Obama administration begins to realize it may have made a big time mistake going after Apple over iPhone encryption

“Three years ago, reeling from Edward J. Snowden’s disclosure of the government’s vast surveillance programs and uncertain how to respond, President Obama said he welcomed a vigorous public debate about the wrenching trade-offs between safeguarding personal privacy and tracking down potential terrorists,” Michael D. Shear, David E. Sanger and Katie Benner report for The New York Times.

“But the national debate touched off this winter by the confrontation between the Justice Department and Apple over smartphone security is not exactly the one Mr. Obama had in mind,” Shear, Sanger and Benner report. “Mr. Snowden’s revelations produced modest changes and a heightened suspicion of the government’s activities in cyberspace. Because the issue now centers on a device most Americans carry in their pockets, it is concrete and personal in a way that surveillance by the National Security Agency never was.”

“Law enforcement officials have been adamant they must be able to monitor the communications of criminals. They received a vote of confidence from Mr. Obama on Friday, when he said the ‘absolutist’ position taken by companies like Apple is wrong. But the pushback has been enormous,” Shear, Sanger and Benner report. “”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The “absolutist” position is the only possible position because encryption is binary; it’s either on or off. There is no middle ground upon which to endlessly dither, which must be killing Obama. He’s either uninformed or he’s lying.

Tech companies join Apple to fight back against government overreach, prep to expand encryption of user data – March 15, 2016
Google’s Eric Schmidt is joining the Pentagon’s new How Apple realized it was at war with the FBI: The DOJ was poised to launch PR campaign designed to pull the public’s heartstrings – March 15, 2016
Richard Clarke: U.S. government more interested in setting legal precedent than solving the problem of one iPhone – March 15, 2016
Obama criticized for ‘tone deaf’ comments at SXSW regarding Apple’s fight against government overreach – March 14, 2016
The U.S. government’s fight with Apple could backfire big time – March 14, 2016
John Oliver just smartly explained Apple’s fight against U.S. government overreach – March 14, 2016
U.S. Congressman Darrell Issa at SXSW: ‘Hold your iPhone a little bit higher, so the FBI can hear us better’ – March 14, 2016
Obama pushes for iPhone back door; Congressman Issa blasts Obama’s ‘fundamental lack of understanding’ – March 12, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backs U.S. government overreach on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – March 11, 2016
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
Snowden: U.S. government’s claim it can’t unlock San Bernardino iPhone is ‘bullshit’ – March 10, 2016
Apple: The law already exists that protects us from U.S. government demands to hack iPhone – February 26, 2016
Apple said to be prepping iOS version that even it can’t hack – February 25, 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. If you don’t understand the technicalities but choose disregard the advice of those who do, you’re acting like a fool.

      Nobody understands everything, but wise people know that you need to listen to specialists who do understand. In this case, most politicians have made up their mind before establishing the facts and are now choosing to ignore the experts.

          1. Is Trump any more scary that establishment Democrats and Republicans? I think not, only because establishment Democrats and Republicans are better organized and ubiquitous.

      1. But he is listening to the advice of the experts in the FBI and the DoJ. He also took a “no absolutes” position on BOTH sides. But that’s lost on most of you because you can’t be bothered to read what he actually said and instead prefer to listen to your favorite Obama hating “news” sources.
        None of the guarantees of the constitution can be absolute because so many compete with each other. That’s why we have to have compromises – a word the right wing treats with contempt.

        1. At this moment in time, there is no comprise with security. It’s either encrypted or it’s not encrypted. If it’s not encrypted then it’s not secure. Maybe some day in the future there will be a way, but right now there is not. It’s disingenuous for Obama to suggest there is a way and he should fire his advisors for suggesting there is. It makes him look foolish.

  1. Well, as a Democrat he lies all the time. Like ” you can keep your plan” or “my plan will save the average American $2500 in health costs” or “I will cut the deficit in half during my first term” or “I didn’t order the military to do nothing and just let he Americans in Benghazi die”. All pure 100% bald faced lies. Obama is such a good liar he enjoys it.

      1. And this is why the people lose trust and faith.

        Integrity can start now, we don’t have to wait.

        For the rest of the word, ask questions, listen and be inclusive.

        1. One of the good things I see coming out of all this is the best of We The People speaking up and recognizing that we are not alone within the country. It’s not just a few individual against all the sheeple suckered into this bullshit by MY government. There is hope when thoughtful and insightful people speak up, loud and clear. Then the sheeple have something better to listen to than the latest party line bullshit.

