Apple is still fighting Big Brother

“I consider the right of privacy to be a fundamental, inalienable human right that even transcends the Constitution. Without the right of privacy, all the other rights we take for granted can be crushed by the Surveillance State,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “The right to encrypt one’s personal data flows directly from the right of privacy. However, the Constitution, recognizing that law enforcement would have a reasonable need to abrogate privacy in criminal investigations, mandates the use of court orders to limit and control the investigatory powers of the state.”

“What I and other privacy advocates have maintained is that encryption backdoors are so insecure as to be worthless to consumers, and ultimately to the government,” Hibben writes. “Any encryption system with a backdoor would be avoided by criminals. Even if national governments were to make strong encryption software illegal, it would only create a black market in the software that would benefit criminals only.”

“In his letter to customers, Tim Cook makes many of these points as well. Unfortunately, in the San Bernardino shooter case, that isn’t exactly what the government is asking for. The government is asking Apple to provide technical assistance in unlocking one specific iPhone. More importantly the government is telling Apple exactly what it wants done. In the customer letter, Cook acknowledges that Apple can do what the government wants,” Hibben writes. “Apple has claimed that the modified iOS, once created, could become a tool for hackers and thieves. Undoubtedly this is the case, but the government has exposed vulnerabilities in iOS that Apple should close in any case. I’m also dubious as to whether Apple can win this particular legal battle. Apple will certainly fight the order, but should it lose, that’s not the end of the world or even of privacy on iOS devices. Apple needs to close the vulnerabilities that the modified iOS exploits.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, while taking this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if need be, Apple also must close these issues that Big Brother wishes to exploit. If the 4-digit passcode has to go, it has to go.

Apple co-founder Woz: Steve Jobs would have fought this U.S. government overreach, too – February 19, 2016
Mother who lost son in San Bernardino terrorist attack sides with Apple against U.S. government backdoor demands – February 19, 2016
iPhones don’t kill people, people kill people – February 19, 2016
Court extends deadline for Apple to oppose order to unlock iPhone – February 19, 2016
Twitter, Facebook, Box support Apple against U.S. government demand to hack iPhone – February 19, 2016
No, Apple has NOT unlocked 70 iphones for law enforcement – February 18, 2016
Apple is right, the U.S. government demand would make us all less secure – February 18, 2016
How Apple will fight the DOJ in iPhone backdoor case: U.S. government’s position stands on 227 year old law – February 18, 2016
USA Today alters logo to support Apple in fight against U.S. government overreach – February 18, 2016
Obama administration claims FBI is not asking Apple for a ‘backdoor’ to the iPhone – February 18, 2016
Privacy activists plan rallies across U.S. to support Apple in battle against U.S. government on February 23rd – February 18, 2016
Google CEO Sundar Pichai wishy-washy on Apple’s fight against U.S. government backdoor demands – February 18, 2016
Why Apple is fighting back against U.S. federal government demands for iPhone access – February 17, 2016
Snowden backs Apple in fight over iPhone; blasts Google’s silence – February 17, 2016
Obama administration: We’re only demanding Apple hack just one iPhone – February 17, 2016
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


      1. It’s not about YOU. It’s about visiting it on someone you love, who is not given a choice. A child, perhaps.

        “Many a mickle makes a muckle” is a centuries-old Scottish statement, which has stood the test of time.

            1. And if Apple breaks into this phone will that have to break into phones for the Chinese government, for the Iranian government, for the Russian government, for the Saudi government. How many citizens of these countries would meet the fate you describe. Should Dell be responsible for breaking into one of it’s computers for the government? Should Seagate be required to break into it’s drives? Should ATT be required to record all calls because a conversation the FBI was interested in went through it’s switches? The cops have a tough job to do but it is their job to do, not Apple’s.

            2. EXACTLY!!!

              No MSM articles that I have read discuss the global implication of what the FBI is demanding of Apple. If Apple complies with the US Government’s demands, what argument would Apple have against China? Russia? North Korea? None.

              If Apple caves to the US Government, it must cave to ALL countries where it sells its products. Or risk being exposed globally as a pawn/branch of the US Government. A very dangerous proposition, IMHO.

        1. supposing Apple creates a ‘backdoor’ iOS.

          once the precedent is set the govt. – i.e police, FBI, DEA, CIA, NSA etc will each start clamouring they be allowed to use it — each saying “MY case will save life, MY case is for national security etc”. AS the cases escalate doubtlessly the technique and software will leak. (Note in the Snowden leaks it was shown the USA govt. besides widespread tapping of thousands of citizens has even tapped the Chancellor of Germany’s phone, an ally. So it can make excuses for anything under ‘national security’. Snowden shows also that Govt can’t keep secrets… ).

          Now if hackers get hold of the Apple iOS hack tool and use it to hack into someones phone, gets details of his schedule, taps into the cameras in his house and then downloads the PASSKEY and opens his front door. He then kidnaps the man’s daughter, rapes and kills her.

          Here’s your ” A child, perhaps.”

          So is that a good idea? Is Apple liable?

