EFF opposes U.S. government demand to force Apple to unlock terrorist’s iPhone

“Apple must help the FBI break into an iPhone belonging to one of the killers in the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings, a federal judge ordered Tuesday,” Kevin Johnson and Jessica Guynn report for USA Today. “Tashfeen Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, shot and killed 14 people in December. The couple later died in a gun battle with police. The iPhone was recovered from their vehicle in the aftermath of the attack. Apple CEO Tim Cook said late Tuesday that the company would oppose the ruling.”

“The Electronic Frontier Foundation is considering filing an amicus brief in support of Apple and expects other digital rights groups to do the same, said Kurt Opsahl, general counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation,” Johnson and Guynn report. “‘If the U.S. government can force Apple to do this, why can’t the Chinese or Russian governments? Other countries will ask for this same power. Do we want to have this be universal?’ Opsahl said.”

“The risk? If Apple creates a program to break into this iPhone, it will essentially be a ‘master key’ for other iPhones, he warned,” Johnson and Guynn report. “‘It would be possible for the government to take this key, modify it and use it on other phones,’ Opsahl said. ‘That risks a lot, that the government will have this power and it will not be misused.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, encryption is either on or off. This is a binary issue. There is no in-between. You either have encryption or you do not.

There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, December 2015

Oppose government overreach.

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

‘Who do they think they are?’ Donald Trump blasts Apple for not unlocking San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
Tim Cook posts open letter opposing U.S. government demands to bypass iPhone encryption – February 17, 2016
Apple CEO opposes court order to help FBI unlock San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
Apple wants judge to rule if it can be forced to unlock defendant’s iPhone – February 16, 2016
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


      1. That depends on who allowed you into the country, and who didn’t check you at the airport, because of the way you look, or who ordered you be let go, instead of being deported after committing other crimes, or etc.

        1. I’m not a terrorist – only that choice phrases from an antique age do not address the seriousness of issues today.

          Having a police force, prisons, laws, warrant searches – all of that is giving up liberty for safety.

    1. I heard on one of the morning news shows this morning that Apple warned the FBI not to try guessing more than 10 times for that very reason. My guess would be they either didn’t try at all, or they’ve guessed 9 times already and now need Apple to open the vault for them.

      1. Doesn’t anyone at Apple watch the new Sherlock? There should be one code for opening, and another for wiping. Oh, and if you get the opening code wrong three times the phone explodes.

    2. I’ve been waiting for someone else to reply, but the answer is that the 10-try limit is exactly what the FBI is trying to force Apple to hack. Once they are past that door, the agency is willing to do all the rest of the work themselves.

  1. Well, conceivably they could lock old smiling Eddie in a closet to open the phone as a one off. Absolutely no one gets the key afterwards. Set Apple’s fee for this service very high.

    This too will pass.

    1. That’s part of what really scares me about this. If you read between the lines, Apple is basically saying that once the genie is out of the bottle, they can’t control it.

      I thought similarly to you – why wouldn’t Apple take possession of the iPhone, unlock it in private, then give it back to the FBI? They’re making it sound that even if they did that, they fear the technology / hack would be in the open or stolen from them. Or more probably, once they do it once, then the Feds / FBI / local Police Department / local High School officials, will be lining up looking for them to unlock more iPhones. Before you know, you’ll have a whole department at APPLE employed to unlock iPhones.

      1. Even if such a process existed, the FBI/NSA/TLA would insist on being present to ensure evidence isn’t tampered with. Once they see how it’s done once, it’s enough to get their techs on the path to reverse-engineering the process.

  2. This is simply poor police procedure and lack of communication between departments I think.

    What should have happened is that the police killed the suspects when they should have wounded them. Then, then you could have taken them to Guantanamo on the bay to find out how to open their iPhone.

    What surprises me is that these police actually his an killed the perpetrator but maybe the police from that nation are not using the “aim for Bin Laden hit Saddam Hussein guidance system”. Actually that would explain a few things.

    At any rate this is how it will start, and this so called government would love nothing better to get inside an iPhone so that they can spy on and control their own people, but innocent people the world over.

  3. I have heard a lot of petitions to access an encrypted iPhone, does any one have heard about a court ordering Google to open and android phone? Didn’t google said “me too” on the encryption protection? Did they made an impossible to break encryption for android or not? Or is it that android is so lame that not even criminals wants to use it?

  4. The USSA government will continue to blackmail Apple until it submits – by getting the Apple stock to drop precipitously.

    You watch. This will continue to happen. As if it really hurts Apple that the stock market fails. Welcome to the next Depression trigger.

    1. We’ve already got the next economic depression trigger. I call it Neo-Feudalism. It’s the bad attitude of parasitic, anti-capitalist businesses across the planet. They’ll further force their way and land themselves in a self-made sewer where those surviving with $money$ get to overlord everyone else.

      That Apple, my favorite company, has loads of cash cache, promises that such a depression won’t be entirely lorded over by worthless clowns and curmudgeons.

  5. … This is why I contribute to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They do brilliant work to keep technology sane, fair and intelligent.

    Right now, we’re suffering from an abusive US government from BOTH worthless political parties. Kicking them back, right in the balls, and making our government sane, fair and intelligent again is a GREAT ambition and goal for the modern American generation. This isn’t a party issue. This is about forcing our US government to serve We The People and no one else.

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