Data released by Apple contradicts Trump and Barr

Data released by Apple contradicts Trump and Barr
If you listened to President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr this past week, you might have thought that Apple fails to respond every time law enforcement requests user data from one of its customers. Barr, for example, spoke to the media last week about two iPhones owned by a deceased terrorist that Apple is not unlocking. The Attorney General said, "This situation perfectly illustrates why it is critical that investigators be able to get access to digital evidence once they have obtained a court order based on probable cause. We call on Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of Americans and prevent future attacks."

In a tweet, President Trump wrote "We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers, and other violent criminal elements. They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country." But data provided online by Apple reveals that the company has complied with 90% of the government's request for account information. Trump and Barr are referring to one specific situation currently in the news. The FBI has requested that Apple unlock an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 7 that belonged to Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani who allegedly killed three people last month at a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida. The government is calling it a terrorist attack, and the shooter was killed by the police.

Apple refuses to open the phones for the same reason it refused to unlock an iPhone 5c under similar circumstances in 2016. The company would have to develop another version of iOS for the government. If someone were to leak the software, all iPhones would become easy prey for hackers. Besides, there are indications that third-party companies can unlock at least one and possibly both of Alshamrani's phones.

Apple says it complied with government requests for account information 90% of the time during the first half of 2019


The transparency data released by Apple yesterday covers the first half of 2019 (January 1st to June 30th to be more precise). A chart posted by Apple covering government requests for account data reveals that the U.S. government made 3,619 such requests during the aforementioned time period. 15,377 specific Apple accounts were mentioned in these requests. According to Apple, it complied with the requests and turned over at least some data 90% of the time. The information covered by these requests include "details of customers' iTunes or iCloud accounts, such as a name and address; and in certain instances customers' iCloud content, such as stored photos, email, iOS device backups, contacts or calendars."


This data released by Apple indicates that the president and his top law enforcement official are trying to manipulate Apple into doing something that the company feels would not be in the best interests of iPhone users worldwide (the president being one of them, we should point out). Barr hinted that he might seek a court order to force Apple to open Alshamrani's phones, but then again why should Apple be forced to comply with a court order requested by an administration that constantly disregards them?

Barr wants Apple and other tech firms to create a backdoor that would allow the government access to personal data it has a court order to obtain. But in the hands of certain government officials, this possibility is frightening. Even some FBI officials concur that Apple has been a big help to law enforcement. Defending the use of encryption, the company says, "Law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations. We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users' data."

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17 Comments

10. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3208; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Ben Franklin was onto something when he said - and I'm paraphrasing, "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security deserve neither and will lose both." I'm sure he and Mssrs. Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton Et Al. are furiously spinning in their crypts with what's going on in our Republic. Starting with the dumbass occupying the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania.

15. MsPooks

Posts: 384; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

They're already spinning from the partisan impeachment lynching.

16. Vancetastic

Posts: 1981; Member since: May 17, 2017

They've been spinning for years, and turned into actual dervishes when Trump got elected.

18. jellmoo

Posts: 2717; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Yes. How dare they impeach a man for trying to solicit a foreign power to help win an election by circumventing the constitution, and then onstructing the investigation. Such a lynching. How dare the house hold him accountable for his actions!

19. Vancetastic

Posts: 1981; Member since: May 17, 2017

Republicans are absolutely spineless for lining up and supporting him. This goes far beyond political leanings. Additionally, referring to it as a "lynching" is a bit disrespectful to the history of actual lynchings in this country.

5. Vancetastic

Posts: 1981; Member since: May 17, 2017

The government just wants a way to get into anyone's iPhone, at any time.

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 31817; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That’s exactly their plan. Enemy of the state comes to mind.

8. Vancetastic

Posts: 1981; Member since: May 17, 2017

We live in some scary times.

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 31817; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Some people have no idea.

12. Vancetastic

Posts: 1981; Member since: May 17, 2017

They don't want to. There are none so blind....

11. cevon3239

Posts: 259; Member since: Jan 01, 2020

Maybe they do. But the request was to unlock the phone of this terrorist. Apple makes the software. Am sure they can unlock them. If Apple doesn't want to fulfill a court order request, than ban all their products until they do. A case like this should be an exception. If the feds wanted access to every phone, they could ask him the FCC to ban any phone they can't access at all. Apple is lucky, we are a Democratic country and not communist. Because if we were. Apple would have been shut down or ceased by the government for non-compliance.

17. jellmoo

Posts: 2717; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I've been visiting this site for almost a decade now, and this is probably the most ill informed, ignorant, and made up of nothing but fud post I have seen here. Congrats, this is quite an accomplishment.

20. XiPingpong unregistered

It is scary when the fascist madman Trump and his puppet Barr want to have access to open iPhones..., because "terrorist" is a very vague word that can be assigned to almost anyone, from environmental activists to regime critics to journalists...! USA is not a "Democratic country", "one man/woman one vote" does not exist in USA because the power of each vote depends on in what State the voter was registered/lives! Hillary won the election but the loser Trump was made the President of the USA anyway by the rigged Electoral College, even though winning the "popular vote" is the pure definition of Democracy! Apple is lucky because in USA capitalists are free to do almost whatever they want!

22. TBomb

Posts: 1795; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Without trying to insult you, I recommend you try to understand the electoral college and why we have it in the US. Popular vote is not the best way to go for the US. There is far too much diversity for it to work

23. kiko007

Posts: 7526; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"There is far too much diversity for it to work." Please explain your rationale for this statement. Are you actually trying to say true Democracy won't work in the States because there are too different types of people. If so... you clearly do not understand the original concept of Democracy, at all.

4. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

If Trump and Barr are saying it, you know it's a lie.

1. jellmoo

Posts: 2717; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

It’s astounding that this administration is tagging on Apple for not doing the very same thing that they supposedly are banning Huawei for. So hypocritical.

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