Among other things during his radio program, Mac, iPhone, and iPad user Rush Limbaugh on Monday discussed the U.S. government’s attempt to force Apple to write software to allow them to brute force open an Apple iPhone used by San Bernardino terrorist, the late Syed Farook.
The 3-hour Rush Limbaugh Show, the highest-rated, most-listened-to talk-radio program in the United States with some 15 million weekly listeners, airs daily on a network of approximately 590 AM and FM affiliate radio stations. The program is also broadcast worldwide on the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network.
From the live on-air transcript:
I’ve had people over the weekend sending me questions, comments, about this argument between Apple and the FBI, and what it means for the terrorist’s phone. I’ve taken a lot of time to try to answer in great detail. I have expressed and expressed and tried to correct incorrect assumptions that people have. You know, it’s amazing to me. Do you trust this government, folks? I don’t. I don’t trust the Obama administration. I never have trusted it. I don’t trust it now; I won’t trust it in the future. And most of you don’t, either.
Most of you are very suspicious of it, and rightly so. You should be. This is an administration that doesn’t really care about the Constitution much, trying to transform the country, erase or harm much or many of the things that have defined our greatness. Yet when this episode comes along, everybody’s all for the government. Why? Because there’s a terrorist involved. Yep. A terrorist, a terrorist’s phone. And so everybody casts aside their distrust, their justified distrust and throws all-in because this phone belonged to a terrorist.
If you really want to know what this is about, you have to forget what kind of phone this is, iPhone 5c, 5s, 6s, 6 Plus. Forget it. It doesn’t matter. You have to forget that a terrorist was involved, because that’s not what this is really all about. You have to focus on one thing. Have you learned through all of this…? Do you now realize it? Despite how many of you have been running around thinking that the NSA is tracking your every move, they can listen to every conversation…?
They can maybe even turn on your microphone or camera on your phone and monitor what you’re saying because your life is so exciting, people at the NSA can’t stop tracking you! Now all of a sudden, you’re learning the government cannot hack your phone. You have learned they cannot get into your phone. Do you want ’em to be able to? It’s no more complicated than that. If you want them to be able to get into your phone, then support the FBI; tell Apple to shut up and go away. But this is even more frustrating than that, because of what we learned over the weekend.
The terrorists’ phones were not owned by the terrorist. Mr. Syed Farook Skyhook did not own his phone. San Bernardino County owned the phone… Apple doesn’t need to add anything, and the FBI doesn’t need to have Apple rewrite software for all of us because what they want exists in a large number of circumstances and did exist in this San Bernardino situation. But I’m sure the people at San Bernardino were clueless and had no idea how to do [Mobile Device Management software]. They even confused the passcode to unlock phone and the passcode for the Apple ID connecting the phone to iCloud. They got confused over that. They literally had no idea what they were doing. It’s stunning what they did not know.
…The DOJ, by the way, is accusing Apple of PR only. Have you heard their allegation? “Apple’s only resisting us to do a PR maneuver to try to show their customers that they really care about security. Apple doesn’t really care about your security. They’re just trying to PR to help marketing and tell everybody…”
The truth here is if anybody’s using marketing and PR, it’s the FBI by choosing this phone to make this fight about. Yeah. It happens to be the phone of a dead terrorist. And the bottom line is, San Bernardino County had the ability — on two different occasions — to get anything off that phone that the FBI now claims it wants. The mechanisms were there, if anybody had just taken a moment to learn what they had.
There’s evidence upon evidence upon evidence of how this government abuses its power, whether it’s privacy, whether it’s security, whether it’s statutory, or whatever. But then along comes this incident — and the magic words “terrorist phone” — and everybody forgets all that and assumes that this government is clean and pure as the wind-driven snow and wouldn’t do anything more than what they’re asking us to do and they don’t want to do anything more than what they’re telling us they want to do.
