties or the other.

        1. I’m registered independent. I don’t trust either party, but it was the republicans who shut down the government. I find the right more stubborn and less willing to listen to reason, more willing to put religion in classrooms and less willing to look at scientific evidence.

  3. Notes to all:
    1-The Firewall on your Mac is turned OFF by default. Go to System Preferences/Security and Privacy/Turn On Firewall
    You can fine tune your exceptions right there.
    2-Your iOS 8 device is secure until it uploads data to the internet where it can easily be scooped up. Be advised. The cloud is by it’s nature subject to intercept.

  4. We all now know that Holder and the other honchos in DC wipe their collective asses with the Constitution. But what is really sad is that more citizens are not upset about this fact.

    Most people I talk too don’t pay much attention to the government spying news. It is not a priority issue for them. This especially applies to young couples raising families. These people just don’t seem to comprehend that the United States that they grew up in is not the same one that their kids will inhabit.

    The problem is not the assholes in Washington. Assholes have always been attracted to Washington because it is a place they can exercise their desire for power. No, the problem is us citizens who are allowing this country to go down the tubes.

    The only hope we have rests on the fact that the assholes in DC are typically incompetent. They design monsterous systems (Obamacare, NSA data collection, etc.) that cannot possibly work because they are too complex. The harder they try, the more they f__k things up. Unfortunately, they will probably spend all our money trying to make their central control systems work and bankrupt this country in the process.

  5. On 60 minutes the director of the FBI talked about how cyber crime, and cyber attacks from foreign governments/organizations/individuals aimed at US citizens/business/government is his top priority, yet objects to Apple securing iOS devices from attack. Weird…

  6. I find this quite amusing, every time I read this quote “John Escalante, chief of detectives for Chicago’s police department, predicts the iPhone will become “the phone of choice for the pedophile.” it makes me think that something is missing, oh yes, torture will become the interrogation of choice for a wannabe terrorist bully nation bereft of moral values.

    There that’s a much clearer picture.

      1. I suspect that as a law enforcement officer that yes he probably has a lot of personal expertise on the phone habits of that group and other modes of operation.

        I empathize with the need to take those that violate human rights out of circulation or bring them to justice be it those who abuse children (or people of any age for that matter) as well as those that invade other people’s privacy without just cause, as is evidenced by certain organizations. I won’t mention names but some initials are NSA.

        I’m sure that the iPhone 6 will be the phone of choice for those of that organization as well.

        The thing is that the iPhone 6 will also be the phone of choice for millions of law abiding citizens who like to maintain their privacy. It’s a right in some countries, and in some countries, it’s even a right that’s enforced.

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