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Apple VS the FBI


Guest El Chalupacabra

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Guest El Chalupacabra

So what are your opinions?

 

Personally, I understand Apple wanting to protect their trade secrets, as they have build their business model around an unhackable (nothing ever truly is unhackable, really!) iPhone. I also agree with the argument that the government can't just simply conscript someone and compel them to do something they don't want to do. And the Feds certainly do have a track record of over reach, particularly with surveillance and monitoring people and their technology without warrants all in the name of anti-terrorism (IE Patriot Act), which is something I strongly disagree with.

 

That said, we have a bonafied case of terrorism here with the San Bernardino shooters. The FBI is trying to investigate these terrorists, and should have as many tools at their disposal to do it. This is extremely important because if there are more terrorists involved with this incident, they need to be brought to justice, and how they did it in the first place needs to be understood so that future attempts can be prevented, if possible. And Apple saying things like forcing them to do anything with this phone is "bad for America." Is it coincidence that Apple's stock has fallen since the death of Steve Jobs, and now Apple has something to raise their popularity and get people behind, by railing against the Feds?

 

The thing I don't understand is that why doesn't Apple agree to assist by sending one of their own techs out to unlock the phone, under the condition that their tech is the one to do it, the FBI cannot see how it is done, and the government must agree not to reveal any trade secrets? Everyone gets what they want there: Apple protects their trade secrets, the FBI gets the content of the iPhone.

 

Thoughts?

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They way I heard it Apple did everything they could for the San Bernardino case in terms of breaking those phones wide open and the FBI is pushing them to give them the ability to do it on their own for "next time."

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They way I heard it Apple did everything they could for the San Bernardino case in terms of breaking those phones wide open and the FBI is pushing them to give them the ability to do it on their own for "next time."

This is one of those stories I don't keep up on in real time, because it seems like the story changes every few days, but if that's the case, fuck the authoritahs!

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That certainly seems to be the case, but at this point who do you even believe?

The government, that we know lies all the time or a giant corporation that's trying to project an image?

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They way I heard it Apple did everything they could for the San Bernardino case in terms of breaking those phones wide open and the FBI is pushing them to give them the ability to do it on their own for "next time."

Pretty much my interpretation too.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

They way I heard it Apple did everything they could for the San Bernardino case in terms of breaking those phones wide open and the FBI is pushing them to give them the ability to do it on their own for "next time."

Well, as with my previous post, I do not support the government coming in and demanding source code to hack phones at will. What I support is that Apple comply with this, and only this request, and unlock the phones. Apple should be allowed to protect its trade secrets. If a similar incident happens in the future, then the FBI should have to go through the same steps as before, get a warrant and then Apple should then unlock the device again.

 

The story you laid out is Apple's side. The side of the FBI as I understand it is different. iPhones and iPads have a feature that if a password is attempted incorrectly 10 times, if the feature is enabled, then the device automatically erases the contents of the device. According to the FBI's side, Apple is claiming that there is currently no way to disable this feature without creating new software to disable this security feature. However, it should be noted that Apple's IOS (and OSX for that matter) are developed in a Unix-like code. This means that any programmer with superior skill in C, C++, and/or Swift, could potentially develop a crack for this feature. I guess you can compare it to a really good lock smith being able to develop a master key. Apple is acting like only their people can do this, which is not the case. It's just that they are the fastest route for the FBI to go right now, apparently.

 

So which way do you want to go? Have Apple develop the crack for their own device, and have them negotiate a legally-binding agreement that the government must come to them for incidents like San Bernardino and have them unlock the phone for them, while protecting Apple's trade secrets. Or, force the government to hire their own people (which they can, they have deeper pockets than even Apple...including hiring former Apple programmers), and develop a crack on their own, in which they are not legally bound to protect it from misuse, or worse, if it falls into the wrong hands (and it will, eventually), thus rendering the iPhones hackable.

 

Seems to me the choice is clear and should be the former, and Apple is just grandstanding, and not looking at the big picture.

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Not sure I follow you-- the choice you favor is exactly what Apple did but you say they are grandstanding?

 

If Apple is happy to comply and all the FBI has to do is ask, what is the debate? I'm sure they can provide the FBI with an engineer hotline for just such occasions.

 

Unless this was an episode of 24 and a phone needed to be cracked to stop an imminent attack, what the FBI wants has no real-world precedent.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Yeah, except according to the FBI Apple has not yet complied with the request, so yeah, at this point, they are grand standing.

 

As soon as Apple does provide assistance, I will be in agreement with you. But they haven't yet. And your 24 argument is invalid at this stage at least, because nobody knows what is on the phone right now. What if there is in fact leads to either 1) bring additional people to justice that were involved with this shooting, 2) information that helps prevent another shooting.

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Ah-- Did not realize they've yet to comply. I thought they did.

 

And yeah-- if it is uncovered that something else could have been prevented had the phone been accessed earlier-- that will open a gigantic can of worms.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Well, the last I read, they had not yet. Now, I think the court order dead line was yesterday (Friday), so Apple may yet comply sometime this weekend, or early next week. If they do, then I will agree with your earlier point.

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So what are your opinions?

