Obama administration: We’re only demanding Apple hack just one iPhone

“A court order demanding that Apple Inc. help the U.S. government break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters opens a new chapter in the legal, political and technological fight pitting law enforcement against civil liberties advocates and major tech companies,” Jim Finkle and Dan Levine report for Reuters. “The government argues that the phone is a crucial piece of evidence in investigating one of the worst attacks in the United States by people who sympathized with Islamist militants. But privacy groups warn that forcing companies to crack their own encryption threatened not just the privacy of customers but potentially citizens of any country.”

“A federal judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday ordered Apple to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to investigators seeking to unlock the data on an iPhone 5C that had been used by Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people and wounded 22 others on Dec. 2 in San Bernardino, California,” Finkle and Levine report. “White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the Department of Justice was asking Apple for access to just one device, a central part of the government’s argument. ‘They are not asking Apple to redesign its product or to create a new backdoor to one of their products,” Earnest told reporters at the daily briefing. He said the case was about federal investigators learning “as much as they can about this one case” and “the president certainly believes that is an important national priority.'”

“Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said Tuesday’s court order threatened the security of its customers and had ‘implications far beyond the legal case at hand,'” Finkle and Levine report. “If the federal judge, Magistrate Sheri Pym, rejects Apple’s arguments, the company can appeal her order to the district court, and then up the chain to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court.”

“‘The 9th Circuit is known to be pro-privacy. “The government ultimately will have an uphill fight,’ said Robert Cattanach, a former Justice Department lawyer who advises companies on cyber security issues,” Finkle and Levine report. “Dan Guido, an expert in hacking operating systems, said… that only Apple can provide that software because the phones will only install updates that are digitally signed with a secret cryptographic key. ‘That key is one of the most valuable pieces of data the entire company owns,’ he said. ‘Someone with that key can change all the data on all the iPhones.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s not just one phone. Any random idiot should be able to grasp that simple fact. If they don’t seem to get it, look for ulterior motive(s).

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

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

Security firm shows how Apple could bypass iPhone security to comply with FBI request – February 17, 2016
What the Apple court order means for your smartphone privacy – February 17, 2016
EFF opposes U.S. government demand to force Apple to unlock terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
‘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. Most Us Americans are way too paranoid! And way way too naive. Dogma is stupid !….
    It just freakin unlocking a single phone used by a know terrorist,.. Its not about permenent backdoors or encryption issues.,… It is not

        1. “When your own child’s life is directly on the line”, I believe you meant.

          This event (shootings in California), has already happened: it is a past event. The people are already dead or wounded and nobody’s life is on the line any more.

          The truth is, the Feds and the US government are attempting to break into this encrypted phone (“It’s just one phone”), knowing full well that it isn’t just one phone — it’s all of them.

          They’re con men using emotion to get what they want. Does the public at large really want liars and thieves rummaging around in their private lives? Of course not. But that’s what will happen if you give in to them now: further unrestrained government snooping. They’d love that but they ain’t getting it.

  2. Damn it!

    Why? Why the freakin phone!!! Get over it! 7 out of 10 crimes go unresolve in the US.

    This action imply more than just looking at one phone. It is becoming obsessive. They want to get in because they want to get in…

  3. The Gubbermint has misused, abused, and engaged in some of the most OUTRAGEOUS illegal conduct over the last 10 years to wit— NSA, DEA, FBI, IRS, Lerner, Attkinson, DOJ, Tea Party supression etc etc etc……….

    Their unrepentant, unabated conduct has now earned them the universal “Hell NO” response……..you know that if the tech industry crumbles then the “me-too” BS will start unabated….Never mind the Chinese, Russians, and assorted other 3-4th world dictators, despots, and mutants….!!!!

    Encryption and “burner phones” have been around for YEARS!!

    And for the TSA–“it’s for our safety” crowd I say BS.

    Feds get off your azzzzzzzzzzzz and go recruit sources/informants and metadata sources; get out of the office and away from your desktop….

    Use your GS-1811 taxpayer provided G-car for something other than stopping for groceries on the way home or dropping kids at school…..

  4. Mark Zuckerberg liked this.

    Bret Taylor
    5 hrs · Oakland, CA, United States ·
    Impressed and relieved Apple is taking a stand against encryption backdoors. Silicon Valley stands with Apple.
    Customer Letter – Apple
    A Message to Our Customers
    Mark Zuckerberg, stands with Apple.

  5. For goodness sake. If the government wants in that bad, they can hack it easily. Dump the contents of the memory chip in case you accidentally wipe it. Then brute force attack the pass-code. If the CIA had Putin’s phone they’d be doing this, but apparently they aren’t willing to put that much work into this phone. That tells me that they are more interested in a reusable software hack than they are in the data.

    1. Please read all the stories on this subject. They can’t brute-force the passcode because the tenth attempt (of an average of 5000 before success) will erase the phone. The private key for the encryption is tied to the hardware, so the only way to read the data once it was off the phone would be to crack the key (not just the passcode). That could take years.

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