U.N. Human Rights Commissioner: U.S. government risks opening a Pandora’s Box in Apple iPhone case

“The top U.N. human rights official warned on Friday that U.S. officials risked opening a ‘Pandora’s Box’ in the case against Apple Inc. that could infringe the rights of millions worldwide and ease the way for authoritarian rulers and criminal hackers,” Stephanie Nebehay reports for Reuters.

Nebehay reports, “Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement: ‘A successful case against Apple in the U.S. will set a precedent that may make it impossible for Apple or any other major international IT company to safeguard their clients’ privacy anywhere in the world.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oppose government overreach.

Former U.S. Homeland Security Chief: iPhone override would be software equivalent of biological weapon – March 4, 2016
U.S. Congressman introduces bill to forbid federal agencies from purchasing Apple products until company unlocks terrorist’s iPhone – March 3, 2016
Apple is racking up supporters in privacy fight against U.S. government overreach – March 3, 2016
Husband of San Bernardino terrorism victim backs Apple vs. U.S. government overreach – March 3, 2016
Over 40 companies to back Apple vs. U.S. government overreach; beleaguered Samsung still thinking about it – March 3, 2016
Apple posts amicus briefs in support of Apple vs. U.S. government overreach – March 3, 2016
U.S. Defense Secretary says strong encryption essential to national security, not a believer in back doors – March 3, 2016
Apple digs in for long fight against U.S. government overreach: ‘There is no middle ground’ – March 3, 2016
ACLU, other privacy groups urge U.S. judge to support Apple vs. U.S. government in iPhone case – March 2, 2016
Apple scored the knockout punch against FBI in House Judiciary Committee hearing – March 2, 2016
Within an hour of Malaysia Flight 370 disappearing, Apple was working with officials to locate it – March 2, 2016
John McAfee reveals how the FBI can unlock an iPhone in 30 minutes – March 2, 2016
Can the FBI force a company to break into its own products? No, says U.S. Magistrate – March 2, 2016
Apple CEO Cook decried Obama’s ‘lack of leadership’ on encryption during a closed-door meeting last month – February 29, 2016
Obama administration set to expand sharing of data that N.S.A. intercepts – February 28, 2016
Apple’s fight with U.S. could speed development of devices impervious to government intrusion – February 24, 2016
Petition asks Obama administration to stop demanding Apple create iPhone backdoor – February 19, 2016
Obama administration claims FBI is not asking Apple for a ‘backdoor’ to the iPhone – February 18, 2016
Obama administration wants access to smartphones – December 15, 2015
Obama administration war against Apple just got uglier – July 31, 2015
Obama’s secret attempt to ban cellphone unlocking, while claiming to support it – November 19, 2013


  1. Hey Mr. Do Right thing Obama, how come you don’t listen when the entire qualified world security community says compromising encryption and Apple is not only illegal, but also dangerous to national and world security????

    This is worse than boots on the ground, dummy.

  2. Why doesn’t the fb1 just look at the data that they have acquired from a few weeks before to see if there is anything suspicious there? If there isn’t, it is highly unlikely that there is anything at all on this phone that will help them. This is a power grab, pure and simple, resist by all means necessary.

    1. The FBI already have that data from the iCloud backup that Apple provided, but the last back-up was six weeks before the attack. The FBI are seeking the data for what happened after that ( that’s the stuff that could have been available if the FBI hadn’t changed the account password ).

      One possible explanation is that the iPhone was simply switched off and unused during that period. It should be a very straightforward matter to get cell tower data and establish whether that particular iPhone was active during that period, where it was located and whether any calls and texts were made or data used. I’ve yet to see any indication that the FBI have done this or proved that the iPhone was still being used during that six week period. Those things can be done without accessing the iPhone itself.

      1. The Feds are amazingly quiet on that piece of information. Was the iPhone 5c recovered from the vehicle they died in? If so would that show the route they drove and where they were for the lost hour? The Feds aren’t telling the truth.

        1. The iPhone was recovered during a warrant search of Farook’s mother’s car. She lived in the house with the two attackers.

          I have not seen any indication whether that iPhone had recently been switched on.

          One detail that intrigued me, but I have not read any for detail about is that the FBI has said Farook had cut off the phone’s iCloud sharing as of Oct. 19, about six weeks before the Dec. 2 attack, but Apple disputes that.

          I’m intrigued to know exactly what Apple is disputing about that claim? Nobody seems to have picked up on that.

