U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backs U.S. government overreach on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

“As the iPhone unlocking case becomes more heated, United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch went on late night television to defend the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s stance,” Catherine Shu reports for TechCrunch.

“Apple is currently fighting against a court order from the government to create special software so law enforcement can unlock the device,” Shu reports. “The company says this would not only compromise the security of all iPhone users, but also set a dangerous precedent for civil liberties. Many other tech firms—including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft—have publicly taken Apple’s side.”

“Colbert stated that Apple chief executive officer Cook ‘says it’s a slippery slope if they invent this backdoor, this cracking of security, then y’all can use it for anything else. He said you can use it to turn on my iPhone and spy on me if you wanted to once you had access,'” Shu reports. “‘First of all, we’re not asking for a backdoor, nor are we asking anyone to turn anything on to spy on anyone.’ Lynch replied.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Lying lackey Loretta Lynch.

Former CIA Director: FBI wants to dictate iPhone’s operating system – March 11, 2016
U.S. government takes cheap shots at Apple – March 11, 2016
FBI warns it could demand Apple’s iPhone code and secret electronic signature – March 10, 2016
California Democrat Diane Feinstein backs U.S. government overreach over Apple – March 10, 2016
Obama lists the ‘tech leaders’ involved in new U.S. Cybersecurity Initiative and purposely snubs Apple – March 10, 2016
Snowden: U.S. government’s claim it can’t unlock San Bernardino iPhone is ‘bullshit’ – March 10, 2016
U.S. government seeks to force Apple to extract data from a dozen more iPhones – February 23, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook lashes out at Obama administration over encryption, bemoans White House lack of leadership – January 13, 2016
Short-timer U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder blasts Apple for protecting users’ privacy against government overreach – September 30, 2014
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013


  1. I watched the POTUS speech at South by Southwest; it was carried live on Austin local TV. He refused to discuss the specific pending legal case, but made the following general observations:

    The Fourth Amendment is about two and a quarter centuries old. Until the last few years, it was a fact that a peace officer with a proper warrant could go anywhere and search anything (he mentioned bedrooms and underwear drawers). Most people were OK with that as a compromise between privacy and public safety.

    Now, however, it is possible to create “”black boxes” that amount to a “”Swiss bank account in your pocket” that cannot be searched with even the most valid warrant under the most exigent circumstances. It is obvious that this fundamentally changes the balance between privacy and public safety as it has existed for 225 years.

    If it is possible—he emphasized IF—to provide a key to these black boxes usable only under safeguards at least as stringent as the Fourth Amendment without compromising data under any other circumstances, it would not invade any rights that existed before the invention of strong encryption.

    POTUS acknowledged that strong encryption is crucial to modern business and private communications. The security of digital data must be protected just like the security of our persons and papers under the Fourth Amendment, but no more so.

    My take on this: Of course, most of us would argue that compromise, however valuable in principle, isn’t possible in practice. The technology has escaped from Pandora’s box and cannot be recaptured. Therefore, the way forward for Apple and its supporters is to plug that “IF” by showing that it is simply not possible to have both safely secure “”black boxes” and keys to those boxe in any hands but the owners’.

    The public and policy makers are getting bad information on this. It is up to those of us who are technically savvy to inform them. We cannot prevail in any other way.

    1. “Isn’t possible in practice.”

      There, in a nutshell, is the perfect description of the pie-in-the-sky programs and theories of left-leaning statists like Obama and most of the Democrat Party.

      When you make decisions based on emotion, rather than logic, the current state of the union and the world is what you get.

      After many years of Obama malaise, what we need is some good old-fashioned pragmatism and American Exceptionalism.

        1. The which the current administration has used most enthusiastically, and even expanded its application.

          Oh, wait. You’re not actually *for* them doing that.


