President Trump demands iPhone backdoors, putting all iPhones at risk

President Trump demands iPhone backdoors after touring the Apple Mac Pro facility with CEO Tim Cook in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, November 21, 2019
President Trump tours Apple Mac Pro facility with CEO Tim Cook in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, November 21, 2019

President Trump is ratcheting up the pressure on Apple to unlock two iPhones used by an Islamic terrorist suspect in a shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in December. Basically, Trump demands iPhone backdoors:

We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements. They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. — President Trump, January 14, 2020

Daniel Howley for Yahoo Finance:

The issue, however, is far more complicated than Apple simply unlocking the suspected shooter’s iPhones. That’s because creating a so-called “backdoor” for a single iPhone instantly opens every other iPhone on Earth to the risk of attack… Because every iPhone runs on Apple’s iOS software. And if Apple were to attempt to unlock the phones used by Alshamrani, the company would have to purposely break iOS, creating a way to access all data stored on the devices.

But since the iPhones used by Alshamrani are, more or less, the same as those owned by you or me, any exploit Apple creates to unlock his phones, would work just as well on our phones.

“It’s similar to, you know, why don’t we just make it so that every single combination lock in the world that’s made, the police have a combination they can input to get themselves into any lock,” explained Justin Cappos, professor of computer science and engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. “And why don’t they have that? Because as soon as criminals figure out how to use that, then you’re in trouble.”

MacDailyNews Take: President Trump demands iPhone backdoors, but that would risk the privacy and security of every iPhone user. If Apple created an iPhone backdoor nobody would buy iPhones. Hopefully, common sense will prevail.

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


Why don’t these genius politicians next attempt to legislate in purple unicorns? They’re equally as plentiful as secure backdoors.MacDailyNews, October 3, 2018


This is not about this phone. This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funds encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 2016

52 Comments

      1. coward media attacker: ooooohhh. Insults. That’s what little logic you got?

        You attack the Constitutionally protected press, as if that strategy would somehow protect the guilty administration. Those who would attack anyone for asking legitimate questions is a partisan hack who undermines the Constitution.

        An honest person always wants to know the truth and ensure justice via legal means. How about putting Parnas, Guiliani, etc on the stand under oath to prove what really happened? The questions of Orange Liar’s actions won’t stop just because he holds the AG and Senator Turtle in his back pocket. Too many leaks show what a snake the Orange Liar is in all his actions.

        I agree with the original poster, let’s see the administration follow the law for once, and stop attempting to expand search powers beyond existing Constitutional limits. You don’t need to seize and crack anyones’ iPhones without a warrant.

        This isn’t a failure of the press not asking the right questions or smearing anything. It’s a matter of cowards like you and McConnell not wanting to let the truth be known — all why hypocritically pretending to be tough on law & order. The pretense that a president is above the law is his one and only defense when you cut through all this administration’s smoke and mirrors. That lame argument holds no weight. If you want a dictator or single-party rule, then stop pretending to admire the Constitution. Illegal search and seizure is what this administration wants — except for its own paid stooges who break the law.

        1. “You attack the Constitutionally protected press”

          Yes, the biased Democrats working as faux journalists are allowed to LIE WITH IMPUNITY protected by the Constitution.

          You are too biased and naive to see it for what it is. Pity…

          1. Blah blah…deflection. So tell us GoeB about how threatening Apple and insisting on a security back door, in any way protects the rights of the individual, freedom and the constitution? Why is this not government overreaching at everyone ‘s expense. How does Trump’s exposure of everyone’s data and secrets not violate constitutional rights? Does the “brainiest President ever” understand math, logic and algorithms? That they underpin every facet of life?
            The world needs to know and you being so Trump_wise surely means some well thought answers.

        2. “ooooohhh. Insults. That’s what little logic you got?”

          You want to talk “insults” Mike and lack of logic, this is going to be fun, SUPREME HYPOCRITE:

          “Those who would attack anyone for asking legitimate questions is a partisan hack”

          “The questions of Orange Liar’s actions”

          “he holds the AG and Senator Turtle in his back pocket.”

