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Government threatens to force Apple to turn over iOS source code if it won't unlock Farook's iPhone

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Government threatens to force Apple to turn over iOS source code if it won't unlock Farook's iPhone
When the DOJ filled its response on Thursday to Apple's latest brief, it took a harsher tone than it had previously. The government threatened to take the entire source code to iOS and the "private electronic signature" that is required for access to the code. With those two items, the government will be able to build its own Govt.OS and unlock the Apple iPhone 5c that was used by deceased terrorist Syed Farook.

The government is convinced that there could be useful information inside the phone, including the name of a possible third shooter than some witnesses claimed to have seen. For its part, Apple says that building the special version of iOS that would satisfy the government's request would be like playing with fire. If the code were to get into the wrong hands, every iPhone user in the world would have the information they store in their handset vulnerable to being stolen. This battle could go on until the case finally reaches the Supreme Court. Whoever loses at the District Court level is bound to appeal.

As we told you the other day, Apple believes that the DOJ is getting desperate, which explains why the government's rhetoric bar has been raised. But Apple is also in attack mode as in-house attorney Bruce Sewell called the government's filing a smear job.

By demanding the iOS source code and electronic signature, the government is trying to be cute. They are presenting this as an option that Apple can choose from if it doesn't want to build the new OS to provide the back door that the government seeks.

"The government did not seek to compel Apple to turn those over because it believed such a request would be less palatable to Apple. If Apple would prefer that course, however, that may provide an alternative that requires less labor by Apple programmers."-Footnote to government's 35-page brief

Both Apple and the government will present their cases in front of a judge on March 22nd. 

Thanks for the tip!

source: NYPost

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posted on 12 Mar 2016, 01:56 1

1. Unordinary (Posts: 993; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Wasn't code recently passed as free speech under constitutional amendment....?

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 09:25 4

26. lyndon420 (Posts: 3703; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


You really think the government cares about the constitution? Like Obama said earlier the government has had the power to walk into your home and look through your underwear drawer for years, so giving up our phones should be easy by his logic.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 11:25 6

52. Unordinary (Posts: 993; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


A case this big being viewed by millions having constitutional law breached is definitely no panty raid.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 01:59 25

2. tech2 (Posts: 3323; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


'The government is convinced that there could be useful information inside the phone, including the name of a possible third shooter than some witnesses claimed to have seen.'

Does government actually think, the 3rd shooter is still in the country taking his chances and hoping for Apple to win ?

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 06:46 6

15. ZetZet (Posts: 22; Member since: 21 Apr 2015)


that doesn't matter, more names means more connections means more information, it's still a good chance that they find something that's why they won't give up. They aren't neccesarily trying to catch that guy, but his name might lead to more connections.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 09:48 9

30. Acdc1a (Posts: 94; Member since: 21 Jan 2016)


If you think the government CAN'T get into that phone, I have some land to sell you. This is some dangerous territory and for once I'm siding with Apple.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 10:04 3

36. ZetZet (Posts: 22; Member since: 21 Apr 2015)


They really can't. Even for Apple it would take some serious reverse engineering. That's why they want source code now.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 10:51 4

45. izim1 (Posts: 377; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


If you think the government actually has "hackers", like on TV shows, that are better than Apple coders, I've got some land to sell you.... You watch too much TV.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 18:01 1

81. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 1837; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Hackers that a better than Apple's coders? That's already been accomplished given all the vulnerabilities a US government entity (CERT, https://nvd.nist.gov/ ) has already uncovered in apple's software:

bit.ly/1SswEXw

Welcome to earth...

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 18:51

83. izim1 (Posts: 377; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


I was going to ask if you were aware that that's not even close to being the same thing as the US government having better coders than the ones working for Apple, google, Microsoft, etc. But then I realized that the fact you posted this in reply means that you obviously don't....

... Come join us here on earth whenever you're ready, ok buddy

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 19:23 2

86. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 1837; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Alright smartypants, what's your definition of "better coder"? One that works on iOS?