        2. leave us not forget…..anyone who thinks the current overreach is something only obama would try, think again. do you seriously imagine the republicans would be doing anything differently?

          i believe not. “national security” is one of their “go-to” issues, they would not let this opportunity slip through their fingers… just keep in mind that before he denounced the fbi plan, back when he was mr. nsa, under a republican administration, michael hayden – was the prime promotor of a program entitled “T.I.A.”

          that stood for TOTAL INFORMATIONAL AWARENESS…. you know, 2014/16, a plan based on logic….

          now just what the heck do you think that would have required.

          hypocrisy is an equal opportunity employer in the world of politics.

        1. Are you stupid? Have you not realized by now that it is the Obama administration that is demanding Apple create the backdoor?

          Obama administration: We’re only demanding Apple hack just one iPhone

          Here’s the truth that gets almost everybody angry: Obama, Trump, and most of the established elected Senators and Representatives OF BOTH MAJOR PARTIES HAVE EXACTLY THE SAME POSITION ON THIS ISSUE. That is, they knowingly lie by stating that the FBI wants to unlock “only one phone” while full well knowing that they (the FBI via the Obama administration; it would be the same if, say, Bush or Clinton were still in office) are asking for a master key to unlock ALL iPhones.

          The issue of personal privacy should be of paramount importance to all of us, regardless of how we vote. Put your partisan politics aside and look at the facts, as painful as this will be to you.

          You are in denial about President Obama, breeze.

        2. Mo odiot, i’m not. if you were a regular recentreader you’d see that I’m very disapointed in him for being a jackass on this one and no less pissed off at the democrats. What does that have to do with stating the above??? One is not exclusive of the other donkey.

        3. No idiot, I’m not.

          If you were a regular recent reader you’d see that I’m very disapointed in him for being a jackass on this one and no less pissed off at the democrats. What does that have to do with stating the above??? One is not exclusive of the other donkey.

        4. Onama is an idiot and a huge disappointment for attacking Apple on this and all his other frots including tax accusations and fabricated conspiracy charges…his entire position on this is totally flawed and ignorant on the details and technicalities. That is a given regardless of what I think of the rabid republicans and Comey, who were obnoxious and contemptful in their questioning of Apple in the Judiciary committee congressional hearings.
          Republicans and in their disgraceful example of idiocracy and gutter behavior in the debates went even further in blasting Apple without a sliver of a clue as to what this is all about, so yeah they are as ignorant on this issue as democrats, but as obnoxiously hypocritical as they allways are.

    2. “It is obvious that this fundamentally changes the balance between privacy and public safety as it has existed for 225 years.”

      Not really. Those encrypted black boxes contain information not physical things to be searched.

      Forcing one to open an encrypted information store is more akin to waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay for forcing access to information in your brain than it is to collecting DNA from a door handle.

      1. Do you think that the police who were searching people’s “papers” over the last two centuries with the express authority of the Fourth Amendment were interested in collecting cellulose? Is there any sort of information contained in iPhones today that is more deserving of privacy than the data that was kept on paper (and subject to search) in 1790? The issue isn’t whether the government can constitutionally search you, but whether it can force a third party to decrypt the seized information.

        1. According to Apple’s own iCloud user agreement, Apple themselves say so.

          Just like if a criminal rents a storage garage. The owner of the garage has to open the door for the authorities when a warrant to search the place has been granted.

          If you want to protect your personal information, don’t store your data on the iCloud.

    3. There will continue to be encrypted phones, just as there are still offshore back accounts that are “off limits” to audits, for the ruling class. Keys for me, but not for thee? How about a search of Hillary’s phone, since we can’t find the emails? Fat chance.

    4. Lynch says “… nor are we asking anyone to turn anything on to spy on anyone.” YET. “Turn on that webcam/microphone” is just a small step down that slippery slope she says doesn’t exist.

    5. Because it was possible, in principle, to search anything, law enforcement seems to think they have a RIGHT to search anything (with safeguards).

      I don’t think that this interpretation of the 4th Amendment is correct. The intent of the 4th Amendment was to specifically REFUSE such a right to the government. It guarantees the RIGHT of the ordinary citizen to privacy, and this right can only be violated with safeguards. THAT’S what the 4th Amendment states.

      The existence of unsearchable areas does not change any of that.