          “what a snake the Orange Liar is”

          “It’s a matter of cowards like you and McConnell”

          “If you want a dictator or single-party rule”

          “its own paid stooges”

          Game. Set. Match! 🤣👎🏻🤣👎🏻🤣👎🏻🤣👎🏻🤣

    1. A smart person would be concerned about the crimes committed by Biden. A fucking idiot would be concerned about the President requesting and investigation of crimes. Just saying.

      1. I for one am concerned that any corporation would be stupid enough to hire Biden (Jr.) as a board member. It goes to show what few qualifications and personal integrity it takes to be a corporate leader.

        For the record, there must not be a single smart person on the current US administration because they haven’t been able to bring forth any felony charges against their political enemies — none of them. Wasn’t Barr supposed to bring forth some level of competency and put half the prior administration behind bars as the Great Orange pep rallies promised? On the other hand, the number of felons with direct ties to the Great Orange Liar keeps growing. …growing by the day, actually. The amount of money changing hands between the Trump team and foreign associates is just too big to ignore.

        You can “just say” all you want, it’s a free country. The problem with you is that, being a partisan hack, you don’t invite complete investigations of anything. You claim your team is as pure as driven snow and demand investigation only of the other team. See the problem?

        I would be glad to have you investigate Biden Jr, and I hope his old man doesn’t win the nomination for president. Since you have unlimited interest in Hillary, you could even press charges against her following your deep investigations. But let’s be honest about it and investigate the current administration’s corruption too, shall we?

  1. Trump is a third rate businessman who has filed bankruptcy 6 times, and has been sued a little over 3,000 times. Some people believe his BS, tweets & lies. I see him as a con man who had no idea of the impact of his demands – just like he was ignorant of of the impact on farmers his tariffs have caused.

    This latest loonie toons tweet is just a reaction to the fact that he has now been Impeached and is getting a lot to TV time for those going after him.

    I really wouldn’t worry about this latest twitch – he’s going to be bouncing around all over the place until the Impeachment is over.

    1. Wrong again Ken: your opinion is what it is, but a number of people disagree with your assessments and think you’ve been swayed by long-term government grifters and their daily smear attacks against an innocent who is, we all know, very controversial and confrontational. We think that they are terrified of being discovered for the carpetbaggers and secret profiteers they’ve been (the bureaucrats even worse than the elected folks) for 60 years or so.

      1. Ken’s post is a mixture of opinion and FACT. That said, seeing Trump described as “AN innocent” – not merely innocent – made my afternoon. And if you do not think that the Trump family is profiteering off of the US taxpayer, well…

        1. Poor businessman for sure, losing his dad’s money hand over fist, but one can’t deny he is one fantastic con man who knows that the conned will never accept they are conned because in so doing the negativity and humiliation for them to accept is so much worse than endlessly buying into the rightousness of even the most vile of personalities, behaviour and policies.

          1. Not like Ted Kennedy who lived on his Dads criminal money, or the Clinton’s who made hundreds of millions selling influence to foreign governments. Or Obama, the communist, who never worked outside of government but just bought a 15 million dollar Martha’s Vineyard mansion that will definitely be wiped out in less than a year when the oceans rise, which they will because I hear that every day from Obama and Clinton and intellectuals like AOC. Can’t wait to see Obama treading water.

            1. Whataboutism! The last refuge of the mentally weak.

              When independents like me propose term limits and laws that would severely hamper partisan power, gerrymandering, and other abuses of the creaky old electoral system, what party vehemently opposes reform? The one in power of course. Because party always comes before country.

              Lies and FUD like accusations of communist sympathies (remember, it’s The Orange Liar who claims to like Putin) are just BS showing the lack of logic on behalf of the partisans.

              But let’s keep playing the Whataboutism game, just because it’s so useful: Ford Motor Company and IBM both profiteered with Nazi contracts before and during USA’s entry into the war. Should we destroy those companies along with Joe Kennedy’s ghost?

              The Clintons, Obamas, et al, had the audacity to write books that sold well — just like The Orange Liar and a growing percentage of publicly elected officials. If you truly felt that no politician should earn any money from speeches or writing, then why don’t you propose regulation to that effect? We know, it’s only a problem for you when the other team does it.

