FBI unable to access Texas mass murder’s locked phone

“The gunman who killed 26 people at a small town Texas church was able to buy weapons because the Air Force did not submit his criminal history to the FBI as required by military rules,” The Associated Press reports. “The Air Force acknowledged Monday that if the past offenses by Devin Patrick Kelley had been properly shared, they would have prevented him from buying a gun.”

“In 2014, Kelley was formally ousted from the Air Force for a 2012 assault on his ex-wife in which he choked her and struck her son hard enough to fracture his skull,” AP reports. “Authorities say Kelley fired at least 450 rounds of ammunition at worshippers in Sunday’s attack at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.”

“President Donald Trump says stricter gun control measures might have led to additional casualties during a mass shooting at a South Texas church. Trump said at a Tuesday news conference in South Korea that, ‘If you did what you’re suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago and you might not have had that very brave person who happens to have a gun or a rifle in his trunk,'” AP reports. “Trump says if that a neighboring good Samaritan hadn’t had a gun, ‘instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead.'”

“Investigators say the FBI is trying to get into the cellphone that belonged to the man who fatally shot 26 people inside a small Texas church,” AP reports. “Christopher Combs is the special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio division. He said during a news conference Tuesday that the phone was flown to an FBI lab for analysis, but that agents have yet to access it. Combs declined to release the make or model of the phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If it’s an iPhone (likely, since they can’t get in, it’s probably not an Android phone), we doubt the FBI (now under new management, as you may have heard) will be stupid enough to try to force Apple to unlock it this time.

SEE ALSO:
Apple CEO Cook tweets condolences for victims of mass murder in First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas – November 6, 2017
Tim Cook’s refusal to create iPhone backdoor for FBI vindicated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack on Windows PCs – May 15, 2017
Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that ‘backdoors’ are a stupid idea – August 10, 2016
U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu says strong encryption without backdoors is a ‘national security priority’ – April 29, 2016
iPhone backdoors would pose a threat, French privacy chief warns – April 8, 2016
The U.S. government’s fight with Apple could backfire big time – 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
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 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
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013

93 Comments

    1. It doesn’t work with dead fingers. Apple said as much four years ago (when Touch ID was introduced in iPhone 5S), and it has since also been confirmed (I shudder at the thought of someone actually trying it).

      1. Down the line I wonder if Apple’s new Face ID will work on dead people. I mean if won’t matter for those that understand and respect the privacy of others but for those bereft of integrity and morality they’ll probably love to pry the information from the cold dead face of a cadaver though there might have to be a change of procedure to blowing everything but the head off.

        At any rate with Apple’s release of Face ID we’ll have to wait to the next mass murderer who own an iPhone with FaceID. As the planet does have some areas were there are many who have no regards for anybody but themselves and are encouraged to slaughter others this should not take long.

        Unless Apple says that the new FaceID will no work on dead people.

          1. It might be unlikely to pose a cadaver to look at a scanner now but if it works to access a locked iPhone then it will be made standard.

            The FaceID feature does make me wonder and think about all the circumstances that might impede the feature, things like cutting off your beard, or if you have to constantly wear a burqa, in the snow, rain, and so on. Pretty clever if it can make it work.

            I think we both realize the importance and the value of privacy and though as you pointed out this post seems to have gone towards gun control but as I’ve gained experience discussing I’ve come up with 3 simple trends that I see often.

            1. Insult the messenger.
            2. Distract from the issue at hand.
            3. Never ever address the issue at hand.

            I’ll let you figure out what’s going on with that.
            Meanwhile, always a pleasure to read your posts, we may not always agree but you usually add some excellent insight into the topic at hand.

          2. Oh I read a good one. Apparently a couple on an airplane trip got into a bit of an argument Doha-Bali. The wife unlocked her sleeping husband’s phone by using his thumb and discovered that he was ‘cheating’ on her. I think you can imagine what ensued after that, especially since she had a few drinks.

            Oh the havoc that happens when a person’s privacy is invaded.

        1. Please note that out of 48 comments so far on this page, only the six above this point managed to stay on topic. It might be debatable whether the government is trying to take away our guns, but it is NOT debatable whether it is trying to take away any meaningful security on our digital devices.

          I would think that that would be the more important debate on a tech site.

          1. Privacy is paramount. Without it, a repressive government can monitor the movements of armed civilian militias opposing their policies. Without privacy, the Second Amendment isn’t worth the parchment it’s printed on.

