Obama administration wants access to smartphones

“The [U.S.] government wants to work with companies such as Apple Inc. and Google to stop criminals and terrorists from exploiting the encryption technology built into some smartphone operating systems, [FBI Director James] Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, echoing President Barack Obama’s call to action,” Christie Smythe reports for Bloomberg. “The industry says encryption and other barriers are there to protect your personal data from falling into the hands of hackers or snoops — or, some say, the government itself. ‘Weakening security with the aim of advancing security simply does not make sense,’ the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents 62 of the largest tech companies in the world, said in a statement.”

“Apple doesn’t even keep a ‘master key’ anymore, to gain access to an iPhone when presented with a warrant, said John Kindervag, a tech analyst at Forrester Research. Google has been rolling out similar protections for its Android operating system,” Smythe reports. “Android 5.0 Lollipop offered ‘full disk encryption’ by default on some devices. Enhancements were added for 6.0 Marshmallow.”

MacDailyNews Take: Let’s get real: Google’s promise of encryption will take several years to roll out to significant numbers of fragmandroid sufferers.

Android 5.0 and 5.0 only comprise 29.5% 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 0.5% of Android devices!

With 22% running iOS 8 and 70% running iOS 9, 92% of Apple’s iOS devices are encrypted.

In other words, stop trying to equate Android with iOS by deeming Google’s efforts as “similar.” Android is a bad joke, as usual.

“‘One of the reasons the government has received such skepticism from companies and consumers’ over access to phone data ‘is that it has spent the last two decades trying to strip every privacy protection from cellphones,’ said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University,” Smythe reports. “Turley, a civil-liberties advocate who has been critical of the government’s handling of such issues, called the Obama administration ‘one of the worst for privacy protections.’ …Apple CEO Tim Cook said at a conference in October he was opposed to ‘a back door that’s only for the good guys.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote early last month: Backdoors = insecurity. Wherever backdoors exist, it’s not only “authorities” exploiting them legally. Only a blooming idiot would believe in a “secure backdoor” accessible only by properly authorized “authorities.”

None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn’t give it up. We shouldn’t give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details.Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 27, 2015

Visit the Apple-backed reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

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


      1. Carter was “appointed”. Huh? He was elected — period.

        Though I often agree with your opinions on matters related to Apple products, you really ought to try and stay away from the whole revisionist history thing.

        1. I was saying Dubya was appointed. The SCOTUS had no standing in the Florida recount. Had the ruling of the Florida State Supreme Court been followed Al Gore would have been declared the winner of the Florida Electors.

          Jimmy Carter won his election and inherited a mess. His only great sin was going to Washington rather naive as to how D.C. Politics worked and had opposition from both the DC Democrats and the Republicans. By the time he got his feet down in the pool circumstances were in a position to overwhelm him.

          History will show him as not quite ready for the Office, but one of the more decent men to ever hold it.

      2. Did you live through the Carter administration? That sad sack wuss of incompetence had the whole nation feeling like it was circling the bowl helpless to defend itself against Iran of all places. The nightly news was a recount of how many issues went undealt with while the late night news was AMERICA HELD HOSTAGE DAY XXX. It went on and on with his pathetic ass in these stupid fireside chats blaming the American people for gas lines that went down the street and around the block. I sat in gas lines and did homework, tuned the engine, waxed the car, read books.

        It was my introduction to how a bad President could really screw things up. The world was dealing with Islamic terrorism as usual and the general malaise of the country was,accompanied by this idea that we should hire Israel to fight our battles. Carter turned more Democrats into Replublicans than racism and slavery. The moment Reagan took the oath of office it was like the nation took a collective dump and sighed in relief.

        Republicans are no prize but I will stack the efficacy of Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2 against the abominable Carter, slapstick Clinton, and morally revolting OBAMA administrations any day. Heck Nixon was outstanding compared to this liar-n-chief we have today.

        And if you’re going to start that not elected crap, Obama isn’t even a citizen. So there neener neener!

        1. You DO remember that Carter’s negotiations with Iran were stymied by Reagan’s October Surprise, don’t you? Reagan’s team secretly negotiated with the Iranians to delay the release of hostages until he could take office and take credit for it.

          Obama isn’t a citizen? What are you, Donald Trump? That’s moronic.