          Multiply this vulnerability by a 1 billion iOS users. Think of the bank accounts, retirement funds , etc vulnerable besides all kinds of other things….

    1. Carol Adams doesn’t have to imagine. Her son was killed in the terrorist attack. She has come out supporting Apple on this issue.

      If she doesn’t buy the government’s BS reasoning, what the hell is YOUR excuse?

    2. History and current events make it clear that allowing government to monitor the people unchecked does not help the people. Go to China, Cuba, Iran, etc, and see for yourself what it is like to give a government complete control over your life. This degradation of human rights is made with small steps, like this one.

      Access to this phone will protect no one.

    3. You’ve fallen for the gov’ts line of reasoning. Don’t you think they chose this case carefully so that any opposition would get a big black eye? It’s the same approach that the gov’t used when announcing the War on Terror, they used the World Trade Center destruction as justification. Who would oppose it? No one, and yet now, years later, congresspeople are now stating they wished they had opposed it. I had several classmates die in the WTC, and one in particular was a close fraternity brother who had come to me seeking help getting a job, and I used my contacts and steered him into bond trading. It’s not quite having a loved one have their faced burned off, but it’s pretty close. And, I’d still oppose this invasion of privacy based upon principal. It’s one of the rights that our Founding Fathers fought so hard for. Why give it up so easily?

  1. The government tells the Auto Industry, Energy, Banking, Pharmaceuticals, the Toilet Industry, the Food Industry – the government tells all industries how to make their products. It has been gentle on the Tech Industry. But now the Government, aka The State, is informing Apple what it must do to comply or else. It is fitting as Apple executives and the Tech Industry have long supported a very “muscular” government that aggressively runs everyone’s lives. You can have freedom or you can have The State. We are choosing the State.

    1. Kent, I’m not sure the basis of your statement:

      “…the Tech Industry have long supported a very muscular government that aggressively runs everyone’s lives.”

      The fact is that the tech industry tends to be far more libertarian than the rest of the country. The industry’s view of immigration, gay marriage, woman’s rights, taxation, all spring from the libertarian philosophy of government leaving people alone.

      The tech industry hasn’t had its nose up government’s ass looking for subsides and laws preventing competition (except for the Eric guy at Google). That’s why the industry is so innovative. Government has stayed out of its way. When that changes, our tech industry dies.

      1. Wrong. The tech industry probably voted about 80% for Obama, who is in the most kind interpretation a European socialist. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz espouse free markets and limited government. They are not popular in Silicon Valley. Democrat are popular, like Al Gore. The type of politicians who favor massive government regulations on every industry, except maybe the one they operate in. Certainly they think every other industry should be run by bureaucrats. Like Health Care, Banking, Automotive, Energy, Pharma, Food, Toilets, Bakeries, Florists, etc.

  2. The feds took away a lot of our civil liberties after 9/11, but lots of people figured the sacrifice was worth it, and people who objected were stifled with the question, “What have you got to hide?”

    But this time it’s different. Everybody with an iPhone can imagine what it would be like if government agencies could snoop without approval.

    That’s actually what this case is about. It’s bigger than the narrow issue of killings in San Bernardino. That’s just the camel’s head inside the tent.

    Apple has a chance to win this one, but history is on the side of the team with guns and tanks.

      1. What makes this iPhone physically different from ALL iPhones? If Apple writes a program to unlock this iPhone, the program can unlock ALL iPhones. And once this genie is out of the bottle, it can’t be put back in.

  3. Everyone’s argument seems to be missing the point when they talk about the US government. Apple is a global company. If they say yes to the US, then other less reputable countries capable of leveling tremendous pressure on Apple will insist they do it for them as well.
    China, for example, is capable of completely shutting down everything Apple makes.

    1. You can bet Putin and the Chinese totalitarians are salivating over the possibility that the feckless weakling Obama and his DOJ/FBI henchmen somehow pay off enough judges to win this case.

  4. Wait a minute. What if the FBI gives the phone to Apple to crack into and let’s Apple decide what information it wants to hand over from the phone. That would be very different from a back door, because Apple would be in control of it. It would stay in Apple’s possession. The information would only be used to combat terrorism. I dunno, it seems like a reasonable compromise.

  5. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Apple complied to the precious little FBI minions who couldn’t crack Apple’s security and all they found on that iPhone were messages of the two San Bernardino shooters planning their wedding or their mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations.”

    Kind of like what Hillary Clinton touted regarding her privacy on such matters.

    The messages she jettisoned were “about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes.” She added, “No one wants their personal e-mails made public, and I think most people understand that and respect that privacy.” –

    “No one wants their personal e-mails made public, and I think most people understand that and respect that privacy.” hmmm, respect that privacy. I wonder if any in the purported non-liberally-biased media will propose that question to Hillary about this iPhone, regarding this subject, of this suspect?

    Well, this is not a Hillary rant, this is a rant of the current government which does not take the threat of Militant Jihadist Islamic Terrorist as seriously as it should be taken. Therefore, you don’t deserve Apple’s help. This government has other ways and means on the books to complete the task and I suggest they use what is currently available to them to the fullest and leave Apple alone!

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