U.S. Representative Darrell Issa on Apple vs. FBI: Very scary when your government wants to know more about you

U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA 49th District), commenting on the legal battle between Apple and the FBI, says its very scary when your government wants to know more about you.

Right now, [FBI Director James Comey] is betting his reputation on demanding that employees of Apple develop something so that he can spy on Americans, likely without our permission… He isn’t asking them to do a brute force attack and give them a thumb drive of information… he’s actually asking for a backdoor. He’s asking for something that would very much lead to their getting a secret wiretap, pulling the information off your iPhone, and you’re never knowing about it.

This is very, very scary when your government wants to know more about you and they’re not willing to have you know more about your government… In order to make life easier for them, they [the FBI] want a tool developed, and they’re in court using a 240-year-old law to try to force a private enterprise to do something for the government, so the government can sneak and peek into your iPhone.

It’s time for Congress to define what, in this era, would be allowed and not allowed under the Fourth Amendment… It’s terrible to use the bodies of victims to try to get something that you’re otherwise likely not to get….

It’s not only possible that the NSA could assist [the FBI] and get the information, but there’s an advantage to the NSA getting it. If our clandestine industries develop tools and get them, the advantage is the bad guys don’t know it. If this court order forces it, then the Chinese and all the other nations of the world not only will know the tool exists, but they’ll begin demanding it. — U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA)

[protected-iframe id=”e74ac28709aa3391d1f325abec88e361-17146794-18685410″ info=”http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/embed.js?id=4771918176001&w=466&h=263″ ]

More info and direct link to video in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We agree with U.S. Rep. Issa.

Apple: The U.S. Congress, not the courts, must decide iPhone access fight – February 24, 2016
Apple’s fight with U.S. could speed development of devices impervious to government intrusion – February 24, 2016
Apple to argue that FBI court order violates its free-speech rights – February 24, 2016
Apple, the U.S. government, and security – February 24, 2016
Congressman Ted Lieu asks FBI to drop demand that Apple hack iPhones – February 23, 2016
In the fight to hack iPhones, the U.S. government has more to lose than Apple – February 23, 2016
Here are the 12 other cases where the U.S. government has demanded Apple help it hack into iPhones – February 23, 2016
John McAfee blasts FBI for ‘illiterate’ order to create Apple iPhone backdoor – February 23, 2016
Some family members of San Bernardino victims back U.S. government – February 23, 2016
Apple supporters to rally worldwide today against U.S. government demand to unlock iPhone – February 23, 2016
U.S. government seeks to force Apple to extract data from a dozen more iPhones – February 23, 2016
Apple CEO Cook: They’d have to cart us out in a box before we’d create a backdoor – February 22, 2016
Tim Cook’s memo to Apple employees: ‘This case is about more than a single phone’ – February 22, 2016
Obama administration: We’re only demanding Apple hack just one iPhone – February 17, 2016


    1. President Obama and Mr. Trump HAVE THE EXACT SAME POSITION ON THIS ISSUE.

      Quit trying to make this a political thing when it’s obviously more accurately described as a politician thing. Most of our elected officials of BOTH major parties want Apple to create the software to decrypt “just that one iPhone”, but of course this means all iPhones.

  1. The biggest misjudgement with all of this was when the FBI went so public. They seemed to think that by linking this demand to the San Bernardino shootings, they would get an easy ride without much opposition. As events have unfolded, they have been shown to be cynical, incompetent and highly deceitful.

    They have prompted the press to write countless articles explaining how best to hide information from prying eyes, what information Apple can and cannot retrieve from a locked iPhone, how they do it and what the FBI can and can’t do.

    Secret services work most effectively when they operate in secret. Shouting about what they want done has merely shone the spotlight on what they do and is likely to make things more difficult to spy on their populations than it otherwise would have been. Furthermore, their heavy handed approach is likely to prompt tech companies to try and devise future systems that are even more difficult to defeat.

    The public do not want to be spied upon by those who are supposed to serve them.

  2. I believe the FBI hates Apple and what they have done to make the iPhone so secure. They picked this case from among the 12 or so cases they have involving an iPhone they can’t get at, as the one most likely to gin up public opinion in their favor. They did not appreciate how much the public mistrusts our own government, or what their role in causing this mistrust. Whether their directive to the San Bernadine Health Department to reset the Apple ID password, thus preventing any further backup of the phone’s contents to iCloud was a deliberate act or just stupid, time will tell. In either case, it exposes either a level of deviousness not previously seen or incompetence, neither of which makes the Bureau look very trustworthy. I’m waiting for a reporter to ask Josh Earnest the following question:

    It is possible that the FBI could have gotten fairly easy access to the contents of the iPhone if they had just plugged it in to a known netowrk and let it back itself up to iCloud. Instead, someone at the Bureau instructed the San Bernadino Health Department to reset the Apple ID password, thus making such a backup impossible. Can you tell me if this was a disingenuous attempt of the FBI to sway public opinion against Apple or just incompetence?

    1. I have another question for Josh Earnest:

      Just last week, both you and the FBI director flatly declared that it was just about one iPhone. It has since come to light that there are at least nine, and probably more, pending cases against Apple also using the All Writs Act. Can you reconcile the huge difference between what you and the FBI director have said and the truth? Also, would it be fair to say that the Obama administration has declared war on America’s most successful and widely loved company?

  3. Sorry, but aspects of what U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA 49th District) is saying do NOT apply to this particular case. On the other hand, would the government like to devolve into what Rep Issa is describing? I think so.