              Let’s talk about Martha’s Vineyard. There will indeed come a day when major storm expenses will occur. Every year the expenses for coastal damage due to storms is measured and the data shows an obvious trend. What’s your point, Kent? Only deniers should ever have access to waterfront property, and only proceeds from manual labor should ever be used to purchase that real estate?

              Kent and all prove every day how their hyperpartisan hate has destroyed their ability to think.

            2. To Mike – long winded denials and lies are the refuge of Democrat robots. Bernie Sanders, communist, owns many homes and has never had a job. Obama had books ghost written because he doesn’t know thing one about how to write. Clinton, allowed to rape whoever he wanted by voters like you who don’t care about women.

              Trump ran a very successful company. And without taxpayer money. He donates his entire salary to the government. His businesses and brand have been seriously hurt by being President but he doesn’t complain about that.

              You are an imbecile. That comment is the product of perception and communication skill.

            3. To Kent –

              I have never defended the corrupt democrats (though you and your ilk of course assume as much). I do, however, eviscerate the mental midgets like you who come here to continually pretend that their beloved GOP isn’t at least as corrupt, if not more so.

              So now you claim that a senator doesn’t have a “real job”. Well then, explain why Moscow Mitch is a multimillionaire. Two can play whatabout whatabout whatabout as long as you like ….

              You — the only imbecile in this discussion — intentionally slap inappropriate labels on anyone you choose without realizing it undermines your credibility. For example, your latest pivot / whataboutism trolling is to claim Sanders is a socialist. Yesterday it was communist. Make up your mind. Since you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about, let’s just shut down your label maker and reveal what Sanders actually is: a Democratic Socialist, in the vein of successful Scandinavian countries with demonstrably better health and prosperity than the USA. Not that I follow Sanders, but Democratic Socialism in general does not advocate communal/state ownership of everything (that’s communism), nor does it propose that means of production (including land or other capital) is regulated/distributed by state — that’s socialism. Democratic Socialism encourages public-private partnership wherever it is clear that corporate domination has not provided good outcomes. Healthcare is a great example, where private for-profit companies can do what they do but a publicly funded option is also available to compete, and act as a cost check against unfettered corporate greed. You seem partial to unfettered corporate greed dictating all government so the richest corporate officers can choke out any regulatory control and competitive startups with impunity — nothing democratic about that, but then your ilk never could distinguish between economic theory and governmental mechanisms.

              Next, you seem to love billionaires but you rail against Bernie’s ability to sell books and earn money on the talk circuit. Could it be because nobody would give you a penny for what you think? Sanders, unlike Lyin’ Don, was happy to release his tax returns. For 2018, his adjusted gross income as a senator $561,293.

              About the 3 homes Sanders owns with his wife, Jane Sanders, who has been a career woman and most recently was the president of Burlington College (2004-2011). She actually earned significantly more than he some years, but his book sales have been significant earners too. Bernie of course works in DC with one of the most esteemed jobs in the land, a senator for his state. Are those not “real” jobs to you? With the proceeds of their lifelong work as well as the proceeds of the sale of a house in Maine that Bernie inherited, the couple bought a relatively modest $600k summer home in Vermont. This is in addition to their old Vermont home and also the one that Bernie needs in DC when the Senate is in session. Any reasonable and objective person would admit that a 2-income household with lifetime earnings of a senator and a college president can easily afford a nice summer cottage when they are in their 70s. But you don’t want to be reasonable, do you champ? You’ll do anything to throw mud on the other team.

              America will continue to spiral the drain until people like you learn to work with your fellow countrymen instead of against the other side.

      2. citizen pre-declares the Orange Liar as being innocent — all without complete investigation. This outs him as a blind partisan, certainly in no position to judge legal matters.

        Administration officials refused to comply with legal subpoenas, which is in itself is an impeachable offense. So if the Senate doesn’t follow through and bring all related parties to answer questions under oath, then we know that the government is a sham and there is no longer a Congress responsible to the people. McConnell’s admission that he cooperated with the administration in planning the sham trial without witnesses proves that Congressional rule of law is no longer honored by the GOP.

        citizen: if one-party rule is what you want, with zero process for justice, then watch your nation cleave in two and be sure not to whine when the shoe is on the other foot.