          1. I don’t know if Obama is a citizen, but the birth certificate released by the White House is a forged document. Thorough analysis here: http://science.co.il/obama-birth-certificate.htm

            In Carter’s defense regarding Iran, he did try to rescue the hostages, but circumstances out of his control caused the mission to fail. Col. Beckwith, the founder of Delta Force says as much in his book: http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Force-Militarys-Secretive-Special-Operations/dp/006224969X

            1. “Facts Matter” LOL Your first link focuses on the “Obama is a secret Muslim” straw man while addressing NONE of the many suspect elements of Obama’s birth certificate. What magical typewriter creates differently shaped versions of the same letter in one document?

              Furthermore, the first link perpetuates the government coverup of the TWA 800 shoot-down. 270 people reported seeing a projectile take out the plane: http://www.cashill.com/twa800/reopen_the_twa_800.htm

              Your second link was posted on the day the administration released the birth certificate. Some “factcheck”! It took Moses longer to bring the ten commandments down from Mount Sinai. How many fools fall for propaganda because it has “fact” in the url.

            2. I’ve used Adobe Acrobat since it was introduced in the early 90’s. The file posted to the internet by the White House was simply a scan of a paper document that had been converted to vector art and merged with a paper pattern background to create a digital copy (PDF) for media and public consumption. Any graphic designer knows the scanning process can alter the look of type and the conversation to vector art can alter it further. Clowns who focus on the uploaded digital copy are clueless. It’s the original paper file and associated facts that matter. The provided links (plus associated links) offer plenty of evidence that disproves the far right conspiracy theories.

        2. Obama was not my choice either, but he is a citizen.
          As to Carter, he was President at a very unusual time in US History and I think history will be kinder to him than the voters.
          Many Presidents that are now viewed as great or important were not so well loved in their time. Lincoln was not popular until after his assassination, for example.

        1. Sandra Day O’Connor, one of the 5 Republican Justices that appointed Bush said that in retrospect it was wrong. Had they stayed out Al Gore would have become President. He won the Florida vote in 2000.

    1. well… there is a certain symmetry to it all

      both men come into office just in time to pay the price for the fiscal mismanagement of previous administrations – republican and democrat.

      jimmy carter inherited the inescapable consequences of lbj and his guns and butter approach to the viet nam war which was continued by nixon, inflation raised its head in fords administration but the chickens came home to roost with carter.

      then obama was saddled by a near total collapse of the american economy, the banking system, and ballooning deficits and national debt, in part because of dubyas unwillingness to raise taxes to pay for his war on a couple of wars…

      along with the results of deregulation of wall street across both republican and democrat administrations (and that includes you bill clinton, you and robert rubin doing away with glass-stegal.

      what a mess.

      well, at least jimmy carter turned out to be a pretty good ex-president. much less interested making money from his former position than some other more recent ex’s

      1. “then obama was saddled by a near total collapse of the american economy, the banking system, and ballooning deficits and national debt, in part because of dubyas unwillingness to raise taxes to pay for his war on a couple of wars…”

        But then he put the foxes in charge of the hen house, something he continues to do. And that Hillary, if by the devil’s will inhabits the WH again, will not alter. And female foxes are just as bad, if not worse, than male ones.

  1. This is classic political demagoguery. Use the fear of the people during a crisis to grant the government more power so it can protect you. This argument will never go away. The Obama admin had a policy not to look at Facebook when screen foreigners for Visas. If they won’t use the information that is publicly available why should we trust them to use more concealed information?

  2. Imagine Law Enforcement having a master key for every lock in the country. Does anyone honestly believe that the master key wouldn’t be copied, wouldn’t get into the hands of dishonest individuals, or that the very presence of a master key wouldn’t just fundamentally weaken the security offered by the lock in the first place?

    This is not a partisan issue, all politicians seem to believe that just because they get an idea in their heads they can shape subjects they have no clue about to fit that idea. The idea of a good guys only backdoor is insane.

  3. Two problems with the government’s argument for backdoors for the good guys:

    1. Backdoors can be used be good and bad guys.
    2. The US government is not one of the good guys.

    1. Good guys or not, they sure seem inept. They couldn’t catch the SB shooters even with five layers of visa screening. They refused to inspect public Facebook pages. They couldn’t stop the Boston Bombers despite the Russians fingering them. On and on, and letting them into our phones will solve somethings? They can’t effectively use the information they already get, providing more will just confuse them further.

      1. Hank, You took the words out of my mouth. I am for reasonable security but the last 3-5 events, the data was there, the government just did not see it. So if we give them more data to get lost in, somehow WE get more secure???? NO way.

        IRS supervisor was caught giving a lady bad IRS inside data while trying to get into her pants… she said NO, suddenly she is being audited and fined based on bad data he gave her.

        Yeah, our government is so nice and secure and helpful, we should totally trust them.

