Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Answer is No

Tim Cook is absolutely right in resisting the FBI's insistence on a back door to the iPhone given the inherent potential abuses such a back door would have on the millions of customers who use iPhones for all things related to conducting business on planet earth. 

Cook's message to "our customers" is impressive without question.

The all inclusive nature of the order scares the crap out of yours truly as the number of new soft targets hackers will have access to boggles the imagination if Apple complies with the court. Lastly, when you consider how our right to privacy have been taken away from us by the Bush and Obama administrations via the ongoing 24/7 surveillance being done by the NSA/FBI/CIA/IRS and other significant parties, it's no wonder why Apple's going to fight this as Google should or any other vendor who has our data in hand 24/7.

We are at a crossroads where either we take back our country or sit back and let the powers at be run it into the ground for the sake of ever increasing profit and power no matter what the cost may be.

The choice is up to us.

Addendum: Click here to get MIT's take on why backdoors, in general, are a really bad idea.

Update on why giving the FBI a backdoor is a REALLY REALLY bad idea.

On Friday, we noted that one of the reasons that the FBI was unable to get access to the data on the remaining iPhone from Syed Farook was because after the shooting and after the phone was in the hands of the government, Farook's employer, the San Bernardino Health Department, initiated a password change on his iCloud account. That apparently messed stuff up, because without that, it would have been possible to force the phone to backup data to the associated iCloud account, where it would have been available to the FBI. But, after we published that article, a rather salient point came out: the Health Department only did this because the FBI asked it to do so. 

From a San Bernardino County Twitter account:
If you can't read that, it says: "The County was working cooperatively with the FBI when it reset the iCloud password at the FBI's request." 

In short: a big reason why the FBI can't get the info it wants is because of an action taken... by the FBI. 

Apple has also provided further information on this, showing how it was perfectly willing to cooperate in reasonable ways with the FBI -- but that it was the FBI that messed things up:

The Apple executive told reporters that the company’s engineers had first suggested to the government that it take the phone to the suspect’s apartment to connect it to the Wi-Fi there. But since reporters and members of the public had swarmed that crime scene shortly after the shootings occurred, it was likely that any Wi-Fi there had been disconnected. So Apple suggested the government take the phone to Farook’s former workplace and connect the phone to a Wi-Fi network there. 

The executive said that Apple walked the government through the entire process to accomplish this, but the government came back about two weeks later and told Apple that it hadn’t worked. 

Apple didn’t understand why it had not worked—until the company learned that sometime after the phone had been taken into the custody of law enforcement, someone had gone online and changed the Apple ID that the phone uses to conduct backups.

Any questions?

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