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 08:36

98. izim1 (Posts: 377; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Dude, for starters they outsource for those tests they run. They hire independent companies that specialize in exploiting software. Our company is one of those. They just record the findings. So right off the bat you're already in the wrong. As for "better coders", finding exploits is NOT, not even remotely, the same thing as building/decompiling/reverse engineering software. If you honestly believe that the government has people that can rebuild an OS, much less outmatch OEMs, then I don't even know where to start. I'm honestly hoping you're just arguing for the sake of arguing and you people don't really believe that because if you do then good god you'll believe anything and that's honestly pretty sad.... And before you ask, they can't outsource in this situation because Apple's, and google Microsoft etc, software is legally protected. Their only chance is to force their hand.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 12:08

99. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 1837; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


"Dude, for starters they outsource for those tests they run"

What makes you think apple's coders don't outsource? You think they thought of all the code in iOS by themselves?

"They hire independent companies that specialize in exploiting software"

Just like apple hires coders, so what's your point exactly?

"As for "better coders", finding exploits is NOT, not even remotely, the same thing as building/decompiling/reverse engineering software"

Lol, you're clearly naive...no wonder. FYI, an exploit (http://bfy.tw/1KJm ) takes advantage of a flaw in a computer system, you've gotta do reverse engineering (http://goo.gl/hHII5S ) to find that flaw...unless you're indirectly admitting iOS is so insecure, you don't need no coding skillset to find an exploit.

posted on 19 Mar 2016, 06:25

106. Cetekel (Posts: 7; Member since: 19 Mar 2016)


If you don't think the government has proficient coders working for them, you've obviously never heard of the NSA.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 02:14 27

3. Ankit_27 (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Feb 2016)


I don't like Apple but it's really admirable to see them take a stand for people. They might have their business interest in mind but still it's a nice thing.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 11:38 5

54. LionStone (Posts: 716; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


You know, so easy to sit there and say those things and pretend to be admirable of Apple, but guaranteed, you'd be singing a whole different tune if it was your family that got wiped out by these terrorists! Or if it was Cook's family that got annilated, he'd have a different tune as well.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 12:21 13

57. nodes (Posts: 681; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)


even the husband is siding with Apple in this case.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 14:10 1

68. LionStone (Posts: 716; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


You sure he just doesn't want closure and wants to forget about all of this?

posted on 19 Mar 2016, 06:27

107. Cetekel (Posts: 7; Member since: 19 Mar 2016)


Or because he doesn't want everyone's right to privacy to be relinquished because of a few people's deaths? Far more people die in car crashes, so according to your logic, we should just ban all cars.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 12:28

59. Dee79 (Posts: 280; Member since: 19 Jun 2014)


People? These are animals! Actually that isn't nice to say about animals...

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 02:18 13

4. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1456; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


Guys this is a better news. Samsung has released the source code for Exynos 8890

http://www.sammobile.com/2016/03/11/samsung-releases-kernel-source-files-for-exynos-powered-galaxy-s7-edge/

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 10:09 2

37. zeeBomb (Posts: 1722; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Custom KERNELS GOGOGO!

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 13:04 1

62. belovedson (Posts: 975; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


Too bad exynos is no longer in American galaxies. Meaning many of us aren't going back to Samsung

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 16:07 1

72. izim1 (Posts: 377; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Why? Many of you prefer lower performance? That Snapdragon smacked the exynos around in the majority of benchmark tests, including here on phonearena....

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 02:29 2

5. Mr_Popo (Posts: 17; Member since: 29 Feb 2016)


Time for iOS to go open source and encryption software to be standard on every android/iOS distro

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 02:41 1

6. Crims (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)


I think what really needs discussed here, does a company have the right to negate the government's ability to lawful search and seizure. Up til now it's it's mainly been a software issue with the government IT team finding a work around or brute force attack, but Apple has gone a step further with it's software/hardware combination and it's bricking capabilities. Literately erasing potential evidence.