      Besides, if you refuse Apple (or other legal manufacturers and providers) to use safe encryption, people who want it (first and foremost criminals that are smart) still get it. You’ll end up being able to search non-criminals and stupid criminals, while the big wig criminals and terrorist harden their defenses. This does not sound fruitful for successful law enforcement.

      The government and the FBI would have been much better advised to not have started this public process.

      1. And you wanted him tried as a war criminal. Why don’t you criticize Barack Obama when he seeks to destroy our freedom? Why is the Left silent when one of its own does far worse than the opponents it fights so savagely?

        1. The reason Bush and Cheney should be tried as war criminals is due to their wanton use of torture against the Geneva Convention. BTW, all of the current GOP presidential field defends the use of torture.

          It really does go back to Bush. When we were attacked on 9-11, we needed leadership that would go after the problem but provide the sort of perspective to avoid this kind of freakout over security. Instead Bush used 9-11 to his political advantage, turned to fear mongering, invaded Iraq when it had nothing to do with 9-11, started the use of torture, warrantless spying on American citizens, the Patriot Act, etc.

          That was the pivot point and GWBush failed it miserably. President Obama has been trying to establish a far better balance, but even he is constrained by political realities. It doesn’t help when the GOP traffics in fear and anger and tries to make Americans afraid of terrorism.

        2. Somehow you forgot to answer my question. But from your long winded babble one must assume you support Barack Obama, Democrat Leader, fighting hard to end your right “to be secure in your person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” that was placed in the Constitution. You apparently don’t care about the Constitution, your rights, or the right of Apple to simply make great products for its customers without the interference of the government. You seem to be in total support of Obama and his tyranny.

        3. My point is that this is not an Obama issue. All of the GOP presidential candidates are against Apple on this one also, along with GOP senators, representatives, etc.

          If you just blame Obama for cheap political reasons, you do nothing to really advance the cause of protecting privacy rights, because you just get someone with the same views or worse on this issue. Do you really think, for instance, that Donald Trump is going to be any better on this issue?

          We are living in an age where many people are freaked out by the threat of a terror attack. And that changes the political calculus. No politician wants to be seen as weak when the next terrorist attack happens.

          The only real hope of the Apple view winning out is to get a very liberal judge appointed to the vacant Supreme Court seat.

        4. It is Obama doing it. What makes you biologically unable to criticize this Marxist?

          All politicians who would so disrespect the Constitution should be criticized no matter the party.

        5. Because liberals such as Slamm, breeze, and Tflint are in complete denial about their saint (Obama). They are incapable of comprehending the meaning of your words.

  2. I recently had some unknown fraudster use my public Credit Card number to do online purchases. Obviously the three digit CSV PIN number wasn’t needed to make the purchases or was known, most likely after guessing.
    Here you have the FBI wanting Apple to provide them with the ability to easily guess the password to my iPhone and thus gain access to private information such as my bank account details.
    What right has the FBI to order Apple to give my iPhone password and thereby my bank details to these fraudsters?

  3. I realize that America is coming up to an election, and for the most part, readers of Mac Daily news are probably American, but I see the statement by the POTUS, making observations which should prompt a discussion here; not political bashing along party lines. As I am from outside the USA, I find the fact that many of the laws or writs, or whatever date back hundreds of years, as does apparently the American Constitution. It’s an interesting and terrifying thing to observe, especially when it may come to my loss of privacy, or opening my phone to the observation of both the government and those who could interfere with my financial well-being. It’s unfortunate that those of us who are not American citizens cannot engage in what is clearly an attack against personal liberties.

  4. There is no way Apple will give into this, it is totally against who they are as a company. They would leave the country and settle elsewhere, like Canada or Ireland, before accepting becoming lackeys to an American police state. If the FBI continues with this insanity it will do irreparable damage to this country.