          1. The ongoing problem is people herding and adopting shared opinions. These become creeds and are protected against ouutsiders, often to the point of conflict. We are all prisoners of our tribe’s ideas, especially those of us without any ideas of our own, yet still possessing strong emotions and a desire to belong. Because of these natural social dynamics, we get politics today… And everywhen.

            1. Well stated friend! So many modern human behaviors are explained by looking back at basic human behavior from both an historical perspective and a universal life experience perspective. We remain tribal. We’ve all retained aspects of childishness.

              Coffee is on me today.

      2. I will grant you the Republican leadership does lie. They do it to their own voters so they can then cooperate with the Democrats who run things. The Republican leaders mainly want to position themselves for extremely lucrative lobbying jobs. Democrats want to turn America into Cuba. Attaining both of these goals requires lying.

            1. Do tell us more about the Cuba plot. 51st state to the union perhaps? Or did the evil scheming democrats plan to buy the island and turn it into the next Disneyland resort? Oh wait, that’s already happening as american hotel chains snatch up all oceanfront. Oh wait, i guess the republicans are to busy managing their own resort on the island, aren’t they? What is the lifeguard ratio down at the Bay? About 100:1 employees per uninvited guest? But republican-led Congress won’t lift a finger to stop the insanity and save taxpayer money closing the stupid boondoggle, will they?

              Par for the course for the Grand Obstructionist Party. Haven’t done a good thing for the USA since the Clean Air and Clean Water acts — under Nixon.

        1. I wouldn’t limit their agendas to just those two pursuits. But you get the drift of what’s going on. The actual purpose of ‘elected officials’, that being the representation of We The People, is forgotten or flung to the side.

          1. While its not the truth people want to hear, the reality is that Democracy has only ever been (mostly) successful at one thing, replacing violent coups with elections.

            It doesn’t provide consistently good government, or avoid unnecessary wars, it doesn’t automatically right obvious wrongs, and it remains the greatest threat to citizens freedom. But it does channel the hubris of would be leaders from gunning down opponents to simply lying about them.

            On that count its been a success.

            1. Well stated. There’s a resonance in what you pointed out about between democracy and capitalism. Both become corrupted, misdirected and abusive when their systems are allowed to deviate from their manifesto, purpose and function. We highly advanced apes still make a great deal of effort in gaming whatever system in which we find ourselves. Unwilling to allow the system to work as intended, we cheat in order to get our own way for whatever purpose we imagine we create for ourselves, as opposed to purposes that serve the whole.

              As someone who calls himself a ‘positive anarchist’, I’d enjoy it if we all had free reign to make the maximum number of personal choices in our lives. But I limit those choices to those that are positive for all concerned. Thus the need of regulation in order to stop peoples’ choices that damage other people and/or the whole of mankind and life on miracle planet Earth, our only home.

      1. Actually there were many WMDs discovered in Iraq. And Iraq produces oil which is a WMD all by itself according to Democrats. But there are some Repeublican lies. Like “we will do all we can to get rid of Obamacare if you put us in the majority”. Now that was a whopper.

        1. There were no WMDs found in Iraq. Period. Perhaps you missed the reason why secretary of state Powell resigned. All the so-called proof he was given to show at the UN (in the modern version of the Adlai Stevenson Cuban missile crisis presentation) turned out to be concocted. He was so humiltated by being skunked by the Cheney / W boys that his reputation was permanently wrecked. Too bad. He could have been a truly excellent republican president.

          1. @Furutan – actually, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, Saddam used WMD on Kurds. Syria used some of the Iraq WMD on their own people as well. Don’t be an fool. Do some research before you spout the SLL (standard Lib Lies).
            Powell is a moron – he has, and continues to wreak his own reputation – ’nuff said.

      1. Interesting that the national debt was $9 trillion when he came into office and will be $$20 trillion when he leaves. And he doubled our debt by cutting what exactly?

        1. Debt is not the important number, Kent. Debt as a percentage of GDP is. Read it and weep.

          And in case you’re getting confused with deficit, the deficit is now lower than 2005 levels, and much lower than 2003 and 2004 levels.

          If you want to understand all these concepts, go to http://politicsthatwork.com/blog/debt-obama-bush-clinton.php
          Once you understand these concepts, read http://politicsthatwork.com/blog/which-party-is-better-for-the-economy.php

          1. Actually debt is the big number, because debts need to be paid back. We borrow money to finance the debt. Using short term financing. So, as interest rates rise from zero debt costs will become the largest item in the budget. That is the effect of doubling the debt that has been accumulated in 200 years in just eight years. But I would not expect you, a Democrat, to know anything about economics.

