iPhones don’t kill people, people kill people

“Last summer, Apple refused to give the Justice Department real-time access to iMessages — the company’s proprietary text messages — in a gun case,” Matt Apuzzo, Joseph Goldstein and Eric Lichtblau report for The New York Times. “The matter nearly escalated, but Apple eventually turned over some messages that had been backed up to the company’s iCloud servers. It was not all that the government wanted, but authorities viewed it as a sign of cooperation.”

“Such compromises forestalled a major court showdown, but increased the frustration at the Justice Department,” Apuzzo, Goldstein and Lichtblau report. “Several current and former career prosecutors involved in the issue said they viewed it as hypocritical that Apple encouraged its customers to save its data to iCloud — which it would turn over to the government — but regarded the cellphone as sacrosanct.”

“The San Bernardino attacks, which killed 14 people, presented the F.B.I. with a seemingly perfect test case. One of the shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook, was killed by the police and left behind a locked, encrypted iPhone 5c. The F.B.I. has not been able to unlock it. Farook’s phone is protected by a password that Apple says it does not keep and Apple says it cannot break the encryption without the password. The F.B.I. wants to write a program to send the phone an unlimited combination of passwords until it finds one that works,” Apuzzo, Goldstein and Lichtblau report. “But Apple built its phones to protect against that tactic. Each wrong guess causes a short delay, which would significantly slow the F.B.I.’s effort. After too many incorrect guesses, the phone will automatically erase its memory.”

“From a public relations standpoint, Apple had been on the side of privacy advocates and civil libertarians. This case put the company on the side of a terrorist,” Apuzzo, Goldstein and Lichtblau report. “This week, the Justice Department got its wish when Apple was ordered to override its defenses, even if it meant building a tool that did not exist. Law enforcement officials cheered the ruling, though they acknowledged that the fight was not over. Apple promised to appeal.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last November: 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.”

This is very simple. With any official who claims “it’s only one iPhone Apple needs to crack” and therefore doesn’t seem to grasp the larger ramifications, look for ulterior motive(s).

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

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. What has the FBI asked the gun industry to do to help learn what happened in SanB and how to prevent further terror attacks? Zip. Yet THEIR products did the killing.

      1. Yes and what a totally deluded headline it is. By the same logic the public should be able to own tanks and rocket launchers, hey even gully armed F16s for fun use and protection, but one suspects the powers that be might consider the danger to society too great.

      1. Misleading statistic. The fact is that people kill with guns more than any other weapon. That’s why guns were invented; they are a far more efficient killing machine.

        If guns are not more effective a killing machine, then what’s the big deal about protecting people’s rights to a gun? Why then would anyone want a gun? Why not just have a knife?

        And let’s face it: if you had a choice between being confronted by a person with a gun, or a person with a knife, you would always choose to take on the person with a knife.

        More smoke and mirrors from the gun lobby.

        1. A dull knife can do more damage than a bullet.

          Yakuza used to (probably still do) piss on the blade they cut you with. The infection ends up worse than the minor cut..

          1. Well, because guns are an equalizer against a stronger opponent. It’s rather hypocritical that all the talking heads pushing for gun control have armed guards. If they’re that convinced that guns are the problem and not criminals, disarm the guards…..yea, that will happen

        2. Because guns are an equalizer against a stronger opponent……..rather hypocritical that all the talking heads pushing for gun control all have armed guards. If they’re that convinced that guns are the problem and not criminals, disarm the guards…..yea, that will happen

        3. Well, because guns are an equalizer against a stronger opponent. It’s rather hypocritical that all the talking heads pushing for gun control have armed guards. If they’re that convinced that guns are the problem and not criminals, disarm the guards…..yea, that will happen

      2. Look up the phrase “non sequitur or maybe disingenuous” . You will be quite pleased with yourself.

        Every one of your candidates in the clown car hgas come down on the side of the FBI. Every one of them.

        This sis the same FBI who brought you J Edgar Hoover , whose own latent homosexuality caused him to use every agency of the state to punish his opposition.