            1. The 4th Amendment is well stated and far too important to be used as just a simple protector of the 2nd. The 2nd is not absolute, anyway see private citizens buying nukes and tanks lately? The 4th is self-controlling, though it too has been disregarded since the Patriot Act.

            2. I don’t know about armed citizen militias, I hope we come to our senses on government expansion before that ever comes to pass, but the abuse of information is more of a concern to me right now. The idea of the government building their little who knows who networks with some insane person at the center gives me the chills.

              Even if you absolutely HATE Donald Trump, you should be appalled by the the, scorched earth look for anything, absolutely anything about anything, in everyone’s records, personal and professional, that can possibly link Donald Trump to anything, absolutely anything, especially where it concerns Russia methods being employed against him.

              A government that will do that, completely in the open, to a sitting President of the United States, will have no reservations whatsoever about doing it to you after finding your name and number in the wrong digital device.

            3. Is this sarcasm? The one person who should be under the MOST scrutiny is the sitting president, because he/she/it is in the position most capable of undermining our democracy and society through corruption or collusion with outside powers.

              He didn’t get elected to be a god, and electing him didn’t put him above the law. He was elected to serve our nation’s best interests, and scrutiny is appropriate.

              And until there’s no more smoke, it’s not appropriate to assume there’s no fire.

            4. The 4th amendment (as the rest) is not absolute and only extends to as far as it encroaches upon the safety and security of another citizen. The problem is not the law but the abuse of it by some in government and law enforcement.

              “The Constitution, through the Fourth Amendment, protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The Fourth Amendment, however, is not a guarantee against all searches and seizures, but only those that are deemed unreasonable under the law.”

              http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-educational-outreach/activity-resources/what-does-0

              Some interesting precedents are referenced to make their point.

  1. Why is there always talk about gun control when there is a shooting?

    Laws don’t prevent crime. Its already illegal to murder. The shooter already broke the law by buying and possessing firearms since he was a prohibited person. He also lied on the ATF form when purchasing–another broken law.

    Guns do not facilitate nor enable murder. If a gun is not available they can use a vehicle, pressure cooker, fertilizer, etc.

    Every location in the country that has struck gun control has the highest violence crime. Every location in the country that has the least gun control has the lowest violence crime.

    Taking guns from law-abiding citizens (the only true objective of gun control) will not effect criminals.

    The latest shooting is just another example how background checks don’t work.

    1. You are not entirely correct. The stats show that the areas with the strictest gun control who also share borders with similarly strict areas have the lowest death rate by deliberate shooting.
      Not much point having strict local gun control laws if you can just duck over the border of the state or county and get what you are prevented from buying in your own area.
      What this demonstrates is the need for a national approach to gun control – not to prevent people from owning guns outright – to prevent those who have already been convicted of violent crimes or who can not prove they are mentally stable or competent to handle such weapons from killing lots of people.
      Once again though, it does beg the question, why would a civilian need access – in a domestic environment – to semi-automatic weapons? Different story if you need access for your occupation or at a sporting shooting venue, but for personal protection?
      Lastly, why wasn’t this guy in jail? Hitting a child hard enough to fracture his skull? Guys like that don’t deserve freedom of movement much less freedom to buy a gun.

      1. It is illegal to purchase a handgun in a state that you don’t reside it. It is illegal to purchase a rifle out of your resident state that is not legal in your resident state. Hence, criminals break laws. You just proved my point.

        “why would a civilian need access – in a domestic environment – to semi-automatic weapons?”

        Because semi-automatic weapons are the most accurate and capable firearms. They are needed because the criminals are using them against innocent victims. They are the best defense agains roving gangs of home grown terrorists such as Black Lies Matter.

        My primary home defense firearms is an AR15. I have many AR15s and several machine guns.

        1. “My primary home defense firearms is an AR15. I have many AR15s and several machine guns.”

          — Hmmm. Paranoia combined with massive firepower. Why am I not comforted by that?

          Wrong again. You are wrong.

          botty, just because Islam predates Christianity does not make it wrong. Personally, I find most organized religions to be lacking, regardless of age or type. I could make up a better religion in a day.

    2. Your post contains several inaccuracies, which once corrected, invalidate your claims.

      There are very few exceptions, but massive amount of data confirms that, for USA, in places that used to have strict gun control laws, gun deaths were lower than when such laws were stuck down. This seems to be consistent across the USA, regardless of whether the state leans “blue” or “red”. When there is little gun regulation, there is higher number of gun deaths; once regulation is in place, gun deaths go down.

