President Trump demands Apple unlock iPhones

Trump demands Apple unlock iPhones: President Trump tours 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
Trump demands Apple unlock iPhones – again. U.S. President Donald Trump has reiterated his stance on Apple’s refusal to unlock iPhones for investigators in criminal cases in a new CNBC interview.

From the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump told Squawk Box co-host Joe Kernen, “Apple has to help us. And I’m very strong on it. They have the keys to so many criminals and criminal minds, and we can do things.”

Matthew J. Belvedere for CNBC:

Last week, Trump slammed Apple for declining the government’s request to unlock password-protected iPhones used by the shooter who killed three people in December at the Pensacola Naval Air Station before being fatally shot.

In a statement, Apple said it provided gigabytes of information to law enforcement related to the Pensacola case but that it would not build a “backdoor” or specialized software to give law enforcement elevated access.

Trump told CNBC on Wednesday: “They could have given us that information. It would have been very helpful.”

MacDailyNews Take: President Trump demands iPhone backdoors, but that would risk the privacy and security of every iPhone user. It would also risk Apple’s sales worldwide, which – dollars to doughnuts – is something Trump might more readily understand than encryption. If Apple created backdoors to their products, sales of iPhones, iPads, Macs, etc. would drop dramatically.

What we really want to see Apple do next is to better explain the basics of this issue to the general public (a 60-second ad in the Super Bowl is certainly with Apple’s capabilities, for one example) while making full iCloud encryption an opt-in option for Apple product users. It should be very clearly stated that if you enable iCloud encryption and then lose/forget your password and fail to have set up a method to reset it in a trusted manner, you will be SOL. This is why Apple has dithered so long on this, we believe (not because the FBI asked Apple to hold off on iCloud encryption; we agree with Gruber that something is off about that recent Reuters report).

For Apple to live up to their promises of privacy and security, they simply MUST offer full encryption of iCloud data as an option for users who understand what that entails and who wish to retain ownership of their data that’s stored in iCloud backups.

There is no such thing as a secure “master key” or “backdoor.”

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

22 Comments

  1. A speech or memo from Tim Cook will not solve the problem here.

    Apple needs to produce several short, compelling videos (shot on iPhone, of course) which clearly and powerfully explain why they don’t have a magic unicorn key to unlock people’s iPhones for law enforcement.

    They should invest as much energy, resources, time, and creativity into this video as they did with the video about sibling snowball fights (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM8DcCoZulw) and the one about Chinese New Year (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvtwWhKdxhM).

    This is NOT a trivial issue and it is NOT limited to the USA. Apple needs to apply all their creative savvy in combating the emotional fake facts surrounding this problem. In fact, Apple needs to create a series of videos over the course of several months concerning this issue in order to pound home the facts, because this issue is not going away anytime soon.

    Apple cannot afford to wait until a national emergency “demands” that they unlock phones somehow. They must be proactive here.

  2. I think that Apple is concerned with the consequences of a bad legal precedent. If they started storing encrypted data on servers in their possession, the warrants would be directed at Apple, not the user. The lawsuits to compel decryption would be directed at Apple (which would not have any Fifth Amendment arguments to protect it). They might win that suit (could they be compelled to help translate files in Navajo?).

    However, the chances are pretty good that the case would be tried and appealed before judges vetted by President Trump, Senator McConnell, and the Federalist Society, all of whom hold expansive views on the broad power of the Executive Branch and the narrow role of the Judicial Branch to act as a limit to that power. Remember, these are the folks seriously making the argument before the Senate this week that there is literally no remedy whether by prosecution or impeachment for an abuse of executive power, even if one were proven beyond a reasonable doubt (which they also, and more plausibly, deny). The victims of the abuse are just out of luck.

    I would not want to gamble, and I doubt Apple wants to gamble, on the outcome of such a lawsuit. If Apple could be compelled to devote its resources to undoing the encryption on iCloud accounts every time the Possum Hollow Police Department can pursuade the local barber/JP to give them a warrant,what is the point in having encryption in the first place?

    Worse, and I mean much worse, the precedent could easily be extended to require Apple assistance in unlocking devices. Consider what kind of resources Apple would have to devote to its Decryption Division if it could be forced to unlock thousands of both iCloud devices every year. Consider what the existence of the Division would do to sales. Most of all consider the impact on Apple clients like you and me.