            1. Well, since the majority of economists in this country and around the world agree that debt as a percentage of GDP is a more important indicator of a country’s fiscal health, and as I know that too, it seems that a) you’re in a very small minority; and b) I know more about economics than you do.

              BTW – did you know that all non-partisan economists agree that the biggest parts of the deficits until 2020 are: 1) the Bush tax cuts; 2) two unfunded wars Bush started; and 3) the unfunded medicare prescription expansion from 2003. In that order. To be fair, they do disagree about the actual size of those impacts; but there is no disagreement that they did, and still do, have the largest impacts on annual deficits. The non-partisan CBO warned Bush numerous times about an impending recession and the folly of not funding the wars and of cutting taxes. But I guess that he, like you, didn’t know much about economics either.

              From the non-partisan CBPP: “Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs. (The prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 accounts for further substantial increases in deficits and debt, which we are unable to quantify due to data limitations.) These impacts easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues.”

            2. Geez Lemons, I honestly think its sad that you can work so hard to keep your head up the arse of the liberal agenda.

              Just step back a little and use your own head. Our DEBT, that unfathomable amount of money that your king has spent over his 8 years of rule, is a crushing BURDEN that will affect both YOU and ME and our KIDS with equal punishing crushing effect.

              Our country was founded to GET AWAY from the very government ours has now become – an all growing, all consuming central governmental monster that is ever ravenous, and will not stop until our liberties are just gone.

              We now live in a post-constitutional state. It is a transitional state from our beloved republic run BY and FOR the PEOPLE to a tyrannical fascist-like government that is run BY and FOR the elites – sadly using useful idiots such as yourself to help keep them (our masters) in power.

              We, the people, are there to be manipulated, cajoled, pushed, nudged and managed. We are given the illusion of actually having a say in what happens in our Government but sadly, partially due to people like you, we have lost that – probably for a long long time.

              Once you poke your head up and look around, you just might – you JUST MIGHT actually see what is actually going on. We have lost our precious republic and our Constitution.


            3. I’m not registered as either a Dem or a Repub. I consider myself a realist. The reality at the moment is that we’re in an election year, and either a Republican or a Democrat will be elected as POTUS. As a realist, I firmly believe that a Democrat president is the least of the evils – particularly when you look at the loonies on the right. The middle and working classes fare far better under Dems than they do under Repubs, and the data I see backs that up.
              Reasonable minds can differ. But to think that we have “lost” our Constitution or that we have a “tyrannical fascist-like government” is crazy talk in my view. A third of the population thinks we have a socialist government; a third thinks we have a fascist government, and the last third are realists – that no government is perfect, that no society is perfect, and that there’s work to be done to influence how things go. Simply deriding the government as fascist really doesn’t help.

            4. Bush’s TAX CUTS were only made possible by lie of Clintons balanced budget. There could not have been any arguments against the tax cuts without revealing that little lie.

            1. It sure did cost a lot of money to clean up the messes Bush left. But Obama didn’t choose to crank up the non-war debt, Bush appointee Fed chairman Hank Paulson did. Biggest corporate welfare in the history of the world was passed before the little Shrubbery left office… and then they came back for more with a nice little trick called Quantitative Easing, which ensured that the US dollar would never be as strong as european currencies. All part of the special gift to the Fortune 500.

              What else did Bush give us? Thousands of veterans seeking healthcare. Millions of homeowners shafted by Wall Street Banks. The longest-running war (still going) in American history. Grave overreaches in the intelligence community, with entire new divisions of government (HSA, for one) created to spy on everyone. Thanks Bush.

              What did Obama do? He continued his predecessors policies, and implemented the same health care law that Willard Romney created for Massachussetts.

              In any other era, Obama would be labeled a DINO. But today, the extremist wackos attack the president for doing what republicans do.

              Partisan politics needs to go, both parties need to be voted out.

            2. You sir have a brain and are not afraid to use it.

              Thank you for rejecting the team sports mentality, the divisive partisanship our country has devolved to and that so many posters here are obsessed with.

              I like to use the analogy that D & R are two sides of the same coin, firmly in the pocket of corporations. All these lemmings swallow the wedge issues hook line and sinker, the whole time being fleeced.

