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The Great iPhone Unlocking Controversy

APPLE TO DEFY GOVERNMENT ORDER … AND RIGHTFULLY SO Technology giant Apple will oppose a court order demanding that it provide the federal government with a way to get around its encryption technology. Using a vague, centuries-old statute federal judge Sheri Pym has ordered the California-based company to provide the government…

APPLE TO DEFY GOVERNMENT ORDER … AND RIGHTFULLY SO

Technology giant Apple will oppose a court order demanding that it provide the federal government with a way to get around its encryption technology.

Using a vague, centuries-old statute federal judge Sheri Pym has ordered the California-based company to provide the government with the tools it needs to bypass security on the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino domestic terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook.  The 28-year-old jihadist and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, murdered fourteen people at the office complex where Farook worked.

They were both killed by police in a shootout following the December 2 attack.

Apple says it will not comply with the order … which relies on a catchall clause called the “All Writs Act,” an eighteenth century statue which effectively grants government the right to compel anyone to do anything it wants.

“We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Cook said the technology needed to bypass encryption is “something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”

We agree … completely.

Encryption is a process by which plain text data exchanges are encoded using a key and then deciphered by authorized users using secret decryption keys.  The government is basically ordering Apple to create a “master key” for all of its iOS devices (i.e. all iPhones, iPods, iPads, etc.) – and then turn that key over to the same people have been spying on us for years without warrants.

And storing our data without our permission …

“The F.B.I. may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a back door,” Cook said. “And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

Amen to that …

Such universal access is far too dangerous to entrust to the government given its track record on mass surveillance and other violations of individual liberty.

Encryption was promoted by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden as the best way of protecting citizens from

“The bottom line … is that encryption does work,” Snowden said during a March 2014 address.

That same year, Apple and Google both moved to full encryption on their mobile operating systems – with Apple explicitly saying the move was made so that “it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession.”

Good for both companies …

Despite lip service paid to individual liberty by certain politicians, the Fourth Amendment freedoms of all Americans continue to be habitually violated by the government.  In other words, there is simply no way to trust the government with this technology.

***

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15 comments

stumpknocker February 17, 2016 at 8:16 am

i wonder if there will be anybody left on the supreme court by the time this works it’s way up

Reply
Nölff February 17, 2016 at 8:35 am

The negatives outweigh the positives of unlocking that iPhone. Seriously, I’d love to dance Farook’s grave, but I don’t trust the government with the ability to snoop in everyone’s personal bidnus.

The feds could just chop off his thumb to unlock the iphone’s fingerprint home button, though.

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erneba February 17, 2016 at 8:45 am

Based on some recent episodes with our Federal Government, the Snowen affair, IRS mishandling of tax documents, etc, I come down on the side of Tim Cook and Apple.
There is the potential for more harm from Bureaucrats in three piece suits, walking down the halls in Washington than some crazy Arabs, dressed in seven-day-shitters, tending their goats in the desert.

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CorruptionInColumbia February 17, 2016 at 10:42 am

+ 10,000!!!!

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Little Billy February 17, 2016 at 9:06 am

It is funny that Apple will use every bit of info it can find to make money, but want use it to help national security.
I agree Apple should not assist the Feds but also think they should not have free range to mine our private lives for commercial gain.

Reply
TroubleBaby February 17, 2016 at 9:13 am

“I agree Apple should not assist the Feds but also think they should not have free range to mine our private lives for commercial gain.”

They only have “free range” in your life is you use their products. It’s completely voluntary.

Reply
Flip February 17, 2016 at 10:03 am

Apple could have decided to give the feds what they asked for voluntarily too, without saying anything, and no one would be any wiser to it. IMO you can’t consent to something you can’t know. Who knows what Apple looks at on our iPhones? If they have a policy somewhere who has read it? Who knows if they even follow it?

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TroubleBaby February 17, 2016 at 10:25 am

“IMO you can’t consent to something you can’t know. ”

I assure you buried in Apple’s verbage in EULA’s that everyone agrees that Apple has full access to their personal information.

It’s usually on first boot up, or Apple contracts, etc.

No one reads the fine print, but it’s there and by signing on and using their product you agree to it, if if you don’t know(because you didn’t read the fine print)- it’s not Apple’s fault no one reads anything(including me).

If someone doesn’t like the notion that Apple has free reign over their personal info, they shouldn’t use Apple products and hand over their personal info. to them.

Reply
Flip February 17, 2016 at 9:56 am

Apple doesn’t really give a damn about our privacy, they may say no to the federal government but I bet they snoop plenty for their own purposes.

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Haley is a Joke February 17, 2016 at 12:07 pm

They are playing a game so their stocks do not tumble.

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cluckton February 17, 2016 at 11:18 am

Donald Trump believes Apple should be forced to comply. There’s nothing useful on this terrorists phone. What’s this really about?

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Haley is a Joke February 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm

An act made into law when electronic communications and storage were non-existent. It has absolutely no authority in this day and time. The judge is out of Order.

Reply
west_rhino February 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm

playing this out in public, while unlocking things behind this smoke screen is also possible, though Apple and its follies sin’t exempt from ISIS and jihad as an appeaser.

Reply
truthmonger February 20, 2016 at 11:12 pm

And you forget the part of the 4th Amendment about search by warrant. I guess you just toss out the parts of the Constitution you don’t like…..

Reply
todd February 21, 2016 at 11:05 am

A better answer would have been, “Our phones are designed so that no one, including the manufacturer, can access the data stored on them unless the owner provides the key.” Until then, you can safely assume government and Apple all have unlimited access to all of the nude pics you took of your girlfriend. Also most of this is moot because any messages sent from the phone have already been subpoenaed and handed over by their service provider.

Reply

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