    1. I only take exception with you on this:
      ” the local barber/JP” has the legal, ethical and moral obligation to uphold the Constitution. Their rulings are every bit as valid as the “Big City’s” equivalent.

      Does this burden Apple? Tough. It’s they that sold privacy and security as if it were theirs to sell.

    2. So you have a problem with judges appointed by, that would be President Trump to you USER, that uphold the law and Constitution. Obviously you prefer liberal activist judges rewriting laws, alternate leftist interpretation, threatening the Constitution while ignoring centuries of precedents. Got it.

      Certainly there is no need for snide mocking of Republicans, Federalist Society and others FAKE REPUBLICAN. That said, it really bothers you good to read.

      “Remember, these are the folks seriously making the argument before the Senate this week that there is literally no remedy whether by prosecution or impeachment for an abuse of executive power”

      No, TOTALLY WRONG that is your leftist interpretation and Democrat/Media brainwashing that is going on in the Senate day after day.

      “even if one were proven beyond a reasonable doubt (which they also, and more plausibly, deny). The victims of the abuse are just out of luck.”

      Huh? 🙄

      Yesterday, “Sen. Lindsey Graham slammed Democrats on Wednesday for the impeachment trial, saying they are willing to destroy the country’s institutions in order to attack President Trump. The South Carolina Republican said that what he saw Tuesday was “an effort to ask the Senate to ignore every privilege that President Clinton was able to exercise, Nixon was able to exercise, and to suggest to the Senate that an independent judiciary really is a non-player.”

      -NEWSMAX

      Volume of fiction and only a matter of time the Swamp Sewer Schumer Schitt Sham Show House of Cards will come crumbling down.

      Regarding Apple, I also take exception and agree with AC and have posted before, Apple is NOT UNIQUE and should NOT BE IMMUNE from government warrants, same as any other company.

      “If Apple could be compelled to devote its resources to undoing the encryption on iCloud accounts every time the Possum Hollow Police Department can pursuade the local barber/JP to give them a warrant”

      Your condescension against small town police departments and small mom and pop businesses NOTED. That snide elitist rant aside, obviously you are not paying attention. We are talking about ORGANIZED terrorists that killed Americans using the Number One phone of choice — iPhone. Not about the trespassing neighbor’s dog peeing on your lawn.

      If the NSA, CIA, Wall Street, Nuclear Missile defense, Pentagon, White House, ad nauseam can operate daily with high security measures while identifying bad actors SECURELY — certainly the most technologically advanced, largest and wealthiest company of all time can figure it out in less than an hour.

      BOTTOM LINE: They stubbornly don’t want to, bad for their SECURITY image and trillion dollar BUSINESS …👎🏻

      1. If you think that the Federalist Society isn’t sponsoring judicial activism, I suspect you have a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge. Their members are reversing established precedents left, right, and center. Just because you approve of the legislation they are issuing from the bench doesn’t make it less activist

        I did not attack small town police departments. Unlike you, I used to work with a dozen of them. My point was that there are 17,985 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the USA. Big agencies like the FBI and NYPD can do their own decryption work, but most of them are going to be trying to force Apple to do it for them. One phone can take weeks or months, so try multiple phones per year from each of 17 ½ thousand agencies. Apple does NOT have the resources to do that.

        The Fourth Amendment does not just apply to organized terrorists. I have no problem imagining a situation where a police department is conducting a trespass investigation and wants to see the photos on the suspect’s iPhone of his dog peeing on the neighbor’s lawn… and can talk the local elected judge into issuing a decryption order. If Apple has to obey any such orders, it will have to obey that one. They don’t get to pick and choose.

        Yes, the NSA, CIA, etc. all have secure systems, but it isn’t because they have figured out how to have a secure back door. They have no back doors at all. In many cases, as in missile defense, the computers have no connection to the internet, so the question of back doors is irrelevant.