        2. I know about the dispute over the FBI changing ID password soon after gaining possession of the iPhone. I was wondering why Apple disputes the FBI’s assertion that Farook cut off the iPhone’s iCloud sharing on Oct 19th?

          It seems to be generally accepted that the last iCloud backup was performed on the 19th, so what is Apple disputing about that claim?

        3. Apple is probably disputing that anyone can know that Farook deliberately stopped the iCloud backup process. Why? Because it is not something the facts make true.
          The most recent backup is from 6 weeks before the attack, but that doesn’t mean someone turned off the backup process. It only automatically backs up when it is plugged into power and also on a Wi-Fi network (and the Internet works reliably). So, if they charged it in the car or somewhere else without a Wi-Fi network the phone was set to trust, or had it in Airplane mode, or their Internet sucked (know this one from personal experience), the automatic iCloud backup wouldn’t happen.

          In other words, there are many reasons there might not be a more recent backup. The FBI pretends they can KNOW that the reason was one that doesn’t make them look dumb for stupidly reseting the iCloud password.

  3. i can’t remember who made this observation, but it goes back a number of decades, and is ringing increasingly true and clear…. especially in light of this whole security issue and the added possibility of donald trump becoming the republican presidential candidate..

    so, to paraphrase….

    “in the space of two centuries, the united states seems to have progressed from infancy to senility, without ever having passed through maturity”

    what on earth are our leaders thinking ? or more importantly what are they forgetting ? …..

    like most of the wisdom of our founding fathers and great chunks of the constitution and the bill of rights.

    what a mess

    1. Ya know, I was just thinking that each 4th of July anniversary, we seem to lose just one more BBQ’s worth of knowledge as to how and why this country was designed. Most importantly people just do not understand that the central political concept was freedom. Not equality. Not social welfare. Not cable tv for everyone, but freedom. We’ve become a bunch of whining, freedom squandering, selfie-taking, gender swapping, cry babies. We’re not Americans. We’re Teletubbies on OxyContin, waiting for the big voice to tell us when to eat, sleep, piss and crap, just as long as those blue ones don’t have more than the yellows.

      1. And why is that, Thelonious Mac? Could it be that the “we” you grouse about are newer generations untempered by the harrowing adversity that older citizens like ourselves have suffered? They are innocent of such blots on their liveliness; they are still growing up, brightly experiencing life as they mature in a world very different than the one that turned us into such cynics. Generations breed their own values. It shouldn’t be a shock that young people don’t act as we fossils think they should. But don’t think that makes them simple or weak. They went to public school, too, and learnt all about liberty; and if theirs becomes threatened, they will grow up in a hurry, just as every generation has had to do when tyrrany encroached. Have a little faith.

  4. This is more than government overreach, it’s a direct hit at the very foundations of democracy and the global tech economy. Everything is moving to provider services and the cloud, and the difference between democracies and totalitarian states will be whether government can control access to the cloud and to these services. If companies like Apple cannot guarantee against Snowden-revealed NSA sniffing and the like, then you can kiss democracy goodbye.

    American companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google are leading the way to this service provider global economy, and if the US government gets its way, it will destroy the trust that these (and other) American companies enjoy around the world. If the FBI wins this we’re all in big trouble.

  5. I think the UN should move to a location on the free and civilized world. Anyone who says “A successful case against Apple in the U.S. will set a precedent that may make it impossible for Apple or any other major international IT company to safeguard their clients’ privacy anywhere in the world.” is seriously delusion about the actual power wielded by that nation and is seriously underestimating the resilience of humanity and the free and civilized world.

    1. This is a world that is clearly civilised, even where the state has collapsed and tribal warfare is a continuum. The presence of warfare doesn’t refute civilisation, it confirms it. Records show warfare has continued unabated for 6,000 years, and there is no reason to think we didn’t have war before we learnt to write.

      We can never have peace, because we are a species wired by nature for violence. The real issue is freedom. There still is, I hope, a free world. You seem to see the U.S. as a fugitive from it. Do the actions of a few at the helm of government condemn an entire nation? According to you, yes. Yet citizens are struggling even now, through political debate and elections, to replenish its spirit and reputation as leader of the free world. I’d rather hope that you’d wish us luck in that.

  6. Or Iceland, Denmark, Austria, New Zealand , Switzerland, Finland , Canada, Japan, Australia, or the Czech Republic, any one of the 93 countries on the planet that have a better global peace index than the country is currently resides in.

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