I understand the whole issue with privacy and government overreach and it leaves me conflicted to justify what the government is doing. On the other hand, I would not want to see a world were the governments ability to carry out it's duties is dictated by a corporation. I don't see any good coming out of this either way.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 06:17 9

12. joeytaylor (Posts: 382; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


It is a complicated issue morally. ....but it boils down to....can the Government force Apple to make something that doesn't exist

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 08:03 7

21. o0Exia0o (Posts: 889; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


If the wrong password is entered in to an iPhone too many times, it does not brick the phone. It wipes the phones internal storage.

Point being on this issue is had the FBI not had the SB Health department reset the iCloud password then this would not have been an issue and Apple would have been able to comply with turning over the "information" that the government is soo desperately seeking. I think this whole thing smells fishy, like the FBI kind of knew what they were doing in order to provoke Apple into building or turning over any information about a possible backdoor into iOS they might have and that does not sit well with me. That shouldn't sit well with anyone....

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 08:49 6

22. izim1 (Posts: 377; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Here we go again... Apple didn't do any of that. The issue here is encryption and security. The government messed up and locked everything up and are now demanding Apple make special software to break the encryption which the whole point of it, its sole reason for existing, is to be as impenetrable as possible. Apple isn't keeping the government from searching anything, in fact the said they would have helped if they government, who is now claiming the suspect magically did it after he was dead, hadn't messed with the phone. The issue here isn't that Apple is interfering or keeping the government from doing anything. The issue is what right does the government have to demand Apple make a special "governmentOS" that would bypass encryption. All encryption. Which, again, exists for the sole purpose of EVERYONE'S individual privacy. "Yeah privacy smrivacy, we need you to make the government a special way around all of that nonsense"

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 02:56 3

7. SPASE (Posts: 205; Member since: 03 May 2013)


For a moment, I read it as sauce code lol

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 03:10 10

8. deebunk (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)


Apple to FBI: OK we'll trade our labor to open the source code for this one phone in exchange for, (1) drop all charges on Edward Snowden and let him come home, (2) release the truth about 911 and the demolition of WTC (3) you agree to pay $50 million per infringement of any future phone hacks to be paid from the FBI retirement fund.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 06:12 4

11. Pattyface (Posts: 1510; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)


You know they wouldn't agree to that. It would completely shut them down. The fbi comes across as desperate and pathetic.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 03:16 1

9. Navi_m (Posts: 766; Member since: 09 Jan 2016)


Too much fun!!! Long live apple long live FBI ! Short live terrorist!

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 16:59 1

74. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 7779; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


I'd take a terrorist over the FBI. At least you know exactly what you're dealing with with a criminal. Not good guys who are actually bad guys in dequise.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 04:06 10

10. Zylam (Posts: 649; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


The FBI is going to get their private parts handed to them on a sliver platter. They've made themselves look like a baby crying for a candy bar the baby next to them has.

It's beyond obvious they couldn't care less about the data on the 5C and just want a back door into iOS. Android probably has a back door and now they want one from Apple to complete their control over people's personal data.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 06:42 7

14. jwainwright (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)


Our government can not be trusted to use tools, such as what they are wanting from Apple, in the best interest of our nation, in part because they do not properly vet employees. Just a few months ago, December of 2015, a meth lab was discovered INSIDE the offices of the NIST in Maryland. During February of 2016, the FBI and the DHS each had their servers hacked, and data from tens of thousands of employees was stolen. They each claim it was facilitated by "malicious employees". It is not the first time government agencies have been hacked and had data stolen. In some other cases, government agencies have had hardware stolen, too.
The FBI can not possibly claim with any credibility that anything Apple gives them will be safe from the hands of hackers, cybercriminals and/or our enemies.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 14:10 1

67. Furbal (Posts: 882; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


*no government

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 06:59 5

16. rotkiv3451 (Posts: 84; Member since: 07 Jan 2015)


I'm quite scared. We all know the government has the means to "convince" the judge to rule in their favor, because they're corrupt as s**t. They couldn't give a crap about the phone in question, what they want is a free pass to steal information from ONE BILLION DEVICES WORLDWIDE. Spying will have never been so easy. I say that if Apple is forced to do such a thing, they should shut iOS down worldwide. I know they couldn't handle the implications (no one could), but it would be the fair thing to do.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 07:24

17. ThePython (Posts: 863; Member since: 08 May 2013)


Edgy.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 07:37 9

18. jellmoo (Posts: 1455; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


What an absolute pile of filth. It's depressing to see a government go into the business of fear mongering in order to gain tools to erode privacy.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 09:52 3

31. Acdc1a (Posts: 94; Member since: 21 Jan 2016)


It's been happening for decades accelerated by 9/11. The tools that keep voting for the 2 major parties are the reason for it and until something changes on that front...well...