        Finally, I have not been listening to “liberal/media brainwashing.” Professor Dershowitz and the entire defense team have been on TV for weeks quite specifically claiming that Alexander Hamilton was wrong when he wrote that the abuse of presidential power for personal benefit was almost the definition of an impeachable offense. The President has been claiming for three years that Article II of the Constitution gives him absolute power, which is certainly consistent with the claim that he can not be prosecuted, impeached, or even investigated. By definition, power that can be abused is not absolute.

        1. “If you think that the Federalist Society isn’t sponsoring judicial activism”

          Please quote me where I said anything remotely resembling your deflection paragraph. I’ll save you the time, it does not exist.

          “I did not attack small town police departments.”

          Nadler and Schiff would disagree. 🤣

          “Unlike you, I used to work with a dozen of them.”

          I don’t believe you for a nanosecond. On record as a self described, “white male conservative Republican.” I suspect everyone knows by now that’s a LIE.

          Judging by your liberal/Democrat daily suppot posts (particularity supporting the lying Clinton Crime Family), followed by your conservative/Republican daily condemnation posts. All your buddies here are extreme left lunatic fringe, plain too read.

          Not one conservative MDN denizen supports you — speaks VOLUMES. Dead giveaway is not one word of praise for the remarkable President Trump on ANYTHING. You can’t even post president and Trump in the same sentence out of RESPECT.

          “but most of them are going to be trying to force Apple to do it for them.”

          You want to bet the farm on your opinion prediction?

          “One phone can take weeks or months”

          How do you know? OK, prove your point. Waiting.

          With a secure backdoor featuring revolving code, like my garage door opener, a key could be built and used in centralized location under CIA level security. It should take less five minutes to unlock the phone, change the password, and hand it back to law enforcement to do their investigation.

          As I and others have been saying, certainly Apple should NOT BE IMMUNE from warrants, same as any other business in the U.S. Seriously, who the hell do they think they are? iPhone is número uno TERRORIST CHOICE a direct result of their secure phones.

          “so try multiple phones per year from each of 17 ½ thousand agencies. Apple does NOT have the resources to do that.”

          Flawed opinion. The article is not talking about every law enforcement agency in the U.S., you are. I repeat, “we are talking about ORGANIZED TERRORISTS in the U.S. that killed Americans using the Number One phone of choice — iPhone.” Comment that Apple does not have the resources is FALSE. If the wealthiest and largest company of all time does not have resources, no one does. Sounds like an Apple defensive fanboy comment.

          “I have no problem imagining a situation where a police department is conducting a trespass investigation and wants to see the photos on the suspect’s iPhone of his dog peeing on the neighbor’s lawn…”

          That’s ridiculous. It would be immediately dismissed by a judge you can’t put dogs in jail and incident does not rise to the level of high crimes and terrorism.

          “Yes, the NSA, CIA, etc. all have secure systems, but it isn’t because they have figured out how to have a secure back door.“

          Never said they have a backdoor. That said, how can they not if a bad actor breaks in? I’m simply saying they have a secure modus operandi Apple could emulate.

          “the computers have no connection to the internet”

          That’s Common Sense 101. However, they do speak to each other on a network.

          “Finally, I have not been listening to “liberal/media brainwashing.”

          It’s everywhere 24/7. The only way to avoid it is the Fox News Channel.

          “Professor Dershowitz” and the entire defense team have been on TV for weeks”

          Yes, on Fox News and it’s absolutely remarkable that a ling time respected liberal Harvard law professor, no longer a CNN regular for decades, progressed to the Fox News Channel, the last bastion of media truths.

          “So you are saying you edit out quite specifically claiming that Alexander Hamilton was wrong when he wrote that the abuse of presidential power for personal benefit was almost the definition of an impeachable offense.”

          Said nothing of the sort, that
          Is your projection.

          “The President has been claiming for three years that Article II of the Constitution gives him absolute power, which is certainly consistent with the claim that he can not be prosecuted, impeached, or even investigated.”

          100% BULLSH*T! 🐂💩 Nuff said.

          “By definition, power that can be abused is not absolute.”

          Instead of wasting our time on peripheral inferences and constitutional interpretation say what you mean. The president has every right to use government resources, working with foreign governments to look into and if required investigate corrupt dealings. Name one president that has not done so in the last 50 years. The president has every right to withhold aid while doubts exist. A news report I saw the other day detailed President Obama withheld aid six times to foreign governments for many different reasons. Was he impeached? Was Obama accused of Russian collusion when caught on a hot mic promising he could do more for Putin after the election? Talk about slam dunk quid pro quo Russian collision!