 

Personally, I understand Apple wanting to protect their trade secrets, as they have build their business model around an unhackable (nothing ever truly is unhackable, really!) iPhone. I also agree with the argument that the government can't just simply conscript someone and compel them to do something they don't want to do. And the Feds certainly do have a track record of over reach, particularly with surveillance and monitoring people and their technology without warrants all in the name of anti-terrorism (IE Patriot Act), which is something I strongly disagree with.

 

That said, we have a bonafied case of terrorism here with the San Bernardino shooters. The FBI is trying to investigate these terrorists, and should have as many tools at their disposal to do it. This is extremely important because if there are more terrorists involved with this incident, they need to be brought to justice, and how they did it in the first place needs to be understood so that future attempts can be prevented, if possible. And Apple saying things like forcing them to do anything with this phone is "bad for America." Is it coincidence that Apple's stock has fallen since the death of Steve Jobs, and now Apple has something to raise their popularity and get people behind, by railing against the Feds?

 

The thing I don't understand is that why doesn't Apple agree to assist by sending one of their own techs out to unlock the phone, under the condition that their tech is the one to do it, the FBI cannot see how it is done, and the government must agree not to reveal any trade secrets? Everyone gets what they want there: Apple protects their trade secrets, the FBI gets the content of the iPhone.

 

Thoughts?

 

The thing I don't understand is that why doesn't Apple agree to assist by sending one of their own techs out to unlock the phone, under the condition that their tech is the one to do it, the FBI cannot see how it is done, and the government must agree not to reveal any trade secrets? Everyone gets what they want there: Apple protects their trade secrets, the FBI gets the content of the iPhone.

 

 

 

I am not an expert in the area of encryption as it relates to cellular phones. So, I am very reliant upon what is reported by the media. From what has been reported, Apple presently does not have the tools or methods developed to access the phone. According to the reports, Apple would have to develop the software and methods to access this phone. In layman terms, essentially Apple would have to create the high tech key to the front door.

 

However, over at the Volokh Conspiracy, a blogger made these intriguing remarks.

 

MDM isn’t exactly the most communicative name for the access Apple has created. The company has been insisting a bit counterintuitively that a Justice Department request that it disable a peripheral security feature on a single phone is “a backdoor.” If so, what should we call MDM, which enables access to every account, app, and piece of content installed on an iPhone? A front door?

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/02/20/or-is-apple-happy-to-build-a-backdoor-as-long-as-it-makes-money-from-it/

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

I am not an expert in the area of encryption as it relates to cellular phones. So, I am very reliant upon what is reported by the media. From what has been reported, Apple presently does not have the tools or methods developed to access the phone. According to the reports, Apple would have to develop the software and methods to access this phone. In layman terms, essentially Apple would have to create the high tech key to the front door.

However, over at the Volokh Conspiracy, a blogger made these intriguing remarks.

Nor am I, and I agree that Apple is stating they don't have the methods or tools needed to gain access. Whether this is reality or not, I have know way of knowing. It may very well be that Apple is telling the truth, and there is no way, and they would have to have their own software engineers or hire developers to create a way.

 

As an aside, if this is the case,this is the digital equivalent of a company creating a safe that if you try to disable the lock to get the valuables inside, the safe will destroy all contents inside, and the manufacturer has no way to disable this feature. What happens if either a) you lose your combination or b) there are contents law enforcement needs to access?

 

What I can say is that nothing is completely secure and if the article is true, the MDM feature suggests that it CAN be done at least for enterprise use, and it is just a matter of Apple not wanting to do it for the consumer version. I also can say that when it comes to computers and hard drive encryption, even when a WIndows computer is bitlockered (meaning the hard drive has been encrypted, and if one tries to access the hard drive externally, it will require a key code before the contents can be accesed), most law enforcement agencies do have a way around that. For example, if there were someone arrested for child porn, and their laptop was confiscated by the police, even if the hard drive was encrypted, the police usually have a way to decrypt the hard drive. Once that is done, guilt or innocence can be proved. To me, this iPhone is no different.

 

Not to mention, exactly whose rights is Apple protecting? They claim it's everyone iPhone user, but if as I stated above, the government gets a warrant and court order for this ONE case, and agrees not to release or exploit Apple's trade secrets (this can be done with a legal agreement), I don't see how Apple, or iPhone users around the world can be damaged. The suspects in the SB shootings are DEAD. The fact that the phones belong to the dead suspects are not in dispute, either, and it is law enforcement who wants the info, not some one up to no good wanting to steal account information. So it's not a case of protecting the dead suspects' rights.

 

Now I don't want Apple to be financially damaged or have a situation where the iphones are hacked worldwide, either, but here is a simple fact: ALL operating systems are based on computer code, and they will ALWAYS be hacked sooner or later, because there are ALWAYS software engineers out there that can hack them. This is why Windows and Apple have to continually offer patches and newer versions of operating systems, because as they age, they also become less secure over time. SO, the idea that Apple has created the forever unhackable phone, is a false one. It will be hacked, its only a matter of when, and by whom.

 

So, my argument is that assuming there is not a currently available way to gain access to these phones, it is in Apple's best interest to cooperate. If they are the ones who provide a way in, they can at least control it. But if they don't, this case has basically put Apple iPhones on the radar of many hackers, both white hat and black hat alike, and they now see this as a challenge to try to hack the iphone. And they will, sooner or later, and probably sooner!

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