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 07:55 1

19. Mfa901 (Posts: 247; Member since: 14 Jul 2012)


yes..make it happen...we want IOS open source project

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 07:56 6

20. Trakker (Posts: 283; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


And here I thought America was supposed to be the land of the free...

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 06:53

93. elitewolverine (Posts: 4991; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Do you honestly know what 'free' means when you take into account others....

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 08:56 2

23. izim1 (Posts: 377; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Apple should give them the source code with a condition that if it ever leaks they own the government from that point on and Tim Cook is the new overlord. I seriously doubt they would even know what to do with it. This isn't "criminal minds" or "the blacklist" they don't have actual top of the line software coders working for them. Those all work for software giants making actual money instead of minimal government salary. They're bluffing hoping Apple will "compromise" and just give them the "govtOS" they've been crying for instead.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 10:26 4

42. xondk (Posts: 1122; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


'if' it leaks? is that even a question?

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 09:02 4

24. cripton805 (Posts: 1406; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


Oh god. You conspiracy theorists are the worst. Most of you would be the ones fighting for your "Rights" and have never even read the Bill of Rights. lmao. You don't know the way our criminal justice system works or due process. You would see that our government is within their legal ground. This is not considered a violation of your privacy. They want Farooks info and Farooks only. They asked Apple to do it for them. They denied. So, they can subpoena the code information to continue their investigation. If that leads them to a backdoor, so be it. It's Apple's fault for not complying with the court order.

Apple needs to turn over the info and I hope they are held in contempt. Plain and simple.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 09:12 12

25. jellmoo (Posts: 1455; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


What a complete and utter pile of tripe. This is about the government having access to force a company to create new software with the express purpose of gaining a backdoor to personal information. They are trying to use a centuries old law in order to force a company to compromise their product offering and fold the very real expectation to privacy that people have and expect.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 09:36 4

27. cripton805 (Posts: 1406; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


I laugh because you dont even know what you're talking about. You dont even know when to expect privacy and when not to. You obviously havent taken a look at the fourth amendment. With many of you that post on here. It clearly mentions the words unreasonable, warrants, probable cause, persons, things, etc... There are times during an investigation when YOU can discover evidence by these means. Its nothing new. But people are making a big deal because its a cell phone. Its no different than obtaining a warrant to search a home or related property to a crime with reasonable suspicion that there will be evidence. There is REASONABLE evidence that there MIGHT be a co-conspirator in relation to the crime. And APPLE is withholding digital information within their reach and refusing to follow a court order.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 09:43 4

28. Micah007 (Posts: 254; Member since: 09 Oct 2014)


Agreed 100%. Half the conspiracy nuts here just hate anything to do with the government in general. It's easy to talk big behind a computer screen.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 09:45 4

29. cripton805 (Posts: 1406; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


It just amazes me that they act like they know what they're talking about. smh.

They think their rights get violated when its right there on paper.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 09:54 4

32. Micah007 (Posts: 254; Member since: 09 Oct 2014)


Like I said they don't know what they are talking about. If anything comments and support like the above just support the notion the internet is a breeding ground for misinformation, people who think they know what they are talking about, and all around ignorance.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 09:56 5

33. Acdc1a (Posts: 94; Member since: 21 Jan 2016)


Apple is withholding nothing. They're refusing to create something out of thin air on the government's whim. This is not a 4th amendment issue as it's hard to confer rights on someone who is dead. Now this is a 1st Amendment issue. Is source code protected speech? That's the question that has to be asked.