      1. The biggest spouters of childish comments like that are almost inevitably the most likely to have suffered that particular unfortunate birthing event. Congratulations I think you prove the point superbly and with far more insight than you could possibly imagined.

      2. I’ll assume that you are a Trump Lover and believe all the pap he spews out. Did you happen to catch the unedited video of the Access Hollywood bus ride? Did that impress you?

        Have you seen price increases in health care after DeadBeat Donald told yo he would fix it?

        And, of course, you realize that Trump has done nothing to. raise the minimum wage to above the poverty level. stats out the other day indicated that round 25% of working Americans are earning $12 an hour or less, putting them in poverty. $15 an hour is below the poverty line. Do you give a damn?

        Or have you been reading about Rudy’s henchmen Lev Parnas? Rudy is Trump’s private lawyer and has been running the abuses against the Ukraine.

        And the GAO has now determined that Trump holding back funds for the Ukraine. was illegal. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/01/17/holding-up-ukraine-aid-was-illegal-trumps-white-house-knew-before-gao-said-so/). No surprise there.

        You must be proud, being a Trumper Thumper.

  2. Gee, that really doesn’t strike me as a “demand”, but any clickbait is good clickbait I guess. I don’t think Apple should just do it, but Apple could at least help and/or be involved in some solution, or the government could come up with a solution by itself. Which to you supposed would end better? Surely we could trust Timmy to unlock the phone, take a look, and let the government know if there was anything pertinent on it or not. 🙂

    1. Never; never; never betray the billion + Apple consumers with this mistake on Trump’s part. His tech advisors are mis-informing him—the iPhones in question are a 5 and a 7 which have been compromised by at least 2 hacking companies (and likely more by now) so that option has been available for a couple of years.

      1. The current potus has proudly & repeatedly claimed that he doesn’t use advisors because he knows best. It is unclear why you would put any trust in a person who actually thinks this way.

  3. I’ll say it again: Make no mistake, this president, enablers, and supporters are a threat to us all. This is not politics, it’s far bigger and more consequential.

    1. Auramac: Whatever your fear that’s “bigger than politics” is in your head. Your thinking borders on the type of that feeds extreme action/thought. Please settle yourself down and make a point that might solve whatever problem you perceive.

      People, like your writing implies, that live within the ardent “us vs them” paradigm are the ones that end up doing the “bigger and more consequential” (negative) things. It’d be best to put a governor on your tripe.

  4. President Trump – this comment by you is shameful. Tell your FBI and DOJ to indict the crooked cops that are all over those departments framing innocent citizens, getting search warrants based on lies, do illegal surveillance with no search warrant, running corrupt investigations to overturn elections. Mr. President – clean up your own backyard before telling Apple what to do. Apple seems to be the only major enterprise around – public or private or government – that is serious about protecting the privacy and the rights of American citizens.

  5. “ getting search warrants based on lies, do illegal surveillance with no search warrant, running corrupt investigations to overturn elections.”

    You mean the ones against Trump?

    1. We can only hope MDN someday wakes up. The absurd mental gymnastics necessary for them to believe Lyin’ Don is competent, trustworthy, or honest is too much for me to bear.

      Given how few articles are devoted to helpful tips and operation of Apple products, I tend to think that MDN exists only to provide platform for the last few true Orange believers, whose daily insults and flailings make for interesting comedy. Or a painful reminder of how far the education system has fallen since Google, FaceBook, et al appeared. Repeating lies on the internet often enough can ensnare the mentally weak. This site proves it daily.

      1. Mike, of ALL MDN visitors…you write volumes more non-Mac content and you’re frustrated with the site not presenting enough Mac related tips/operation? Hmm….I would have never guessed you were looking for Mac content.

        With such a hunger for Mac content and the high frustration level with MDN, why in the world not simply remove the bookmark and head over to one of the dozen-ish good Mac sites that might meet your need? Besides, because of the time spent and amount voiced on MDN, it seems like you rather enjoy cavorting with the mentally weak and poorly educated. Btw, also of great interest…why would someone keep returning to a site that’s not delivering desired tech content, AS WELL as having to mix with people that are frustratingly below one’s high intellectual level?

