Government says Apple licenses iOS, it doesn't sell it

Government says Apple licenses iOS, it doesn't sell it
According to the government, you don't own the software inside your iPhone or iPad. This came up during a recent legal tussle involving the Department of Justice. The DOJ is trying to get Apple to crack encrypted code inside an iPhone that is part of a court case. Apple says that not only does it not have to do this, it claims that it doesn't have the technical prowess to do so.

Apple's statement that it does not have to do the DOJ's bidding was basically shot down by Justice Department lawyers that claim Apple does not sell you iOS, it licenses it to you. The distinction is important in this case, because with the latter, Apple still owns the copy of iOS in your iPhone. This means that the DOJ can request that Apple decrypt it. If Apple were to sell iOS to you with the purchase of an iPhone, the software would belong to you and the government couldn't force you to let them see it.

This could be a pretty important ruling for future criminal proceedings where the government contends that damaging evidence is stored on the software inside a smartphone. By the way, the phone in the case is an Apple iPhone 5s, and Apple claims that breaking into the phone to fetch the evidence could "tarnish the Apple brand." According to the government's filing, Apple also doesn't want to assist the government because of the time and money involved in doing so. The DOJ says that these costs are minor compared to the profits that Apple has made selling the iPhone over the years. The filing states that Apple has no legal grounds for not helping the government with this matter.

The DOJ has asked for an expedited ruling so that it can force Apple to fetch the information from the specific iPhone in time for the trial, which is scheduled to begin on November 16th.

Thanks for the tip!

source: boingboing



1. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Im glad Apple is fighting this...The moment, the Government is able to get into iPhone is the moment the NSA and other national and international agencies will be able to get into every iPhone and destroy our privacy. Very Disappointed with Google and its so called "respect for privacy"

2. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

I missed the article where Google decrypted Android phones for the feds on demand.

5. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009 They already can remote install a monitoring app that can look through your camera and listen through your mic in real time. They can't do that with Android. Welcome to iOS!

11. thowersome

Posts: 34; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

Not trying to put lemon in my own eyes but android does have those pesky ads on the browser that prompt you to install "blank" app for "blank" advantages of which most people who aren't tech savvy to fall to and end up leaking their info and get demanded ransom for photos leaked. Still prefer android to ios by far because of this bulls**t NSA stuff and because with Mod-AOSP and custom roms, you can block all those threats and technically own the software (If built by third-party or yourself).

17. nodes

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 06, 2014 do you think an open-source OS is safer than a closed one? don't ever think that your device is safe, if it has Google logo on it. even they can get into Blackberry.

37. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Ok is it safe that i say Windows phone or they also have access to it?

76. iushnt

Posts: 3122; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Seems like you don't have knowledge about open source and closed source software. Being open or close source has nothing to do with security. By your logic Windows PC OS should never have got infected with virus and Linux should have been all infected. However, the most secure server run Linux. Because of its open source nature, the maintainer of the servers can add their own extra version of security. Maybe do some reading rather than living in misconception

18. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

You actually think they can't do that with android? Are you kidding me? There was an app not to long ago that hid a 1px x 1px camera running that would do the exact same thing and needed no authorization to do so.

13. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Ooh killen

36. Plutonium239

Posts: 1230; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

They don't need apple to break into IOS, as it is the 2nd least secure operating system after OS-X which is the least secure operating system in current use.It shouldn't be that hard to break into. The security issues on IOS make Windows XP look like Fort Knox(impenetrable).

38. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Windows was never that bad specially when you can install all those anti viruses and etc. Phones aren't the same at all.

41. Plutonium239

Posts: 1230; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Antiviruses can't make up for kernel level security issues.

67. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Yeah but anyway MS send security updates for its Windows i don't think if any OS send this much updates.

72. Plutonium239

Posts: 1230; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Right, Microsoft is the only OS developer that pushes out security updates on a monthly basis or sooner if it calls for it. Android has been reactionary. Linux is reactionary and many flavors and some are not supported much, if at all. Apple takes a long time to address security issues and many times they don't patch them properly. The only thing Apple is aggressive against patching is the vulnerabilities that allow jailbreaking IOS. Apple took over 4 months to release a patch that allowed a hacker to take complete control of a mac running OS-X Yosemite. And the patch they released didn't really address the issue. It's still vulnerable to that same issue, their patch is trivial for anyone to bypass.

46. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Department of Justice and NSA is two different government departments. They might work together on somethings but department of justice is full of lawyers and detectives and some IT guys. while NSA is full of skilled hackers, IT guys and engineers who don't always obey the law

74. iushnt

Posts: 3122; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Are you personally affected by Google? And how can you be so sure that Apple has not been doing the same?

3. TerryTerius unregistered

I've always kind of been of two minds on this. There has to be a some way for government bodies to gain access to someone's personal information if they are facing criminal charges when it's absolutely necessary but not have the dragnet policies the NSA currently employs. I absolutely don't want the government snooping through my personal data on a whim, or because of suspicion. But I cannot ignore the value of such information when it comes to criminal proceedings, and I can understand how useful that can be in a case. I'm not entirely sure where I fall on this.

15. discharge unregistered

Great post there.. Apple does store people's information but won't fest up to it!! Apple Pay a friend of mine account was hacked using Apple Pay..

26. AlikMalix unregistered

Pathetic, "a friend of mine"? Really?

53. discharge unregistered

Look who's talking alik where's your BF darrk???

54. discharge unregistered

Maybe Tim Cook will do a 3way with you two and a gift certificate for a iPhone 7 next year and you three can do selfies of each other ?? Ya?? I bet you already do!!

60. darkkjedii

Posts: 31269; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Notice, he provided no proof, just "a friend of mine" lol. Well that settles it, no way he's lying about "a friend of mine". We believe you.

64. discharge unregistered

why should i provide someones name whom got hacked?? so someone like you and steal like apple you fool..get a job and off mamas wing and get a life

80. iushnt

Posts: 3122; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

And apparently no one in the world but his friend became a victim.. Everyone believes this

65. discharge unregistered

yes he talks smack on you than says good things?? read dork darrks posts and see for yourself

77. iushnt

Posts: 3122; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Stories stories

50. jojon

Posts: 433; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

..yes, a thorny one isn't it!

52. Raghavkumar

Posts: 20; Member since: Sep 28, 2015

Exactly my thoughts! Let's say a stock broker cheats millions of customers and swindles millions of dollars. And let's say everything he has done with the money, all the necessary info are in phone which is so called encrypted. If you are a victim would you not ask the government to recover the info and get back your money. The point is people has only a few things that are private. But fortunately they will be of no use at the government level. Seriously! Until otherwise you have something that can start a mass distraction.

4. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Apple does sell IOS to you when you buy an iPhone! Apple cannot just decide to take IOS away from the iPhone you own. This will be very bad if this goes through. This is a way to go around our 5th amendment rights of self incrimination. Imagine you get pulled over for using your phone. You say you weren't. They ask you to unlock your phone. You refuse(5th amendment right), they pull out a little IOS cracker to override your iPhones pass lock.

19. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

5th amendment only goes so far. 5th amendment only covers communicative evidence. Meaning you personally speaking out against yourself. It does NOT protect anything considered property. This has even come down to DNA and Fingerprints and already upheld in the court of law. Your phone is not protected by any 5th amendment right.

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