New York prosecutor calls for law to fight Apple data encryption

“Federal and state governments should consider passing laws that forbid smartphones, tablets and other such devices from being ‘sealed off from law enforcement,”’ Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said today in an interview at a cybersecurity conference in New York.,” Chris Strohm reports for Bloomberg.

“Vance challenged Apple and Google, which last year said their new smartphones automatically encrypt stored data in a way that essentially shields photographs, documents and contact lists from unwanted eyes, including thieves, hackers and the government,” Strohm reports. “‘It’s developed into a sort of high-stakes game,’ Vance said. ‘They’ve eliminated accessibility in order to market the product. Now that means we have to figure out how to solve a problem that we didn’t create.'”

MacDailyNews Take: By not adhereing to the tenets in the U.S. Constitution, this most certainly is a problem that you idiots did create.

“Earlier today Vance gave the keynote speech at the conference, hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, saying he was going ‘rogue’ by speaking out on the matter,” Strohm reports. “He made an emotional plea that police might not be able to stop crimes against children or solve murders without access to the data.”

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in September:

Think of The Children™. Whenever you hear that line of horseshit, look for ulterior motives. Fear mongers: Those who use of fear, scare tactics, and emotional appeals in attempts to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end.

Apple “said in September that their new phones would automatically scramble data so that a digital key kept by the owner is needed to unlock it, making it harder for detectives to examine the content of suspects’ phones without their knowledge or cooperation,” Strohm reports. “Vance said he has talked with lawmakers about crafting the new legal requirements, though he declined to name any of them.”

Read more in the full article here.

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:
DOJ warns Apple: iPhone encryption will lead to a child dying – November 19, 2014
Apple’s iPhone encryption is a godsend, even if government snoops and cops hate it – October 8, 2014
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


  1. it’s just a matter of time now. neither the gop nor the dems have the will or the conscience to uphold the constitution; the full weight of the government will be brought to bear upon apple, both legal and illegal, moral and immoral.

    1. Aided and abetted by the people. Just wait, there’ll be a major attack which the government will slyly claim “could have been prevented” if only they could’ve decrypted a suspect’s phone in time. Then enough of the panicky public, from both left and right, will fall in line.

      1. That ‘major attack’ would be a great time to provide the REAL details of what happened on 9/11. There’s a day that was ENTIRELY preventable thanks to PRE-WARNING at least 6 months ahead of time. Then there’s the more recent Boston bombing during the marathon, when the two culprits were WARNED by Russia as likely terrorism culprits.

        To put it simply: We not only have plenty of signs of INCOMPETENT anti-terrorism forces in the USA. But we have to wonder if these events haven’t been used as FUD to rile up the US masses into playing sheeple to our fscked up, manipulative government.

        Me: I just want the US Constitution, thank you. NOT these rectal pore dickheads screwing up our lives for the sake of their own sick little plans, money and treason. Put me on an FBI watch list for being a real, actual patriot. 😛

          1. I know I don’t have enough information to point fingers. But I will say we collectively know that incendiary devices brought down the three buildings in NYC. And no, I’m not the guy to argue with about the ability to melt steel with mere jet fuel (can’t be done!). Go visit: and chat with the architects and engineers who know more than I do.

            1. Actually, there’s an excellent NOVA special that explains how fully fueled jets plowing into the towers exploded on contact as they tore apart, creating a firestorm that literally melted the floor supports, causing catastrophic failure leading to the buildings’ collapse. Nothing mysterious about it at all.

              No one imagined a fully fueled plane would ever crash into the tower, taking out the central core of the building. It wasn’t designed for that degree of damage. The rebuilt tower is.

            2. That ‘excellent’ Nova program was incorrect. There is A LOT more to bringing down a skyscraper than a jet, dozens of floors above, mysteriously melting steel supports at the base of the building such that they remain molten for days after the skyscraper fell, at freefall speed.

              You’ve been fooled. There is now a multitude of documentation to prove the jet fuel hypothesis (and that’s all it ever was) entirely wrong.

              Then there’s building 7 that wasn’t even hit by a jet, and again went down at freefall speed.

              Incendiary devices have been proven. That’s all I’m going to say at this point because that’s all I know of that has been proven as fact. I’ll leave it to others to discuss the entirely bizarre Pentagon attack that showed no signs of any actual jet plane penetration of the building. That’s very strange.

              IOW: Bah bah little sheeple. Follow the deceitful shepherd into the realm of ignorance and manipulation.

            3. Do I understand you correctly that these three buildings were “pre-demolission” (a process we know takes many many hours, if not days to plant, let alone plan) rigged with explosives? I am asking, not rhetorically. If so, the terrorist crews on all planes and another large body worked closely together. When hijacking 4 planes at once is already damn hard to plan, certainly the demolition scenario adds a huge factor. How would those buildings be rigged with explosives without anyone knowing? Do you think that building 7 went down because the plane that was supposed to hit it was downed by the passengers?

              I find the whole 9/11 attacks as they unfolded on live tv to be so unimaginably horrific that I am open for further debate and I have watched some of the other story documentaries, but they were not convincing….

