“‘There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America,’ FBI director James Comey has declared after the disclosure of a range of hacking tools used by the CIA,” Julian Borger reports for The Guardian. “Comey was delivering prepared remarks at a cybersecurity conference in Boston, but his assessment has deepened privacy concerns already raised by the details of CIA tools to hack consumer electronics for espionage published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday.”
All of us have a reasonable expectation of privacy in our homes, in our cars, and in our devices. But it also means with good reason, in court, government through law enforcement can invade our private spaces. Even our memories aren’t private. Any of us can be compelled to say what we saw… In appropriate circumstances, a judge can compel any of us to testify in court on those private communications. — FBI director James Comey, March 8, 2017
“Fresh concerns over personal privacy arose after WikiLeaks published what it called the first tranche of a larger body of data about CIA hacking, which it says was provided to the organisation by a whistleblower seeking to trigger a debate on the issue,” Borger reports. “Democratic congressman Ted Lieu called for a congressional investigation into how the data came to be stolen and the wisdom of the intelligence agencies of withholding knowledge about vulnerabilities in consumer software from manufacturers. ‘If these documents are true, it means the CIA arsenal of cyber weapons is now out there in the public domain, and who knows who now has access to some very intrusive hacking tools,’ Lieu told the Guardian. ‘It is very disturbing to anyone who cares about privacy… It should also put to rest any argument about encryption back doors. You can’t just give encryption keys to the good guys and hope they don’t get to the bad guys. Our best protection is to have no security defects in the products we use.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The good news is that this will bring vulnerabilities to Apple’s attention that they can close. The bad news is that the government spooks are out of control and have forgotten the advice from the smartest of the Founding Fathers of the United States:
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
As for encryption, Congressman Ted Lieu is correct. Again, encryption is binary; it’s either on or off. You cannot have both. You either have privacy via full encryption or you don’t by forcing back doors upon Apple or anybody else. It’s all or nothing.
There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook
Without strong encryption (meaning no back doors), U.S. companies’ tech products would be eschewed around the world.
WikiLeaks reveals CIA’s global covert hacking program targeting Apple iPhone, Google Android, Microsoft Windows and even Samsung TVs – March 7, 2017
Proving Apple’s assertion that there are no good backdoors, hacker dumps iOS cracking tools allegedly stolen from Cellebrite – February 2, 2017
A hacker just proved that Apple was right to worry about creating a backdoor to the iPhone – January 13, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook touts encryption at Senator Orrin Hatch’s Utah Tech Tour – October 3, 2016
Feckless FBI unable to unlock iPhone, even with a ‘fingerprint unlock warrant’ – May 12, 2016
FBI’s Comey says agency paid more than $1 million to access San Bernadino iPhone – April 21, 2016
Nothing significant found on San Bernardino’s terrorist’s iPhone – April 14, 2016
FBI director confirms hack only works on older iPhones that lack Apple’s Secure Enclave – April 7, 2016
Apple responds to FBI: ‘This case should have never been brought’ – March 29, 2016