      If gun control laws had been properly enforced, Texas would NOT have happened. A mentally unstable man bought guns, where he shouldn’t have been allowed to. Had he not had guns, there is no way he would have had the mental acuity to use pressure cooker, or fertilizer. Even a vehicle would have been out of the question; he didn’t plan to martyr himself (otherwise, he would have killed himself right there); he wanted to get away with it, and driving a vehicle into the church would have meant suicide.

      And the fact that Texas has probably the least restrictive gun laws in USA didn’t help anyone in that church. He went in, killed everyone he wanted to, walked out and got in his car. Nobody pulled a gun on him until well after he was already done. Where were all those “concealed carry” weapons in that church? How many people did they help? Not a single one.

      And in every single situation like this, mass shooter has successfully completed his mission before anyone with a gun had a chance to use their weapon(s). The argument that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” falls completely apart when we look at the history of all the mass shootings in USA.

      America is the only country in the world where the premise is that people have unrestricted right to own firearms. They have written it into their constitution over two centuries ago, and because they are stubbornly holding onto that clause, the whole country is paying a very high price.

      Gun control debate has ended when the country collectively decided that innocent deaths of preschool children (Sandy Hook) are the necessary price to pay for the unrestricted right of every American to own a deadly weapon.

        1. Data comes from government. Plenty of research there. None of it from any news media. Just legitimate institutions.

          You need to get your information from actual sources, rather than news media (which only serves you what you want to hear).

          1. Do you truly believe that a person that would shoot a 3 year old child sitting in a church pew would be prevented from doing so with “stricter” gun laws?

            If you do, you are almost as insane as the shooter himself.

            1. If you truly believe that it wouldn’t, then you are clearly drunk with NRA’s coolaid.

              A stricted gun law (in fact, an enforcing existing ones) would have prevented the death of past weekend. The insane shooter wouldn’t have had the guns.

              Tons of statistical data from USA, as well as the rest of the world clearly confirms that gun laws save lives and prevent gun deaths.

            2. “Predrag brings forward specific concrete points, tied together by rational thought.”

              Yes, indeed. The only problem is SELECTIVE BIAS that post after post FAILS to honestly recognize the full truth.

              Half truths are meaningless. And to quote Predrag in a previous response to one of my posts, “you should remember that.” …

            3. This is absolutely not true. FBI statistics and the most recent CDC analysis (2013) show the exact opposite of what you’re saying. Indeed, the stats confirm what’s going on in strict gun control cities like Chicago and many in California. More people die of strikes to the head and stabbings in our country than gun shots. And millions more use guns in self defense than commit crimes with them. Please know your facts before posting.

            1. Direct question and I doubt you will get an honest answer.

              That said, Predrag may come back with an alternative tedious off topic response, typical …

            2. Yes, I actually do disagree. When you look at the data, you will see that it is never broken down further. For example, gun deaths. It’s all lumped summed into other including suicides by gun. When you truly break out the data, it will be an eye opener. Like some of the posters here, stop listening to the Lame Stream Media. Do your own homework.

      1. @Predrag Sorry, If someone or 2 people had a gun in that church you would have less deaths PERIOD…..

        Every shooting we have seen, NO ONE had a gun to shoot back you gun control idiot!!

        1. Are you really that dense? You are arguing in favour of gun control!!

          How is it possible that in a state where everyone is allowed to “conceal carry”, the shooter was allowed to finish his business before anyone even attempted to shoot back?

          How is it possible that in a country that allows everyone to have guns only a mass shooter is the one that actually has a gun and is able to complete his task without any one of those good guys ever trying to shoot him?

          One thing is obvious to everyone with a functioning brain: if you don’t have any gun control, murderers will easily get guns and use them to kill ordinary people. Regular gun owners have a very hard time shooting at other humans. It isn’t easy, and nobody normal actually likes doing it or wants to do it. So, regardless of how many people with a gun were at any one of those mass shootings in America, not one of them had the stomach to actually pull their gun and actually shot another person. With the exception of those who are highly trained (law enforcement, military), regular gun owners are simply no threat to a killer with a gun.

          As I said, America has decided it is OK to pay the heavy price (in blood) in order to protect their right to own firearms.

        2. I can guarantee you that there were guns there. It was a friggin’ church in Texas OF COURSE they had guns. And if they didn’t, what the HELL is conceal carry for? To leave your gun in the car? 🙂

          It should be against the law for anyone with a conceal carry permit to NOT have a gun on them at ALL TIMES.