          Media: CRICKETS : : : : :

          The same media crickets not investigating the corrupt Biden family for many personal dubious enrichment dealings just released in an explosive book. When Joe said nothing was found, he is almost right. The mainstream media, namely CNN and the NYT Pulitzer winning investigate team simply did not report on it and sat on their hands. They are too busy working on impeachment and PURPOSELY turning a blind eye for over a decade on questionable Obama, Hillary and Biden dealings.

          Three words you need to learn and expand your vocabulary: HYPOCRISY, DOUBLE STANDARD and media BIAS…

          1. It is not worth my time responding to the longest post with the most misrepresentations I have seen in my life. Hardly a single thing is true.

            “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:24 (NIV)

            1. You know I speak the truth, you can’t handle it or own up to it. Besides, this is the fourth time you said 100% of my post is wrong. It’s getting old quickly. Even a broken clock is right two times a day. More LYING DISHONESTY from USER… 👎🏻

            2. I said “hardly anything is true,” not “100% of your post is wrong.”

              You just can’t stop misrepresenting facts, can you? The Devil really has a hold on you. Since you claim to be Roman Catholic, I suggest you contact an exorcist.

            3. @ TxUser:

              Be careful, Goeb may unleash his debate-winning Nuff on you. Whatever Nuff says always counts double what anyone else says, at least that’s what Goeb believes.

              Never mind the fact that Goeb never actually cites the sources for his “facts”.

            4. @Mike: “Never mind the fact that GoeB never actually cites the sources for his “facts.”

              Well, well, the two biggest LIARS happily together as smear merchants spreading FUD and character assassination. Pair of tedious leftist clowns playing fast and loose with facts and when challenged, shoot the messenger. Certainly, both are child’s play to effectively handle all misrepresentations.

              “Never” is an absolute term one of the giveaway code words exposing you as a FRAUD. I cite and post plenty of quotes and links from credible sources from time to time when the mood strikes me.

              Unlike your posts and FAKE charts suspect sources from the likes of leftist fever swamps Mother Jones, Huff Post and others resembling Mad magazine. I do not feel the need to post links regularly to prove my points, I can read, recall and put it out there same as everyone else without backup. TMac is a master at this practice.

              Run along now sonny, I have to get up for church. Nuff said…

            5. @USER: Three previous times you posted I did not cite a single fact or truth, also you admitted not reading my longest post, so how would you know? Yes, this fourth time “hardly anything is true” what, like 0.1%?

              Notice you do not detail what is true, what is not true, so to me it might as well be another 100% semantically speaking.

              I don’t appreciate you bringing up my faith and in a previous post you brought up my deceased mother. What’s your PROBLEM? Do you not know or have a shred of decency BOTH topics are personal and out of bounds!?!?!

              Obviously, I won both arguments judging by your last resort of highly personal attacks. I rate you extremely dishonest and despicable.

              “There’s no stopping a man who knows he’s in the right and keeps a-coming.”

              -Louis L’Amour

  3. How come there are no security issues being raised for Android smartphones? Has Google already provided a back-door for law enforcement agencies? It just seems unfair to attack only Apple’s iPhone when there are far more Android smartphones in the world that must contain plenty of criminal activity data.

    1. Another very pithy, in-depth and intellectually stimulating remark from the entity named auramac.

      Oh, there he goes back to monitor his “Don’s a Dope” Facebook group. Always a power-contributor.

  4. “They have the keys to so many criminals and criminal minds, and we can do things.”

    Doesn’t the President use an iPhone? And can the Senate subpoena his iPhone for some forensic analysis? 😉 Careful what you wish for!

  5. Re: “President Trump demands iPhone backdoors, but that would risk the privacy and security of every iPhone user. — MDN”

    That includes risking the privacy and security [meaning national security] of many iPhones, used by the POTUS, NSA, FBI, CIA, Defence, etc.

    The backdoor key to the AES under the mat is like a two-edged sword, it cuts both ways.

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