“And we’ve gotta find out what’s in that phone because there’s terrorism and there’s terrorists and there’s refugees and they could be plotting against us, and this phone could have that data on it. We gotta know! We gotta know! We gotta know!” And that overrides everything, and people fall for it (you can understand it) hook, line, and sinker. But that’s not what this is about. If you really want to get down to brass tacks, why is this even an issue? Open borders. Why is this even an issue? Because this Regime’s making not a single effort to stop anybody.
Yeah, they might be deporting here and there, but you know that they’re accepting refugees from war-torn areas, and they are military-aged and able-bodied men. We have the illegal immigrant problem on the southern border. There are people coming into this country every day that we cannot count, that we cannot keep track of, and they’re going out and getting phones. And so the way we gotta keep track of ’em is to make sure that everybody’s phone can be inspected whenever the FBI… I mean, there’s so many things here that we should fix first before we all just decide to give up our security.
Look, folks, nobody elected Tim Cook. I understand this. Nobody elected Tim Cook to safeguard our privacy or security. That’s ostensibly what we elect politicians to do. But when they won’t do it, thank God Tim Cook will, is the way I look at this.
…By the way, there’s another story going around I need to blow to smithereens (you may have seen it), that Apple has on 70 previous occasions broken into phones at the request of the FBI to provide them information that they want in a criminal pursuit. That is not true. Apple has never broken into a locked phone for anybody. They have never broken into one of their devices that’s locked for the FBI or anybody else.
Forget that the phone’s a phone. Think of it as a safe, and the FBI needs to get into Syed Farook’s safe. The safe is in Syed Farook’s house, but they can’t crack the safe. Every time they try to move the combination, the safe doubles down and locks even further, so they go to the safe manufacturer, “You need to get us the combination to unlock that safe.” The manufacturer says, “We didn’t set the combination, the customer did.”
They don’t have it.
“We know you can get into it, and we want you to get into it. We know you have a way to unlock every damn lock you’ve got, combination or not. So get in there and do it!” “Well, well, well, well, we don’t. The customer sets the lock and the combination and we…” “We know that you can do it. You better do it! And while you’re at it, we want the combination for every safe you’ve ever made.” In other words: “We at the FBI want to be able to open any safe you have ever made.” How many of you would go for that? [Bold emphasis added. – MDN Ed.]
…I know Apple’s gonna lose this. I’m gonna lose this, Apple’s gonna lose this, because over here we have a terrorist phone, we have the United States government, we have a massive PR machine, Barack Hussein Obama and all that going out and everybody on TV, the Democrats and the DOJ.
We’ve already got people worried sick about terrorists infiltrating the country, they’re here, we know they’re here because of Syed Farook Skyhook and so forth. And the FBI, “That phone, it’s a key, it is a key to finding out maybe what else they had planned. It’s a key to finding out who else knew what was going on. We can’t afford not to get that information. That information is more important than any civil right or any civil liberty.”
And there will be people that will fall for it. I know how this is gonna end up going. In 30 states Apple has protesters in the streets for them. But just like I know that Bernie is not gonna be the nominee, I know how this is gonna turn out, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating to me.
Full transcript here.
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 experts: The FBI’s iPhone-unlocking demand of Apple is risky – February 22, 2016
Pew survey: More than half of Americans think Apple should comply with FBI – February 22, 2016
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg backs Apple versus U.S. government in iPhone security dispute – February 22, 2016
Tim Cook’s memo to Apple employees: ‘This case is about more than a single phone’ – February 22, 2016
Snowden: FBI could hack San Bernardino iPhone without Apple’s involvement – February 22, 2016
Why did the FBI direct the San Bernardino Health Department to reset Syed Farook’s Apple ID? – February 22, 2016
Apple posts open letter: ‘Answers to your questions about Apple and security’ – February 22, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple is still fighting Big Brother – February 19, 2016
Apple: Terrorist’s Apple ID password changed in government custody, blocking access – February 19, 2016