      2. “The argument that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” falls completely apart when we look at the history of all the mass shootings in USA.”

        That is the best argument in the history of CRIMINAL CONTROL.

        I guess up next in Predrag’s FANTASY Libtard world is good cops with guns CANNOT stop bad guys with guns.

        How clueless can you go? …

      3. There is no way he would have the mental acuity? SERIOUSLY? Wow. Just wow. How much mental acuity does it take to mow down people with a car? How much does it take to block a door and set fire to a church?

        In 1973 a still unknown arsonist killed 32 people in a gay bar in New Orleans with a match. The most likely suspect was a gay man who was pissed for being ejected from the club.

        Mental acuity?

        There is just so much in this post to refute. I wish I had the time. I mean California is a gun control kook’s paradise, with laws created by clowns having no knowledge of firearms whatsoever. Meanwhile Texas has almost no gun control in comparison, yet we have pretty much the same firearm death rates.

        In both cases most of the deaths are suicide by far, over 2/3. In both cases very few of the deaths are cause by so called “assault rifles.” In fact more people are killed with blunt instruments.

        Throughout the country we never include the very telling demographic data, everything from the size of the population, to the racial make up of most of the shooters. No one wants to confront those statistics.

      4. Live in a county with the sixth highest gun ownership in the nation. It has been years since our last gun homicide. Chicago has extreme gun controls in place and is moving towards 600 homicides this year alone.

        Let’s remember that Rwanda had several million killed in a mere two months – mostly with machetes and virtually no guns. Oh, and what about Stalin and the Holodor? Some three million starved to death in a single year – intentionally! Mao’s Cultural Revolution! Pol Pot’s Killing Fields! When we get to the 100+ million killed by governments (nearly all socialist by the way, when you include National Socialists) in the last century, killed by hand guns in the US, we can talk about my disarming in the face of an armed government.

      1. Japan also has one of the least expensive healthcare systems in the world, much less expensive than similar socialized medicine systems found throughtout Europe and Canada, with a healthier population to boot. By your logic, those socialized medicine systems throughout Europe- the very systems that many in this country are hell-bent on mimicking- must really suck. Maybe- just maybe- culture has something to do with it?

        1. No, you’re confused. Japan has socialized medicine, and its results are superior.

          In Japan, payment for personal medical services is offered by a universal health care insurance system that provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee. All residents of Japan are required by the law to have health insurance coverage.

          Japan’s results are case studies for very strong gun control and universal health coverage.

          1. That’s exactly what I said- read my post again. Japan’s system is very similar to most of those found throughout Europe and Canada, yet they have much better outcomes and lower costs. Why is that? My point was, when comparing disparate systems, you have to take into account other relevant factors, like culture and meaningful statistics. The US, Canada and the UK are the 3 most costly healthcare systems in the world. They also happen to have the 3 highest rates of obesity of any industrialized country. Japan has very low rates of obesity. Coincidence? And again, you may argue that ‘Japan’s results are case studies for very strong gun control’, but the actual data goes against your theory when you apply Japan’s results to the stats in the US.

        2. And how do you suppose that a culture is made? Perhaps by establishing rules that everyone abides to? The illogical and unfounded myth that more vigilante justice reduces mass shootings is total bs. The fact that any mentally deranged person in America can easily access not just a handgun but seriously powerful automatic weapons and the ammo, THAT is what ssparates America from societies with low incidences of mass shootings.

          America will degrade to Libya before the NRA and its bobbleheads would accept modest increases in background checks for ammo and gun sales though.

          I can still hear the rhetoric. Get yer guns now before Obama takes them away!!!!!!!!

          1. “The illogical and unfounded myth that more vigilante justice reduces mass shootings is total bs.”

            No, it is FACT! Just because the Liberal mainstream media failed in their responsibility to tell YOU negates NOTHING.

            “… fact that any mentally deranged person in America can easily access not just a handgun but seriously powerful automatic weapons and the ammo, THAT is what ssparates America from societies with low incidences of mass shootings.”

            Wow, you are clueless grande! Mentally deranged people are NOT allowed to buy guns in America. One can only hope you grow up and stop spreading falsehoods.

            “America will degrade to Libya before the NRA and its bobbleheads would accept modest increases in background checks for ammo and gun sales though.”

            Modest increases? Talk about simpleton obfuscation.

            “Get yer guns now before Obama takes them away!!!!!!!!”

            Last time I checked Obama is not the president. And no, he has zero power to take guns away from law abiding citizens.