            3. @dev_tty: But you forget that $7 TRILLION of that debt is from Bush’s unfunded tax cuts; with another arguable $4 – 6 TRILLION from Bush’s two unfunded wars.
              Obama was saddled with that debt, as will be the next several presidents. But they didn’t cause it – Bush did.

              The annual deficit (which is somewhat more attributable to Obama, but not totally since we’re still pouring money into Iraq and Afghanistan) is now below 2005 levels, and well below 2003-04 levels.

  2. Nice article, I’m sure “warrant-free zones” is going to become a household name, or a pocket name depending. More secure than a Swiss bank.

    I also like this “In December, eight in 10 people said in a New York Times/CBS News survey that it was somewhat or very likely that there would be a terrorist attack in the United States in the coming months.”
    I wonder how many would say that a terrorist attack from that country would be coming from that country in the coming months, after their election of course.

    It’s a good thing that their election process is so incredibly long and convoluted. Gives the free and civilized world a much needed peaceful break.

    Yup it is a big mistake going after Apple like this, but not surprising at all, a morally responsible ethical civiized corporation that is a beacon of hope is obviously a threat to a nation that embraces fear and torture.

        1. I think he meant the Fifth Estate, which according to wiki is most strongly associated with bloggers, journalists, hacktivists, and media outlets that operate outside of the mainstream media.

          Wait a minute isn’t that us?

  3. Either a device is secure or it is not–security doesn’t distinguish between “good guys” and “bad guys.”
    1. If the US forces Apple to make the iPhone less secure, China and Russia will want the same treatment.
    2. If hackers know there is a “back door” they will use every means possible to find it or steal it. Can you even begin to imagine the potential financial implications if someone gets into the “back door.”
    3. Do you really want the same clowns having a back door to your digital world who completely botched the iPhone password reset on this iPhone?
    4. This is NOT about “one phone.” This is about the FBI forcing Apple to make a master lock and key which can be used on any iPhone anywhere.
    5. If the government obtains a warrant, that means its has the legal authority to seize evidence. It does not mean that the agencies involved have unbridled rights to conscript unrelated parties into working on their behalf to decipher, translate or recreate any bits of data that are discovered.
    6. Smartphone security helps criminals. Huh.? In 2013, the NY DOJ was complaining that iPhones weren’t secure enough, which made them a popular target for thieves and muggings, who could easily crack the iPhones and turn around and sell them. The DOJ actually waged a very public campaign for smart phone makers to make their phones more secure because of this issue.
    7. The National Security Agency director and three past National Security Agency directors, a former CIA director, a former Homeland Security secretary have all said that they’re much more sympathetic with Apple in this case.
    8. Ironically, in this particular case, even the authorities have admitted that there is probably no important evidence on this iPhone. The terrorists actually destroyed their personal phones before the attack, and turned off automatic backup months before the attack.

    Our smartphones contain our ENTIRE lives now–our location, mail, business documents, conversations, personal pictures, recordings, videos, bank accounts, credit cards, medical info— Do you really want ANY of that to be made less secure in any way?

    There’s no “balance” possible in the debate on encryption. Either we have access to real encryption or we don’t. It very much is an issue of absolutes. Real encryption means that the data is absolutely scrambled, the same way that a paper shredder absolutely obliterates documents. If you have a route to defeat encryption on a device or between two devices, it’s a backdoor, whether the government wants to play a deceptive word game or not.

    This WHOLE scenario was already played out in the 90s with the absurd “Clipper chip” which the government fantasized about installing on every electronic device. The government lost that battle, which resulted in the explosion of internet commerce. Without real encryption, the internet would become like the wild West. There is no magical rainbow-unicorn-backdoor which can only be used by “good guys.”

    1. No one minds a good debate. But despite rhetoric to the contrary, the President, Attorney General, DOJ, courts, and FBI *never did* “welcome a vigorous public debate” on this important issue of privacy and encryption.

      They did the opposite. They tried to pull the wool over our collective eyes; they tried to force an oppressive ruling down our collective throats without the benefit of any public debate at all.

      Thank goodness Tim Cook stood up to this heinous assault on the US Constitution and our rights to privacy.

      It is shameful for any President to do this, but especially for one who apparently taught constitutional law in Chicago once upon a time. And I voted for him both times…

    1. LOL nice link. I vaguely remember this story, but didn’t know that Samdung’s actions caused a “Streisand Effect”:

      “In December 2013, YouTube user ghostlyrich uploaded video proof that his Samsung Galaxy S4 battery had spontaneously caught fire. Samsung had demanded proof before honoring its warranty. Once Samsung learned of the YouTube video, it added additional conditions to its warranty, demanding ghostlyrich delete his YouTube video, promise not to upload similar material, officially absolve the company of all liability, waive his right to bring a lawsuit, and never make the terms of the agreement public. Samsung also demanded that a witness cosign the settlement proposal. When ghostlyrich shared Samsung’s settlement proposal online, his original video drew 1.2 million views in one week.”

