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  • Apple protests FBI iPhone backdoor order in open letter: government is asking us to 'hack our own users'

Apple protests FBI iPhone backdoor order in open letter: government is asking us to 'hack our own users'

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Apple protests FBI iPhone backdoor order in open letter: government is asking us to 'hack our own users'

An unprecedented order by a federal judge, forcing Apple to decrypt the iPhone 5c of the San Bernadino shooter, will force the company to break its system encryption and compromise the security of millions of users.

Apple has now fired back at the judicial system with a formal open letter, where chief executive Tim Cook explains that with this order Apple will be required to create a backdoor for the built-in encryption in the iPhone.

The government is asking Apple to hack its own users

Cook warns that this order will have far greater implications than just that one case: it will put at risk the security of millions of users. What the government has requested is essentially "the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks β€” from restaurants and banks to stores and homes," as Cook explained.

The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers β€” including tens of millions of American citizens β€” from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.

We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data.

source: Apple

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posted on 17 Feb 2016, 03:59 20

1. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)


For once I'm actually on the side of Apple, yes, I understand, the people in question where breaking the law. However, what good will come of this besides blowing security out of the water so "big brother" can continue to wave it's "big daddy" around.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:08 10

2. xondk (Posts: 1605; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Well, they are doing the right thing now, people quickly forget that previous to the privacy outcry, Apple gave information freely. Makes you think that they might dislike the back door for other reasons, but at least they are on the road to improvement on the whole privacy matter now.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:11 2

3. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)


True.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 05:24 1

12. neops (Posts: 297; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)


Ξ‘nd all that on the occasion of a case in which the accused has already plead guilty

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 05:58 1

17. My1cent (Posts: 370; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Ape: "Do we share it now?"
Another Ape: "Not now, not yet! or people will know we had it!"

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 07:34 6

22. o0Exia0o (Posts: 900; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


The accused plead guilty? That's wrong, the accused were shot dead by police in a shootout with them.

I can see what the government perceives that they are trying to do here; Trying to find other people that had knowledge or helped the San Bernadino shooters. But for once a tech company is doing the right thing by telling the government that they will not help them violate the privacy of tens-of-millions of users for a quick look at the information contained on 1 device...

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 18:59

110. engineer-1701d (unregistered)


because they may not have acted alone you buffoon

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 05:49 1

16. bambamboogy02 (Posts: 598; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


Why can't Apple just unlock the device? Dump the data into another IPhone, with out a security lock on it. How would this expose a backdoor? Don't hand over the key to unlocking, just unlock the device. There is a huge difference in unlocking a car remotely and letting someone in VS. Handing them the keys to enter your car.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 07:55 5

28. o0Exia0o (Posts: 900; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


Apple is saying that they have no way to decrypt user data on an Apple branded device. Whether that is true or not, we the people may never know. But be mindful of this, if Apple has the ability to do what the government is asking and if they end up doing what the government wants has huge ramifications not only for Apple users but also Android and Windows users. I am, for once, siding with Apple on this that the government has no right to ask or compel a company to violate the rights of the end user for sake of getting information from 1 device...

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 08:48

42. willard12 (Posts: 1729; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


"violate the rights of the end user "

Which right are you referring to?

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 09:54 5

47. marorun (Posts: 3922; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Right to privacy.

If they want the info they can ask the guy to unlock it himself and give him an extra 5 year prison if he dont comply.

Thats would be the right way to do it.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 10:34 2

52. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 481; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


Except the guy in question is dead, so I don't think the extra 5 years of prison will upset him much.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 11:06 1

56. marorun (Posts: 3922; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Still if they allow it for this case then the door is open to allow it for anything.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 11:22 1

65. willard12 (Posts: 1729; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Which article or amendment to the Constitution grants the right to privacy? ....don't look too hard for it. It doesn't exist.

In this particular case, the couple is dead. So, I don't think a 5 year prison sentence is a threat to someone doing an eternity in hell. I'm also not sure how you'd go about asking him.

However, in our country, there is an amendment that protects citizens against self-incrimination. So, no, asking an alleged criminal to turn over evidence against himself is not the right thing to do. But, law enforcement, with probable cause, asking a judge for an order to compel the accused, or for a warrant to search (as was done in this case) is the right thing to do.

In your imiginery world (and apparently many others), child pornographers with videos on their phones, pedophiles who exchange texts with children, should just hand-over evidence to their crimes at their leisure. And therefore, they should all be free.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 12:11 1

70. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 3329; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Who says the guy should be free? If they have valid evidence and reason to suspect child pornography or any other criminal offence, they should threaten life time imprisonment (for child pornography) or some other appropriate long term imprisonment if the criminal refuses to comply with the request for the password. If the suspect complies, they shorten it to something like 30 years.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 12:15 2

71. o0Exia0o (Posts: 900; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


For start the 4th amendment of the Constitution of The United States deals with personal property.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"

The police seized the phone believing there to be evidence of the plot of the crime on it and that's all fine and good.