            Get a grip …

    3. “The latest shooting is just another example how background checks don’t work.”
      Well of course they don’t work when they’re not up to the job. >> “… was able to buy weapons because the Air Force did not submit his criminal history to the FBI as required by military rules,” The Associated Press reports. “The Air Force acknowledged Monday that if the past offenses by Devin Patrick Kelley had been properly shared, they would have prevented him from buying a gun.”
      That Trump has relaxed the mental health regulation Obamacare put in place, it is now easier for mentally unstable people to buy guns in the US.
      Just plain dumb.

          1. Was it ever repealed? Either way, the reason the Air Force didn’t convey the appropriate information is because they made a mistake, not because they weren’t required to. They freely admitted that it was an oversight.

    4. “Guns do not facilitate nor enable murder”

      Humans facilitate murder. The guns enable murder for sure: they’re easy to get, easy to use and all too handy in the heat of rage or madness; plus you don’t even have to get too close to your victim(s).

      Having a gun undoubtably enables murder. To claim otherwise is utterly absurd.

      Please don’t insult our intelligence.

      1. My friend was raped. Out of fear of its happening again, she bought a gun for defence and hid it under her sofa. Her clinically depressed mother happened to find the gun and shot herself dead.. my friend came home and discovered the mess, had to clean it up.. it was a crime, or sin, of convenience. My friend won’t talk about facilitating or enabling aspects of gun ownership. It is a little more complicated than all that.

      2. “Having a gun undoubtably enables murder. To claim otherwise is utterly absurd.”

        That is the most “absurd” statement I have ever read in the gun debate!

        A gun is an inanimate object made of steel, plastic, wood and other materials.

        So is a kitchen knife, a baseball bat, a sword, a club, an SUV, and THOUSANDS of other products.

        I did not know until your post my brand new SUV is an “ENABLER” to influence me to mow down people on city streets, causing over twice as many deaths in the US, compared to annual gun deaths (two-thirds suicides).

        Absolutely fscking ridiculous! You don’t possess intelligence …

    5. As a 2nd Amendment Proponent, I have to disagree with you. Saying that the laws don’t work because they didn’t work in this instance is mighty liberal of you. Background checks will generally spot people of concern, but they won’t stop every lunatic with the intent to kill.

      Just because this one guy made it through, doesn’t mean that others weren’t stopped.

    6. You are wrong because laws against speeding on the highway keep people from speeding every day. Thanks to those laws nobody in the U.S.A. goes over the speed limit. If they do, they are always caught by the police.

      1. There is something to what you say. However, it is chiefly to do with Apple profits. MDN began this website enthralled with the ease-of-use of Mac computers, wanting to stimulate interest in what they believed was the future of computing, and in which they had invested heavily. To this day they favour news that impacts share pricing of tech stocks, doing their part to fan the flames of investor frenzy: in the direction of their own holdings, you may be sure. As for the ads, they are farmed out to Google. They pay for the website. As for Trump, he has proven a crowd-pleaser and drawn people to click here and there. Trump indirectly generates a side income.

        It’s always all about the money.

  2. He shot lots of people and now he’s dead too. Many people are mourning. I wonder what else they’d want to find out that they don’t already know? Or will they just try to use it to get encryption banned, taking advantage of how upset we all are?

  3. The reason that the gun control agenda fails in the country is that it is a well documented fact that far more lives are saved by law-abiding citizens with gun that are killed by thugs with guns. The only data not agreed upon is the number. It is estimated between 275,000 to 2million crimes a year are stopped by law-abiding citizens with guns.

    Criminals will always have guns and weapons. Disarming victims is the only accomplishment of gun control.

    Where are the cries for knife control?
    Where are the cries for fertilizer control?
    Where are the cries for automobile control?

    FBI state prove that hand an feet are used to kill more people than Rifles – look it up. Where are the cries for hand and feet control?

    Doctors kill 3 times as many people by malpractice and are killed with thugs with guns – Look it up. Where are the cries for doctor control?

    1. Look, government statistical data is merciless. When gun laws are strict, gun deaths are significantly lower. There is really no way around this.

      NRA loves to give out this magical number about hundreds of thousands of crimes stopped by a “good guy with a gun”. They neglect to mention that the number comes from a self-selected survey of their own members, rather than legitimate, statistically valid research. As such, the number is utterly meaningless.