I'm tired of computer constitutional scholars. You probably think that the constitution is a living, breathing document too.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 10:02 3

35. cripton805 (Posts: 1406; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


If they cant create it, then they must provide the code that allows the gvmt to create it. I hope you dont ever file a workers comp claim. If you think (THIS) is a violation of your privacy. lol

Work Comp related work is what I do for a living. The way the different court process work is not what people expect.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 11:00 3

46. izim1 (Posts: 377; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Yes. The government has smarter people working for them than Apple does. Brilliant. Apple can't do it but the FBI can. Wow. That makes absolute sense. You're so smart. Everyone should absolutely listen to anything you say. About the constitution. Laws. Privacy. Football. You clearly have a good head on your shoulders and know your stuff. Flawless logic. Amazing. A workers comp claim adjuster. No wonder you know so much. You're one of the nations smartest people. Part of the 1 percenters. The Socrates of the 21st century.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 11:01 8

47. jellmoo (Posts: 1455; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Did... Did you fall out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down? You literally have zero idea of what you are talking about, do you?

Let's look at some facts, shall we? The DOJ is invoking the All Writs Act to compel Apple. A law written in 17frickin89 that's clearly not designed for the modern age. A law that never had to concern itself with any of the various technologies and privacy issues we face today.

Or maybe we can focus on the fact that the government seems fit to decide that Apple can be compelled to erode the security of their own product. That they can be forced to erode the trust they have with their consumers. That they need to actively create something that goes against the best interest of their customers.

Or maybe we can focus on the fact that you just seem hunky dory completely tossing the 4th Amendment aside when it's inconvenient to the government. It's sure nice to have a reasonable expectation of privacy, but let's just let the government hand that out whenever they want. This isn't tantamount to letting the government search your home. This is more akin to letting the government put security cameras in *everyone's* home and watching the footage with a bowl of popcorn.

Yes. Let's force a company, and not just any company, one of the largest and most profitable in the world, to erode the trust of their consumers, let's sweep aside a right and say to heck with privacy, and let's allow the government to bastardize a 200+ year old law to get what they want. That's just brilliant.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 11:23 7

51. izim1 (Posts: 377; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


I have been trying for a couple of days now to get him to understand that this is about his privacy as well not just the suspects but it's not getting through. He's very willing to sacrifice his freedom as long as the government keeps him safe from terrorists. He's one of "those" people....

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 12:03 2

55. cripton805 (Posts: 1406; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


You take something and run with it. You should have "reasonable" privacy where you should expect it. I am not bastardizing my own privacy for it. I just understand that the government needs a way to investigate criminals past encryptions or any walls they might face.

The government is not interested or cares about "Bobs" marital affairs or the fact that "Janet" took some risky photos down in Cancun last week.

Be realistic people. Nobody really cares about what you do. Your identities, bank accounts, and private information is already hackable and obtainable if you use the internet. You can be tracked through your IP address, etc...

This is a matter of Apple getting free publicity and taking a stand for IMAGINARY privacy that they claim to uphold. This is about profits and Apple's little game has you blind to it. Can the government use this against us? Sure, but if you can't trust the government to protect you as best as it can then you're living in the wrong country. What happens when an organization plots a major attack and it was all done through Apple iPhones? For the sake of your privacy because you might have a strange selfie on your phone?

People's logic amazes me sometimes.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 12:28 8

60. jellmoo (Posts: 1455; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Which point are you trying to refute, because you're not addressing any of them. The 200 year old law, the potential to violate the 4th amendment, individual privacy, the potential to force Apple to work against their own consumer base... Which point are you rallying against, because you haven't made an actual point other than : "They just can guys, c'mon!".

If you're going to try and argue a point, at least bring "something".

But hey, if we're going to use stuff from over two hundred years ago as a basis for how the government should behave, maybe we should listen to Ben Franklin instead: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 19:41

88. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


I don't care if your opinion on this subject is for or against. However, if you are going to use a Ben Franklin quote to debate with , it would be wise to understand the history of why he said this. I can assure you it had nothing to do with national security or global terrorism.

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