The Apple vs. FBI fight is about something more basic than software and laws

“The FBI wants Apple’s help breaking into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple has helped the government get data off locked iPhones many times in the past,” Gideon Lichfield writes for Quartz.

“For all Apple’s fancy legal arguments, something feels disingenuous in claiming that it’s OK to betray your customers’ privacy to the FBI using one technique and not another,” Lichfield writes. “Yet the government’s claim is disingenuous too. It implies that everything is a continuum and there are no matters of principle.”

“The reality, however, is that everything we now consider a matter of principle — from the ban on insider trading all the way back to ‘thou shalt not kill’ — was once a line drawn in the sand, and only over time became a mighty barrier. Principles don’t get made until someone says ‘enough,'” Lichfield writes. “Apple has now said ‘enough.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For too long, it’s been more than enough.

Creating an army of uniformed automations to pat down and/or irradiate old ladies from Wichita and three years olds from Ottumwa is pure fscking stupidity that does nothing but reassure cretins. Ditto for mass telephony metadata surveillance that, if you haven’t noticed, failed spectacularly to prevent the Boston Marathon bombing or the San Bernadito terrorist massacre. Until the actual crux of the problem can be targeted properly, much less even be spoken aloud by some “authorities,” this mindless, ineffective, money/time-wasting, rights-trampling overreach will continue.

Enough already! More than enough, in fact!

Important principles may, and must, be inflexible. — Abraham Lincoln

Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! – Patrick Henry

Apple privacy battle with Washington looms as watershed moment – February 26, 2016
Apple’s lawyer: If we lose, it will lead to a ‘police state’ – February 26, 2016
Apple: The law already exists that protects us from U.S. government demands to hack iPhone – February 26, 2016


  1. Why did Apple do it in the past with iPhones that had much less security? Because the U.S. government came to Apple asking, in the name of justice, will you help us get info off of this one phone? So Apple did it.

    Then the government came back again, and again, and again, and again. At that point, Apple was unable to start saying no to a warrant. So they improved security to the point that not even Apple could get info off of a phone and told their customers that their private info was secure.

    So the government – waited – for just the right case, and then TOLD Apple you have to write a new OS for us to get past your security

    . . . just this one time.

      1. Don’t bother attempting to get the MSN instantiation of the video to play. All you’ll hear is an ignorant argument from Bloomberg Contributing Editor Paul Kedrosky that comes off as a moron NOT bothering to read all of Apple’s Motion To Vacate while blethering on about one of several entirely valid points Apple makes in the motion. Frankly, what he says is embarrassingly superficial and careless for such a critical subject. He says nothing-at-all about the fundamental violations of the US Constitution. IOW he makes a loud mouthed fool of himself and Bloomberg, once again (!!!) makes it clear that they’ve wrecked the former reputation and instead want to think on the level of teenagers. Let’s give up citizen’s rights for the sake of totalitarian government convenience. ‘Get Serious’ indeed.

        100% ignorable.

        1. Agree. Paul Kedrosky is brilliant!

          He explains the situation in terms clear and simple enough even a smart teenager can understand!

          Paul Kedrosky shows just how weak Apple’s arguments are.

          First, he demolishes the “unhackable” iPhone theory saying that even Apple’s concedes that it would take 10 engineers a mere 4 weeks to hack the phone.

          John McAfee had also demolished the idea of an “unhackable” iPhone when he offered the FBI to hack into the iPhone for free and said it would take him about 2 weeks to do so.

          He then demolishes Apple’s “free speech” argument (i.e. 1st amendement of the U.S. Constitution) by showing how ridiculous such an argument is in a society where we everything we do runs on software.

          Furthermore, If Apple wins on the basis of the first amendment, I suggest you never even consider buying an Apple car!

          If they win the case on the first amendment, will Apple defy a court order and refuse to fix their buggy software “just to prove their point”?

          Apple would set an extremely dangerous precedent to the detriment of consumers!

          Let’s home Apple never gets into the car business!

  2. It boils down to: We think some information exists. Can someone get to that information?

    Yes: Get to it – Apple has to provide information they can get to.
    No: So be it – Apple has no ability to access, with the resources they have – without forcing “people” to make them.

    I have so many things I could write. However I cannot forget our own nation enslaved people and concentrated and attempted to eliminate natives. This sets up a foundation of exactly what happened under the Constitution. It means, it can happen again. I say we are better than that, today.


    Time republished a piece suggesting that, what Apple engineers write is in binary and not understandable by another human or society in general. Therefore it’s not speech. I want to use this moment to argue, that programs are not written in binary – mostly.

    The message, in plain english, “What we told you to do before, don’t do it. Ignore your mission of security”

    The source code can be read and understood by a lot of human beings. The messages is transcoded to computer binary for the purpose of the computer to quantify it, in as much as your email is stripped down to binary bits, so the computer can understand it.

    The problem is not the computer, it’s the people who read the source code, humans which could be influenced in or out of context of the statement. This is exactly 1st Amendment… Jeff John Roberts of Fortune magazine, and others need to understand this.

    If Apple doesn’t have the tools to break into the phone, Congress has already passed a law that they shouldn’t be compelled to make them. The reason national security agencies can get into phone systems, is not that phone companies created the tools to do so, the government created the tools to tap into a pre-existing, non-encrypted system. They brought it to a central location, and installed it themselves.

  3. Another milestone on the road to Living Hell is approaching.

    I wonder how long we’ll be driving on this long, strange trip before we’re “advised” to stop talking about certain issues sensitive to State Security.

    Free speech is more of a threat to a government’s power than anything else. Already Donald Trump has sent an ominous message to newspapers critical of him. If he’s elected President he’ll be just like Richard Nixon with his enemies list and his dirty tricks, except more brazen and less concerned about the Constitution because, you know, he got the most votes.

    Why bother administering the Oath of Office, even if the Constitution stipulates it? We’ve already learnt that the last few Presidents disregarded it and substituted expedience for duty. I consider it perjury, gone unpunished.

    The Oath of Office is no longer a sacred promise but a complete joke, a clown ritual to reassure the rubes, the stupid people who fell for the rhetoric and voted for these so-called public servants.

    Get ready for a new generation of political prisoners: op-ed writers crucified by libel laws interpreted by fiat, journalists who refuse to divulge their sources, CEOs not yielding to bribes or threats, dissidents not betraying their comrades-in-arms, and the resurrection of firing squads for Treason, whose definition will be expanded greatly just as it has been in every great Tyranny in the past.

    Jefferson and Franklin would be dismayed at this mockery of their Constitutional republic, the best the world had yet seen, but forever in danger of subversion from within. Which has happened repeatedly. The madness never stops.

    1. I am so tempted to point out where this is all going. But being Cassandra is a total waste of time and only causes the Cassandra pointless stress.

      So I’ll simply say, it’s heartening to find that there are others who comprehend where this is all going. It’s sad we can’t do anything about it except point it out. I’m glad we don’t have to feel alone in our comprehension. And: So far my inclination amidst this human self-destructive imperative is to enable, encourage and engender CREATIVITY and HUMOR amidst the contention, chaos and failure. Leave digging the graves to the grave diggers. We’re still above ground and ALIVE with our great gift of CHOICE.

      1. Your words are a welcome encouragement in a jungle of anxiety and insensitivity. I have taken to learning a musical instrument in my approaching retirement; perhaps I’ll emulate your approach to life, and turn adversity into song. “They” may spread darkness, but haven’t yet managed to stop the sun from shining.

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