        I’d say you like visiting the site exactly for the “deficiencies” mentioned and you rather enjoy the superiority felt…because there’s apparently a lot of failed education system subjects you can educate, with great pride.

      2. “last few true Orange believers”

        Guess you never stood outside a Trump rally because it was overflowing and you couldn’t get in to see the salt of the Earth Americans…

    2. I called them out on an earlier article for saying “US government” several times when it was very clearly the “Trump administration” and Trump himself making these latest uninformed demands, after using “Obama administration” many times when the FBI made the same demands in the mid-2010s.

      We’ll have to see how consistently they’ll call out the Trump administration in future articles, titles, and MDN takes, because this particular instance there was no two ways about it: Trump himself tweeted it, and his direct underlings/appointees are making the parroting the line.

  6. The U.S. government, law enforcement, IRS can obtain warrants to our entire lives.

    I totally agree with AppleCynic in another thread why are iPhones so special and exempt?

    Certainly bad actors can’t just waltz into Apple headquarters, the CIA, the FBI, or White House to obtain the “backdoor” keys.

    Establish a controlled environment in a secure building with Apple technicians who pass an FBI background check and federal law enforcement. Apple unlocks the phone without divulging the methods, changes the password to open the phone, hands the phone and password to the FBI to conduct their investigation and call it a day.

    If a bad actor obtained the information, highly doubtful sounds like high horse wrapping yourself in the Constitution scare tactics, possibly design the software in such a way only Apple has the ability. We have military standards in nuclear weapon silos with detailed methods for launch, just one example. After all, this is the greatest technological company of ALL TIME and could figure a way to get it done.

    Further, unlike a Democrat presidential candidate touting the federal government enter your home to confiscate your guns and nullify the Second Amendment — we’re talking about high profile terrorists here in the U.S. killing our citizens a continued THREAT to national security, not a trailer park spat between cheating spouses.

    Certainly, laws and legislation could be worked out to establish a high bar to get it done while protecting privacy of billions of Apple iPhone owners.

    The holier than thou Constitutional privacy argument rings hollow. Fat cat Apple execs are simply lazy not stepping up to the plate…

    1. That would work out so BEAUTIFULLY! Next, the governments in Europe can all demand the same thing, and then the governments in Asia, South America, the Middle East, and of course the orange twat’s favorite government (Russia) can demand the same, and pretty soon, EVERY government will have this backdoor, and not a SINGLE ONE will ever let a “bad guy” get it. Yeah… keep selling yourself that, no rational person is going to buy it.

      How about Apple just continue to do their best to make OUR phones unhackable. If you want to go and have your phone be hacked, by all means walk up to your nearest government office, unlock your phone and let them have it. Leave the rest of us out of it.

      1. Obviously you did not think this through. You were too busy hurling childish insults at our great President.

        For the second time, Apple is the gatekeeper of the keys, unlocks the phone, changes the password and hands it back.

        If China can ship iPhones to people all around the world and customers can track shipping on an App or website, surely foreign governments with warrants can mail to Apple and do the same tracking.

        Certainly a large rouge nation like China would give Apple plenty of business, so possibly establish a secure location in that country, or not, because of the risk of corporate espionage. Right, like will don’t have that 24/7 now. /s

        THE KEY, is NEVER surrender the KEY. We’re talking proprietary business practices owned by Apple. They could not be forced to give away the key anymore than they can be forced to give away copyrighted iOS code.

        That said, unlocking the phone, changing the password, the whole process would probably take less than five minutes and more time spent preparing the return shipping package and filling out paperwork.

        Apple either does it out of the goodness of their hearts, or charges a fee. Could this be a growing “services” business to save the human race?

        The main point is terrorists and the scum of world would think twice and a humanitarian assist to law enforcement globally would save lives. Is this not what the pious leftist self righteous do gooders are always telling us?

        Doesn’t work, take the KEY out in a quiet software update and drop the service, something Cook is good at, sorry could not resist…

  7. “…putting all iPhones at risk”.
    Yay!
    Including the iPhones of the POTUS, and the security agencies NSA, FBI, CIA, Navy, Army, AirForce, etc. using the AES in the iPhone.

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