    1. Tim Cook, if Washington continues to diss you, go have a serious talk with your Board of Directors, about getting out of town for good. Your firm may not be able to win a civil rights shootout. But it could score points by pulling out of the US economy, which could upset the whole applecart. I mean, you do have more market clout than many countries. Use it to face down these men. They are bluffing, and think you will fold. Show them up for who they are: self-entitled bullies who show less appreciation for the Constitution than they properly should, since they are sworn to uphold it — not twist it to their advantage.

  5. “‘First of all, we’re not asking for a backdoor, nor are we asking anyone to turn anything on to spy on anyone.”

    But to do what they ask you have to create a back door. What about this don’t they understand? It’s disingenuous to ask for a key that can be exploited by them (and inadvertent others) and then say with innocent doey eyes it’s not what they’re asking for? To create what they want would create the problem they say they’re not asking Apple to create? Do they think we were born yesterday? Are they that stupid?

    1. “But to do what they ask you have to create a back door.”

      Exactly. Obviously she is ether ignorant or lying. Don’t these people get that this is binary code. It’s either “open” or “closed”, 1’s and 0’s, there is no middle ground.

      Sad, sad state of affair we have going on.

        1. right! Invading Iraq and Afghanistan, causing the worst depression of the century, permitting 9/11, allowing torture, giving 16 trillion dollars to Saudis to arm ISIS – that was Bill and Hillary ?

    2. > Do they think we were born yesterday?


      > Are they that stupid?

      No, they are simply taking a well calculated gamble. Playing at sentiments mostly works and they have concluded their best chance is now.

      Having the automatic iCloud backup would have weakened their case, so they had the password changed and now they are well on their way.

  6. Imagine a world in which everything is encrypted. The government is not able to track you. If, for example, 2 people commit a crime like illegal stock trades, the government would have no access to their communications . . . would this lead to an increase in crime? . . . would this lead to less prosecution in crime? . . . would our society become more unjust? . . . These are important questions to consider — but one thing is for certain — this encryption would reduce the role of government in people’s lives. And if you’re “in the business of government” this is a scary outcome for those insiders.

    1. > one thing is for certain — this encryption would reduce the role of government in people’s lives. And if you’re “in the business of government” this is a scary outcome for those insiders.

      That’s because Enemy Of The State No. 1 is always the general population. Governments come and go, occupying forces come and go, but Enemy Of The State No. 1, the general population, always remains.
      That is why all governments are squarely on the same page when it comes to solid encryption available to the general population: they hate it.

  7. The US is no longer a Democracy. There is no government by the people, for the people. There is government for an elite, to protect and elite, and to move forward the agenda of that elite.

    1. The US never was a democracy. The republic requires voters to be involved in selecting the leaders who will serve the best interests of the nation as a whole. Instead, lazy apathetic voters spend more attention following brainless pop personalities than they do keeping an eye on their representatives. Without any public oversight, Congress has been sold to the highest bidders, which obviously are corporations.

      Please make the distinction between “the government” and the corrupt politicians that you voted into office.

      If you want to make America great again, ignore Trump and the two party talking heads. Vote for a candidate that is truly independent.

  8. Proof of Concept — Apple Security can been deactivated/nullified (by hook or by crook–at least by Apple) by turning off security measures on request by official US government authority.

    An override of the destruct sequence on this specific iPhone 5c, so that the FBI can initiate their hacking of the pass key sequence—use an unauthorized guess sequence.

    If it was so easy, why can’t the FBI just do it without any help? After all the CSI:Cyber fiction writers have imagined similar capability. Snowden for warned the world of the skill level required. What did the FBI learned from the terrorist physically destroyed private iPhone 6s? Did Apple cooperate?

    Try accessing the terrorist’s safety deposit box or bank ATM accounts. Can the FBI demand the bank provide the access to a private citizen. You know, going through the front door of the “secure” bank vault (or bank network security).

    Is anything really private?

    1. Because Colbert is part of the government apparatus. One doesn’t get a prime show on a major network without being on the team.

      Remember Colbert and Stewart’s rally on the national mall – it was weak and virtually meaningless.

  9. I don’t think I’m sexist, but why is it that every time I see a judicial decision that defies logic, or a filing that seems over-the-top absurd, there I see female judges and attorneys?

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