  4. So many people have the fact of this, in terms of what the government is asking for and not, completely wrong. Apple is not being asked for an actual backdoor, nor are they being asked to develop an entirely new OS.

    The government can’t get past the unlock PIN. Apple is being asked to patch the existing system to allow this purportedly for the single phone.

    The government isn’t seeking a tool that they can use over and over. They are seeking to turn Apple into the tool. Once precedence is set, they (and everyone else in the world for that matter) can make the same demands over and over on Apple and this is what Apple fears.

    The deluge of “Well it’s just for this one phone” requests.

    In the event this does happen, Apple will lose the respect and trust of clients, particularly foreign clients. They will then be forced to consider whether just creating a backdoor for the government will be more efficient in the long run.

    They are at the precipice of the slippery slope, holding on as much as possible, while our government, which shows less and less respect for us as individuals, less and less respect for the Constitution, is trying to push them over.

    We have become a digital nation. We all know this. Everything about our lives is stored on our computers including our mobile devices, conventional computers, cloud servers, and external media. Information about us is stored in the networks of our employers, as well as the computers, devices, and services of our friends, loved ones, and associates. We reveal much about ourselves to our social media accounts, and of course the networks of the companies and vendors we do business with.

    Daily as we work, seek knowledge, pursue entertainment, and conduct commerce, information about our behavior, interests, likes and dislikes is culled. It should be frighteningly clear that it is easy to compile an extraordinarily complete profile of each of us using our digital presence.

    Every little secret that you may or may not care to share with the world is hidden away in all of that information. Those secrets can surface by combining the most innocent of facts, including the personal photographs on your devices, where you like to have dinner, what you order from the grocery store, medications you purchase, where and when you purchase gasoline, where you use your ATM card, your taste in pornography, what movies you like, what television shows you watch, the political websites you visit, your dating profiles, the numbers you call, who your friends and associates are, who their friends and associates are and so on. Guilt by association is no longer a cautionary phrase, it is a given.

    If all of this were not serious enough, we are now almost always under surveillance. There are cameras everywhere. There are cameras in homes, stores, office buildings, parking lots, and apartment buildings. There are cameras mounted in police cars grabbing images of every license plate they pass, and flagging the images with the time and GPS coordinates. There are cameras in ATM machines. There are cameras on the helmets of bicycle messengers. Cameras in busses, subways, and cabs. There are cameras in private automobiles documenting every trip. There are cameras on the uniforms of police officers, cameras in dog collars, and cameras in the millions upon millions of mobile phones and other devices out there. It might surprise you if you knew how many photos and selfies you accidentally appear in. Of course there are thousands of satellites above the earth, many of which are tasked with watching us, with powerful cameras capable of reading our license pates from many many miles above the planet.

    They’ve got the infrastructure. We built it for them. You can almost hear all the people who grew up in surveillance societies collectively saying “DUH!”

    So each time they ask for another inch, we must go nuts about it because they absolutely will take a mile. There is no question about it.

    The privacy between our devices and ourselves should be regarded at least as important as Doctor patient privilege, or lawyer client privilege. Our computers and services know at least as much about us as our Doctors, Lawyers, and Spouses.

  5. If Trump becomes President, how long will it be before he tries to crack the phones of undocumented immigrants in order to help identify other undocumented immigrants and deport them?

    Very real and very possible situations like this are exactly why this Apple/FBI court case matters so much. Should the FBI succeed in forcing Apple to unlock this phone, a legal precedent will be set that could be used to force Apple to unlock phones for a number of unforeseen and despicable reasons. There is no denying this fact.

    1. And what would be wrong with that? They are ILLEGAL ALIENS and not protected by the Constitution. They are CRIMINALS by being here ILLEGALLY. They should be deported. Follow the laws.

  6. Unfortunately, my American cousins, you cannot see the forest for the trees. 9/11 and the Patriot Act. You lost to the terrorists, and the NSA/FBI/CIA/DEA, the moment you gave up some freedom for some hoped-for security. You’re already on the slippery slope and you’re nearing the bottom of the hill at increasing speed. This tactic has been repeated over and over again all over the world by our so-called governments. In Canada, one crazed, lunatic, lone wolf or two, and our government immediately moved to pass a bill that was previously never going to make it through parliament, one that allows the same kind of overreach of government surveillance in exchange for our so-called security. We are doomed. Our governments do NOT represent us. England. France. Spain. Italy. The list goes on and on. We are powerless to stop this onslaught.

    The FBI is probably the most visible transgressor of individual rights, have been for decades. The legacy of Hoover lives on. People aren’t breaking enough laws to give them, and their sister agencies, the budgets they need to further grow their power, so they just keep lowering the bar. Is anyone really fooled by their tactics – get an FBI informant to foment crimes where none exist? The RCMP does the same thing – these guys aren’t trying to protect us or they’d go after the real criminals – the ones who are paying for protection or assisting these agencies in taking out their competitors. War on Drugs. War on Terror. War on Peace. Divide and conquer. Donald Trump for President? What’s going on down there? Wake up America, your guiding light has become a birthday candle in a snowstorm. God Bless You, cause heaven knows, you need it.

    Our forefathers would be ashamed of the mess we have made of our Constitutions and Bills of Rights. I’m ashamed. We should all be ashamed. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    I know. Farting into the wind.


  7. I remember GW Bush saying during the second gulf war, “you are either with us or against us”. By having a key to unlock your phone it will be easy for whomever is in power to determine that on an individual basis and take appropriate action. Expressing your opinion or belief via the phone, could land you in hot water

    Not singling out Ex-President Bush, since it applies equally to both political parties.

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