      1. Oh, I remember that series of events vividly. Samsung could not have shouted any louder to the hill that they were deceitful. Bravo to ghostlyrich for keeping his cool, not falling for Samsung’s intimidation bullshit, but instead publishing Samsung’s deceit for all the world to read and hear.

        I consider this event on a par with Sony infected PCs with their rootkit surveillance software. It laid out in no uncertain terms the abusive attitude Sony had adopted towards their customers. I call their concept the ‘default criminal’ assumption. Sony and similarly deceitful companies have foisted the same bad attitude into both the TPP and TTIP trade treaties that #MyStupidGovernment is attempting to shove through Congress via the thoroughly unconstitutional ‘Fast Track’ (aka ‘no Senate advice allowed’) trickery.

        I seriously hate saying it over and over again, but #MyStupidGovernment covers all the bases at this point in time. It’s astounding to me what fantastic blunders, foolishness, ignorance and outright deviance of the laws of the nation the current government pulls every day. And yes, I can point directly at the previous GW Bush administration for the same damned garbage. They’re two of a kind in so many respects.

        ∑ = disgusting. IMHO of course.

  4. Obama is not the one to blame, he doesn’t even know what an encryption does., he is just responding to the pressure that other countries and companies are putting on him to get them an iOS backdoor. Besides, remember that Eric T Mole is his advisor and he wants so bad the iOS that he will push the government as had as he can to get it.

  5. Show me where in the US Constitution the government has the right to access all communication so that it can monitor only the criminals. In fact, right now criminals are legally allowed to communicate through US Mail without the ability of the government to monitor. And if the recipient burns the letter after reading, there is no browser history, unencrypted back up, or company to harass into helping you reconstruct the ashes.

    1. If you don’t think that law enforcement has the legal right to intercept and read the US Mail with a proper warrant, you have been misinformed. They do not have the right to intercept all the mail (or all electronic communications) between US citizens on US soil, but they certainly have the ability to demonstrate probable cause to a judge and obtain a targeted warrant.

      1. But the US government does NOT have the authority to force a document shredder manufacturer to invest resources in a document “de-shredder.” They can force a company to hand over the shredded document but they cannot force them to put it back together.
        Apple would be giving the government a master key to unlock any iPhone and swap out the lock without you ever knowing it.

          1. A warrant allows the government to collect the info, be it a telephone conversation, package or evidence in a home search. It DOES NOT allow the government to force a company to interpret, unscramble or decipher the info especially when that process involves compromising their own product. Software was ruled to be a form a “free speech” by the courts in 2003. And guess what the software was: Encryption software!

            In a 2003 court case in the United States, it was ruled that source code should be considered a constitutionally protected form of free speech. Proponents of free speech argued that because source code conveys information to programmers, is written in a language, and can be used to share humor and other artistic pursuits, it is a protected form of communication.

            One of the first court cases regarding the nature of source code as free speech involved University of California mathematics professor Dan Bernstein, who had published on the Internet the source code for an encryption program that he created. At the time, encryption algorithms were classified as munitions by the United States government; exporting encryption to other countries was considered an issue of national security, and had to be approved by the State Department. The Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the U.S. government on Bernstein’s behalf; the court ruled that source code was free speech, protected by the First Amendment.[10][11]

    2. The 4th Amendment, with a properly issued warrant: you actually have to read the whole text, not just the beginning.

      “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

      In other words, if the criminal suspect has an iPhone or iCloud account, and a warrant names them in the list of “things to be searched” in a court of law, then that’s it. Fair game under the Constitution.

      MDN readers need to stop focusing exclusively on Apple’s hypocritical argument that they can store your data on iCloud and reserve the right in the user agreement to read anything you store there, and has done so repeatedly in the past, but now Cook pretends that he can’t possibly access the iCloud because it might take too much software engineering. BS.

      Constitutional absolutists, please explain why an unelected corporation should be able to violate a proper valid warrant for searching the effects of a known criminal.

      1. Here we have the problem in a nutshell. At this writing, 3 people have awarded a 5-star (excellent) rating to a post that:

        1. Confuses data on iCloud with data locally stored on an iPhone, showing that the poster is completely clueless about the fact situation in the San Bernardino case.