    1. Hey jackass, as the man said, ” iPhones don’t kill people, people kill people”, so, USE LOGIC: ” guns don’t people, people kill people”. If one statement is correct, so is the other

  2. So, Apple is hypocritical for turning over messages store in iCloud but not turning over info stored on a phone? Well, now Apple is being consistent: it’s security prevents it from doing either. Perhaps this wasn’t the answer law enforcement wanted?

  3. Eek – that headline. Let’s not defend iPhones using the same desperate slogan that people use to defend actual weapons. There’s no button on the iPhone for killing whatever is in front of it. Best to just avoid the iPhone as a gun analogy altogether if you can.

    1. Gun control didn’t stop Paris attacks

      Did your French gun control stop a single fucking person from dying at the Bataclan? And if anyone can answer yes, I’d like to hear it, because I don’t think so. I think the only thing that stopped it was some of the bravest men that I’ve ever seen in my life charging head-first into the face of death with their firearms… Until nobody has guns, everybody has to have them. Because I don’t ever want to see anything like this ever happen again and I want everyone to have the best chance to live. — Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes

      1. Stupid to use a single example. Look at the big picture. Gun control in other western countries mean massively lower gun death rates and massively lower numbers of mass shootings.

        AND – most Americans support stronger, sensible background checks.

        AND – under the present nutcase agenda, even people on the “no fly” list still have the right to buy weapons!!!

        1. Far more children die from gunshots every year in the US than the people who died in France. And yes, most not from criminal but from guns owned by fine, noble, law-abiding morons. That fact of so many child deaths is a strong argument for better gun control… besides the many other arguments.

          1. If you want to believe those stats… You do know that gang related murders of under 21 members are included in “child” deaths by firearms.
            Look it up. When it comes to firearms, 21 is the age to own a handgun. Therefore they consider anyone under 21 a child.
            When it comes to healthcare… The cutoff is 26.
            You always have to look at the actual data in those reports, they can be misleading.

            I will agree that if you own a firearm, and you have children… There is NO excuse to not keep them separated.

          2. The only people gun control laws affect are those who respect law at all…….criminals DO NOT CARE. Counterpoint to the statement that “gun control laws in Western countries reduce murder rates”, take a look at Chicago’s murder rate, one of the highest in the country – they also have some of the strictest gun laws in the country. How is that possible? Simple: criminals can get guns easy, “law abiding citizens” have to jump through hoops. It is impossible legislate human behaviour completelyDPL

      2. Was that cut-and-paste quote point supposed to be response to my comment?

        Regardless of if they are right or not, 55% of this country wants better gun control laws. There is no reason to turn them against iPhones by associating iPhones and guns. I’m not even arguing for or against gun control: I’m saying making an unnecessary connection between iPhones and guns hurts the iPhone’s case.

          1. They should get what? Encrypted cell phones? Yes. Regardless of where people stand on gun control, they should have encrypted cell phones.

            Am I not being clear? Feels like you’re trying really hard to misconstrue the point I’m making.

        1. The majority of Germans at the time voted for Hitler, so, just because the “majority” of people want something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do……..

    2. Sorry, logic is logic. You can’t have it both ways because you want to. Personally I get somewhat irritated when someone insists that we live in a world where “you don’t need that much self defense, if you just Talk to that person trying to rob or harm you, he/she will see how unreasonable that are”. Those who follow such logic are known as “victims”, or more accurately fools.

    1. I hear that the next government action is o deport anyone with the moniker “researchteaccher”

      Let’s build a fence around the republicans and fascists and let them tear each other apart.

  4. People with weapons kill others, often in fits of passion. Guns violently used are a big problem. Set aside the bias and bigotry. Deal with the problem.
    Oh…and I’m with Tim.

  5. Since you are talking about immigration, you’re talking about the US itself (i.e. not soldiers at war in Iraq).

    In the US, white christian Americans are much more dangerous to US citizens than muslim terrorists.

  6. Does anyone propose background checks and waiting periods for highly encrypted smartphones? 😛 If high encryption phones do in the future get banned or restricted I can extrapolate a system built into cell towers to transmit a location flag should such a device attempt a connection and track that ‘device of interest’.

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