But where the water starts to get muddy is when the police try to compel a Tech company to decrypt the phone's contents. Apple by its own admission has no way to break its own encryption protocol and by breaking the encryption on the device there exists a danger to other people's property/privacy.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 12:48

76. willard12 (Posts: 1729; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


I absolutely agree with most of your last on compelling the corporation to act. But, this case has nothing to do with the privacy of the accused. The only question is Apple's involvement.

If law enforcement could decrypt the device themselves, the government would already have gone through his phone and pulled every bit of data from it.

In compliance with the 4th amendment that you just quoted, landlords open doors to their tenant's apartments for law enforcement with warrants every day of the week. And if Tony Soprano doesn't have a landlord, and the Feds have a warrant, then Tony Soprano opens the door.

But people keep saying "privacy, privacy, privacy." There is privacy, right up until there is probable cause and a warrant is issued. You don't have a right to privacy. You have a right to due process. And in this case, that right has been fulfilled.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 13:08 2

82. o0Exia0o (Posts: 900; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


A landlord is also the owner of the property that the tenant rents. In this case, a cellphone, the property has been sold by a company. That's like the cops going to the manufacturer of your car, asking the manufacturer to make a key for your car and then searching your cars contents.

Apple does not own the phone in question. Then government can ask Apple to decrypt and unlock the phone but Apple has no obligation to comply with that request.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 13:36

91. willard12 (Posts: 1729; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


I absolutely agree with most of your last on compelling the corporation to act. But, this case has nothing to do with the privacy of the accused. The only question is Apple's involvement.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 13:47 1

93. o0Exia0o (Posts: 900; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


What legal standing does the Government have to force a company that made a private sale to then provide the Government with means to gain forced entry into that product?

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 14:24

96. willard12 (Posts: 1729; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Man, I completely agree that Apple being compelled to be involved is questionable. But, a court of law, with a judge paid and trained to interpret the constitution has made a ruling based on his interpretation of the 4th amendment. Apple should appeal and would probably win. But, for many to say that this is a violation of the constitution is false. This process is exactly what the constitution calls for. I disagree with Lucy Koh's rulings. But, once she makes them, they are common law and the people involved all exercised their rights to due process. I don't say that Lucy Koh's rulings are illegal and she can't make Samsung pay.

I am disagreeing with most everyone else who believes that the government has no right to look into his phone. As I stated, if his phone wasn't encrypted there would be no issue with Apple at all. But, people would still be complaining about "big brother" going through his phone and spying on him just as they did in a previous article about the drug dealer where the phone wasn't encrypted

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 15:12

103. ablopez (Posts: 231; Member since: 15 Apr 2014)


But what if that phone was a government issued phone, and that government gave permission to view the contents? I thought I heard on the news that San Bernardino actually issued the phone to him.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 19:04

111. engineer-1701d (unregistered)


think first exia unreasonable searches , they killed 14 people as that act the phones are evidence that others maybe next week will do the same think, and the fact that they used work given phones its not there property its the states. and i think the state of california will go with find out if they had help from others or acted alone they tried leaving the country after doing it.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 19:53

113. chebner (Posts: 235; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Ever heard of a search warrant?

I think everyone is being a bit over dramatic about this. Yes, if implemented incorrectly it could give authorities a master key as Tim Cook suggests. But anything found without a warrant would be inadmissible. And boy what a scandal that would be if the govt got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. If they have probable cause and go through the correct channels to get a search warrant, why shouldn't they be able to search through someone's phone or computer?

Want to maintain your privacy? Don't do anything that makes you look like a criminal.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 09:19 2

45. QWERTYphone (Posts: 654; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


Some of the idiots on this site make me sick.
Make a choice.
Freedom VS Islamic State
Apple VS Justice
It's never been more clear. Apple is an evil company. I can't wait for that Queen, and his company, to join Jobs' rotted corpse in the ground where they all belong.,

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 10:21 1

50. marorun (Posts: 3922; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Governement are as evil as Apple if not more they want to be able to check everything we do..

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 19:04

112. engineer-1701d (unregistered)


maybe in your country.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 14:52 2

100. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Brain Surgery: you're quite overdue for it, aren't you?

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 11:17 1

63. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)


I am not EVEN touching that device! Any Apple device!

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 14:40

97. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Indeed. And even if Apple wasn't thinking of good intentions here, they surely know if they comply with the government's requests, there will be millions of iphones that will get deactivated within a day's time.

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