Apple: ‘Government misunderstands the technology’ involved in demanding they decrypt an iPhone

“Last week, the FBI had filed with the court, describing Apple’s court-borne resistance to complying with its unlock order as ‘corrosive rhetoric,'” Greg Kumparak and Matthew Panzarino report for TechCrunch. “Apple responded immediately, characterizing the FBI’s filing as ‘an indictment.’ Basically, both sides had gotten to the openly hostile portion of these proceedings. During a call last week about the filing, Apple executives, including general counsel Bruce Sewell, spoke in a way that can be best characterized as surprised and outraged. The FBI’s tone shift from legal argument to character assassination in its filings had clearly taken Apple off guard.”

“The tone of today’s filing and subsequent call was much more cold and precise,” Kumparak and Panzarino report. “Apple got some time to consider the best way to respond and went with dissecting the FBI’s technical arguments in a series of precise testimonies by its experts.

“Where the FBI filing last week relied on invective, Apple’s this week relies on poking holes in critical sections of the FBI’s technical narrative,” Kumparak and Panzarino report. “Apple also pokes holes in two technical arguments that the FBI has been trying to make. First, that the iCloud backups are encrypted with the device passcode. They are not, as pretty much any security expert or even reporter on this case knows.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The portions of the U.S. government that have foolishly decided to launch this case and those who back such overreach, including Obama, are feckless and deceitful, to say the least.

Apple: The FBI’s demand is unconstitutional – March 16, 2016
Apple says U.S. ‘Founders would be appalled’ by DOJ order – March 16, 2016
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham finally talks to tech experts, switches side to Apple vs. FBI – March 15, 2016
Obama administration begins to realize it may have made a big time mistake going after Apple over iPhone encryption – March 15, 2016
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. Wave the flag all you want, ignorance is ignorance and your flag decals won’t get you into heaven anymore.

    fbi and government’s o er reach is illegal and dangerous as even NSA and CIA chiefs agree.

    1. That never stopped them before, they will just write a new law to circumvent the whole affair and away they’ll go, with Apple slaves, uh employees working on that igovOS or they’ll walk away with the crown jewels and a key after ransacking Apple’s offices and taking all their computers and research material.

      Unless of course Apple is smart enough to jump ship now, after all it’s been sinking for a while.

    2. “Wave the flag all you want, ignorance is ignorance and your flag decals won’t get you into heaven anymore.”

      Who talks like that? That sounds crazy dude. Chill. Yes the government is overreaching here, but please don’t talk like that when supporting Apple’s case. It makes all of us taking Apple’s side sound like wackos.

      1. Sounds like you don’t remember that period, that medium of free speech, expression and protest, or our past conflicts…

        It’s really bad to simplify and abreviate today’s ignorance, but we have a great legacy as Americans for many talents and social stands that we should be proud of and that does NOT belong to any one politicaln side that lays claim to the American flag, or turns it into justification for murder, war, abuse of power and suppression of people’s rights. etc….

        Flag waving does NOT replace fairness, civility and respect for each other.

        1. We had an apartment in the city,
          Me and Loretta liked living there.
          Well, it’d been years since the kids had grown,
          A life of their own, left us alone.
          John and Linda live in Omaha,
          And Joe is somewhere on the road.
          We lost Davy in the Korean war,
          And I still don’t know what for, don’t matter anymore.

          Me and Loretta, we don’t talk much more,
          She sits and stares through the back door screen.
          And all the news just repeats itself
          Like some forgotten dream that we’ve both seen.

          –John Prine

  2. Here’s a thought. How about technical advisers advise the government of the realities of encryption or the lack thereof and what would happen if what they ask for was implemented, if it’s even legal. Then address the constitutional realities via Congress & The Supreme Court before opening their big fat overreaching mouths and waving their threats about in haphazard fashion.

    Joseph McCarthy (in his grave) must be smiling and so proud of Obama & the FBI for proceeding so rashly and without real authorization, society’s agreement and due courts diligence.

      1. Well there will always be those who try to push the envelope in a bad or evil way in the interests of why they think is in the greater good. Hopefully the Constitution stops them cold every time and gives them a little reality and ‘tude correction.

  3. The Government understands the technology just fine, and in some cases possibly better than anyone else, including Apple. Once again, this is not about technology. This is about establishing precedence in forcing a technology vendor to comply.

  4. Draw your own conclusions about the premeditated assault on our privacy by our government:

    “The government’s attempts to minimize CALEA II, saying its plans consisted of “mere[] vague discussions” that never developed into a formal legislative submission (Opp. 9), but federal officials familiar with that failed lobbying effort confirmed that the FBI had in fact developed a “draft proposal” containing a web of detailed provisions, including specific fines and compliance timelines, and had floated that proposal with the White House. See Dkt. 16-17 [Nakashima, Proposal Seeks].

    As The Washington Post reported, advocates of the proposal within the government dropped the effort, because they determined they could not get what they wanted from Congress at that time: “Although ‘the legislative environment is very hostile today,’ the intelligence community’s top lawyer, Robert S. Litt, said to colleagues in an August [2015] e-mail, which was obtained by The Post, ‘it could turn in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement.’ There is value, he said, in ‘keeping our options open for such a situation.’” Ex. JJ [Ellen Nakashima & Andrea Peterson, Obama Faces Growing Momentum to Support Widespread Encryption, Wash. Post (Sept. 16, 2015)].”

    1. My conclusions are the same after reading your links: that law enforcement is doing whatever it can to advance its own agenda, irrespective of Constitutional protections, or conventions of civil and human rights. They are rogues; they have exceeded their mandate once again, and must be rebuffed by a High Court that has the balls to do it.

      Any federal agency that conspires to defeat the Constitution through political chicanery needs to be horse-whipped.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.