        2. Assumes that Apple is “violating a proper warrant for searching” when the court order in question is not a warrant and Apple is not being asked to search anything. It is not subject to a search warrant because it has not had possession or ownership of the phone since it sold it to San Bernardino County. Apple is a third party that is being ordered to write special software to help decrypt information that has already been seized and is already in the possession of the government. That is not directly a Fourth Amendment question, but a completely different issue of the proper reach of a statute known as the All Writs Act.

        3. Assumes that Apple is “violating a proper valid warrant” when all that it has done, to date, is appeal the decision of the magistrate judge to a district judge and announce that it will continue to pursue appeals until it is presented with an unappealable final order… which it has stated it would obey. Until the appeals are exhausted, we won’t know that the order is “proper” or “valid.” Demanding that the government follow due process when it cooks up a novel reading of a statute is hardly unreasonable.

        4. Contrary to every recent court decision, argues that “an unelected corporation” does not have the same constitutional rights as a natural person.

        As C.S. Lewis often observed, “Whatever are they teaching them in these schools?”

        1. The whole nation is confused because there are enormous amounts of law, legal precedent, and poorly reported facts in this and other similar cases. The only thing that makes this case unique is that the suspect is dead, and therefore unable to, under LEGAL warrant, open up the phone.

          But Apple DOES promise users that iCloud backs up what you store on your iPhone. So it’s a moot point to say Apple can’t recover the phone data from the iCloud backup. Apple does it everyday.

          Apple is absolutely being asked to aid in the investigation, since they are a business partner of a suspect in question. The suspect paid Apple to store his data. The FBI has a warrant to find all data from the suspect. What makes you think Apple should be immune to a legal warrant? Encryption is irrelevant, Apple is the party that did the encryption during backups.

          Agreed that violation is a mistake on Mike’s part. Appeal to be decided in court is where Apple stands on this case. But I see no valid argument on Apple’s behalf explaining why an iCloud backup should be off limits to a warranted search.

          We shall see, won’t we?

    1. You are such a troll, botvinnik. He won the election not once, but twice, by massive margins. He took over after Bush presided over the biggest recession in 100 years. And what did he do? From Bush’s last year to this, he reduced unemployment from 7.2% to 4.9%; the medical uninsured rate dropped from 15% to 9%; oil imports are down from 11mm barrels to 4.5mm barrels; teen pregnancy is down from 40 per 1k to 26 per 1k; the Dow is up from 10,000 to 17,000; GDP is up from -0.3% to +3.7%. The deficit is down to below 2005 levels (and way below 2003 and 2004). And for you military hawks, the number of Iran’s centrifuges dropped from 19k to 6k; and the number of US combat troops in harm’s way in other countries dropped from 130k to under 10k. And he did this despite the most obstructive, do-nothing congress in over 200 years.
      All you ultra-right wingers’ screeching of doom and gloom and your hatred of a black president has produced what? Trump? And you wonder why the world laughs at our political process.
      You are such a joke.

      1. Undoubtedly, Obama has much to answer for. I do not care for the way he instinctively backs the police dogs sniffing our private parts. In the same way, the Republican Party must answer to the ascendency of Donald Trump, an opportunist who has the chutzpah to ravage the libertarian luster of the Constitution in favour of xenophobic exceptions.

  6. You left out the fact that the President said that BOTH SIDES should not take absolutist positions. Don’t try to pin this on him because you’ve always hated him. If you followed the whole keynote you would have understood that he asked technologists to engage with Congress in order to fully inform them of what is possible in terms of protecting 4th Amendment rights and assisting law enforcement. He clearly stated that Congress shouldn’t be left alone to write laws on this because those legislators often misunderstand technology. Rather than pulling away, technologists should help Congress write the laws protecting privacy.

    1. Don’t try to confuse people with what POTUS actually said. It is so much more satisfying to rely on summaries by journalists who don’t understand the legal or technical issues any better than the President himself. He quite clearly stated that constitutional rights are non-negotiable, but that how those rights work out in practice involves—and has always involved–balancing competing interests. He rejected absolutism on both the privacy and public safety sides and called for all parties to work together to see if it is possible to reconcile both goals. I heard a lot of “to the maximum degree possible” language in the interview, not a demand for law enforcement at all costs. He clearly does not grasp that security with a back door is not possible, because that is contrary to what the FBI and DOJ are telling him. We might try to inform him otherwise, but he is not going to listen to mere insults.

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