      Look, we aren’t discussing knives, hands, feet, fertilizer, pressure cookers or automobiles. They are legitimate discussions, and for many, arguments are quite valid. After all, shouldn’t we impose the same restrictions on cars that we impose on guns? Requiring background check before we can drive them? Oh, wait, we have that; in fact, we require government-administered driving test and licensing, we require inspection and registration of those cars, and we have quite stiff penalty if those cars are used in a wrong way, even if no harm comes to anyone. It actually might be a great idea if the same thing were done with guns: register them like cars, require licensing of owners before they can use them, impose stiff penalty if they are misused (even if nobody is harmed)… That would make sense, wouldn’t it? After all, car’s primary purpose is to transport people and stuff; gun’s primary purpose is… to kill another person? Shouldn’t we make it just a bit more difficult for some idiot to do it?

      1. “When gun laws are strict, gun deaths are significantly lower. There is really no way around this.”

        The way around “this” is that its a lie. Have you considered suing your school?

      2. Again, you couldn’t be more wrong. Every statistic that is meaningful shows the exact opposite. You can play your ridiculous ideological denial game al you want. In the meantime, you and politicians who behave the same way will only do more damage to our country.

      3. A gun’s primary purpose is not to kill another person. That’s where you’re wrong. In peacetime, a gun’s primary purpose is psychosexual contentment, as was elucidated by John Lennon, riffing on a gun magazine cover he’d been shown:

        Happiness is a warm gun.
        When I hold you in my arms
        And I feel my finger on your trigger
        I know nobody can do me no harm.

    2. “The reason that the gun control agenda fails in the country is that it is a well documented fact that far more lives are saved by law-abiding citizens with gun that are killed by thugs with guns. The only data not agreed upon is the number. It is estimated between 275,000 to 2million crimes a year are stopped by law-abiding citizens with guns.”

      Exactly right and many good posts today.

      The reason we don’t hear more of this fascinating fact in the mainstream media is why? …

    1. Wrong. Apple can open any device it sells. As a policy and advertised feature, Apple claims that they do not. Which is nice and all but ultimately Apple has the keys to unencrypt that which only it encrpted in the first place.

    2. For once, I agree with botvinnik on this (!).

      Yes, Apple has the key to data that it has encrypted, but not to data that has been encrypted by the user of a device that is not under the company’s control. The password isn’t just a password—it is one of several independent factors used to create the encryption key. The key—which Apple does not possess—is then used to encrypt and decrypt the data. Without knowing the password, there is no way to reproduce the key without using a brute-force approach that requires massive computer resources and a lot of time.

      As MDN has said again and again, strong encryption is either on or off. It is simply not possible to design a secure system that will allow quick and easy access to a government agent with a valid judicial warrant, but keep out everybody else.

      I have been horrified at the number of news stories today that flatly state “Apple is refusing to unlock these devices,” when Apple has no power to unlock them, at least not without completely rewriting the operating system to poke it full of backdoors. If it were to do so, we and our nation would be even more at the mercy of cybercriminals than we are now.

      This is the real risk here. We might debate whether the Feds want to take our guns, but there is no question that they want to take the security away from our digital devices.

  4. I wonder if a relation of a high level Apple management team member (including CxO levels) had been a victim of violent crime like a mass shooting, would Apple reconsider its position on security/privacy? Would some group actually try to test that?

    1. Xennex, If you want to deal in hypotheticals,

      I wonder how Apple management (or you) might feel if a close relation was kidnapped because the location data on their iPhone was hacked due to weak security? How would they (or you) feel if another close relation had their life savings stolen because the banking data on their iPhone was hacked? How would they (or you) feel if a business rival could eavesdrop on their private emails? How would they (or you) feel if America was attacked by terrorists or a hostile government that had access to all our military and law enforcement communications?

      All those are probably more likely risks than the one you propose.

      1. You have hit the nail on the head. A business is not run by a robot w/o feelings. I’m wondering what Apple management (as humans) would do with such an absolute privacy policy. Would their collective personal pain cause them to seriously reconsider an absolute lockout? Perhaps some sort of multifactor authentication to replace it?

  5. Well I for one support much more stringent guns laws.
    Since most violent gun crimes seems to be committed by democrats, no democrat should be allowed to own a firearm. To purchase a firearm you must present a valid voter ID card and if it states you are a democrat then “No Gun For YOU”. Their names could be on a national registry for easy cross reference to prevent illegal purchases of firearms and to help prevent all this violent crime, they should really get behind that. All democrats have to register and turn their guns in.
    I also don’t support capital punishment, ie… the Death penalty. It should be relabeled as a “POST TERM ABORTION”. All democrats should be able to get behind that, since they do love their abortions.

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