            4. There are obviously plenty of questions and lots of speculation, conspiracy theories etc. I’m not sure what any of them are worth. But everything indicates that all three buildings were rigged to come down at least days before 9/11. That’s a stable ground starting place to sort out the rest of what happened.

              Be careful jumping to conclusions as there is a lot of noise about the rest of the situation, including both objective and loon level speculation. Some speculation may be honest, some may be deliberately ridiculous in order to give credence to derision about the speculation process. I personally point in the direction of PNAC (Project for the New American Century) for one source of the situation. Members of this ‘think tank’ came up with the concept of the war in Iraq in 1996, posted it in their manifesto in 1997 and eventually became the majority of the GW Bush cabinet. They had a stake in 9/11 occurring. Whether they ‘enabled’ it or not is unproven.

          1. Um, uh, kind of cuckoo. But if something good comes of it, then OK. The metaphor of Ebola totally hits the BiZZaRo button. My guess is that such events create stigmas on people who don’t volunteer. But beats me. It just sounds strange but apparently well meaning.

        1. Sort of related to my point about INCOMPETENT anti-terrorism forces in the USA:

          Top senator blasts US Homeland Security for leaving cyber-drawbridge down
          $700m a year in taxpayer cash blown on IT defenses

          “The nature of cybersecurity threats – and the ability of adversaries to continuously develop new tools to defeat network defenses – means that DHS’s strategy for cybersecurity, which focuses primarily on vulnerability mitigation, will not protect the nation from the most sophisticated attacks and cybersecurity threats,” a report [PDF] written and published by Senator Coburn states.

          Sen. Coburn’s report is at:

          Click to access dhs_report.pdf

          My point: How about defending the Fourth Amendment AND making US anti-terrorism forces competent? Sound possible?

  2. ‘Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for in plain english and repeatedly, that’s what it means. I am an optimist I believe people are smart and some people want to share more data than other people do, ask them, ask them every time, make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of you asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data, that’s what we think.’

    ‘Steve Jobs Bio: The Unauthorized Autobiography.’

  3. I truly can not believe this a$$ monkey would actually say this. I have a better idea.., move to one of the many countries that will ensure the government has access to everything he owns, says, thinks…

    1. The reason why? Because they don’t care. They are hacking into your stuff, and no one can tell them to stop.

      At least with the US government, we have reason and means to tell them to stop, and that’s what this legislation is about, to take away those means.

  4. If Apple make a device that could be monitored by the USGovt, then it would be the equivalent of Apple making a device that any foreign government or top notch security hacker might compromise, thus making business communications worthless.

  5. MDN’s takes are spot on.

    The US government created this mess through its persistent violation of the fourth amendment.

    The problem is there is no longer any confidence in law based privacy protection. The first step to fix this mess, which the US government created and is responsible for, is to dismantle its spy program and rebuild it under the rules of constitutional law.

    Until such reforms are made, privacy protection remains outside of legal domain. For now, people can only find privacy protection in the incorruptible mathematics of hard encryption.

    1. actually, what i truly believe/fear is this whole standoff will be easily and soon resolved to 0bama’s satisfaction. the economic crash that is being everywhere talked about will result in martial law and apple will be nationalized and become just another government corporation.

  6. This isn’t anything new. When Phil Zimmerman came out with PGP, they tried to threaten, coerce, and intimidate him. When I used to do research in cryptography, they always asked for copies of my notes and presentations, since it was all public record anyway, I gave them what they wanted. But I also gave out directions to anyone on how to carefully encrypt everything…

  7. “Earlier today Vance gave the keynote speech at the conference, hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, saying he was going ‘rogue’ by speaking out on the matter”

    Since when is “going rogue” supposed to be equivalent to “parroting standard law enforcement BS”?

  8. I think Apple should make 2 phones, one encrypted, and one with a government back door. Market these to the people, and surely they will Think of the Children and choose the one with the back door access for government spies. Of course, if they don’t, that’s not Apple’s fault. They’ll only have to manufacture one, for this Vance jackass.

  9. Yup, got to make sure that the data addicts get their fix. Passing a law is a great idea, certainly only the free and civilized world would care if a law is ethical or not, otherwise, heck you can go ahead and “torture some folks” and if a law is broken, it’s easy to be above it, just get a good buddy to say something totally ridiculous like “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” and sweep it under the rug that way.

    Immoral, unethical governments without a shred of decency do not need to worry about the public they spy upon as long as they maintain control of their citizens and as long as the populace is weak and spineless.

  10. WTH, MDN? You spend the whole year defending conservative philosophy and politicians and now suddenly you endorse Liberal causes? Do you even know who you’re voting for?

  11. Vance needs to remember that he works for the people. It is apparently possible to hack an iPhone with a lifted fingerprint. Fingerprints are not protected by the constitution. If you have a suspect and his iPhone, the police can fingerprint him. Then call that guy who can show them how to make an impression that will unlock the phone. There are solutions that will protect individual liberties without making us all subject to massive government surveillance. These brick heads brought this on themselves.

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