        Just saying.

  4. What use would a master key be, the ‘bad guys’ would just create their own encryption tools which don’t have the backdoor. Encryption isn’t hard to come by these days. The only use for this would be to spy on the general population with minimal value in catching serious criminals.

  5. Under our legal system there is a thing called a warrant, something else called probable cause and something called an expectation of privacy.

    Despite all the snooping already going on- and yes they can listen in on your iPhone- they have missed any number of security threats. What they have released as supposed intercepts were cases where they essentially set up people who were to be honest- stupid or damn near.

    Tell the FBI Director that he is the hired help and he needs to learn how to work within the law. Get a warrant, put down the donut and get off your ass. And shut up about needing 24/7/365 spying on everything that moves.

    I would fear an all intrusive, all powerful government more than any criminal or terrorist.

  6. Politicians failed us in so many ways on terrorism, now weeks after Paris, soviet airliner bombing, then US attack they still seem helpless and to stop people from looking at how they can’t get their thumb out of their asses they are looking for something to blame ….

  7. Maybe they need to listen to NSA, who has already been quoted as having access and capability to hack any iPhone already. The current regime just wants to make it official. Welcome to 1984.

    1. No, the NSA does NOT have access to any iPhone. That ended with iPhones running iOS 8. iOS 9 provides even better protection. I’ve never read anything to the contrary, and I keep up on the daily computer security news.

      Meanwhile, you nailed the direction of all this rubbish: Using FUD of various kinds and sources to FSCK THE WORLD into the ‘1984’ (‘Nineteen Eighty Four’) scenario.

      I could not be more pleased to have watched France respond to the nightmare attacks in Paris by NOT compromising their privacy values. That is EXACTLY the correct response.

      I’m not talking about being stoic about our values. I’m talking about doing what’s RIGHT in the face of massive, murderous crimes from the desperately insane. Whether these ultimate fools are truly Islamic, I’ll leave to real Muslims to decide.

  8. We live in a very complex world. I for one place killing everyone that says God tells them to kill before i worry about getting hacked digitally. I dont want to get hacked with a sword. After eliminating the cancer called islam then we can concern ourselves with personal privacy.

    1. Then you’ve effectively surrendered to the terror. They win. Our society and culture becomes compromised and corrupted much as their’s already is. The disease disables the system it attacks.

      NOT acceptable.

      Thank you Ben!

      “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

      IOW: FIGHT BACK. Do not compromise our values for the sake of terror or any other form of FUD.

  9. If the US gov’t mandates that any phone sold in the US is required to have a ‘backdoor key’ accessible to the gov’t, all any terrorist/criminal need do is purchase a phone in a foreign country (China, India, et al) that does not require such back doors OR purchase a burner phone that can run free encryption software not sold in the US. No foreign entity (individual, business, gov’t) would purchase a US-based phone as they know that phone has the potential of being monitored by any gov’t or criminal hacker.

  10. we live in a very complex world today, much driven by technology and the efficiency of networking. comparing presidencies and their approach to dealing with threats is lame at best. government is made up with people. people are fallible. this includes residents int he white house and their advisors.

    the solution is and always has been when you are faced with the natural imperfection of humans is to create a set of rules to live by and make everyone, including the government follow them. an example is the constitution. another is the ten commandments. a country is defined by its rules and how they live by them. that’s what differentiates countries.

    so on this topic, similar to the gun control topic, is ultimately governed by a higher order of rules than the theme of the moment management style of obamas administration. hackers are better than government employees in general and a master key to open encryption means a bad person can get or fire out the key. the results will be worse than the bad behavior the master key issue is trying to solve.

    people in this country are free to argue about the rules, but they are ultimately obliged to live by them until they are legally changed. this is not an executive order, but a change in the constitution. guess my biggest issue is how lame this administration is with it’s cherry picking of rules on immigration and crime. letting convicted felons out of prison by the truckloads while limiting the freedom of law abiding citizens is delusional (being generous here) and arrogant. laws are not perfect but the survival of out free society is based on following them. that is what is going down the tubes in this country. the lack of respect for the law all the way to the top.

  11. I keep running into blatant reasons to use my hashtag:

    WHY is this hard to comprehend?
    ‘Weakening security with the aim of advancing security simply does not make sense,’ the Information Technology Industry Council

    I seriously believe my US government is WILLFULLY ignoring technology and shooting in the dark in order to satisfy their desires, which are on the level of a CHILD.

    Perhaps I should change my hashtag to:

    I soooo hope I’m pissing off the US Powers-That-Be because they are being outrageously stupid.

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