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Author: Subject: Feds want Apple to hack into iPhones to support criminal investigation

True Peach





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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 09:27 AM
This is worthy of discussion, I'm thinking there are a wide range of opinions out there...

http://www.apple.com/customer-letter/

February 16, 2016

A Message to Our Customers

The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.

This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.

The Need for Encryption

Smartphones, led by iPhone, have become an essential part of our lives. People use them to store an incredible amount of personal information, from our private conversations to our photos, our music, our notes, our calendars and contacts, our financial information and health data, even where we have been and where we are going.

All that information needs to be protected from hackers and criminals who want to access it, steal it, and use it without our knowledge or permission. Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data.

Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That is why encryption has become so important to all of us.

For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers’ personal data because we believe it’s the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.

The San Bernardino Case

We were shocked and outraged by the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino last December. We mourn the loss of life and want justice for all those whose lives were affected. The FBI asked us for help in the days following the attack, and we have worked hard to support the government’s efforts to solve this horrible crime. We have no sympathy for terrorists.

When the FBI has requested data that’s in our possession, we have provided it. Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants, as we have in the San Bernardino case. We have also made Apple engineers available to advise the FBI, and we’ve offered our best ideas on a number of investigative options at their disposal.

We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.

The Threat to Data Security

Some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution. But it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.

In today’s digital world, the “key” to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.

We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them.

A Dangerous Precedent

Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.

The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.

Tim Cook

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 10:01 AM
It would seem that Apple already has the software people to build an unencrypted iPhone and that they could always moonlight and build such a device for their own gains. So the threat to privacy is there whether a special iPhone is built for the FBI or not.

In this case access to the data on the San Bernardino iPhone is extremely important for national security. There could be a whole network of people who worked with the couple and their records could be on the phone. Apple should help provide access to that particular iPhone.

I have an iPhone and I really don’t see it as a device that needs this much security. I carry the thing around with me and I've already had two stolen and I presume they've been hacked.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 10:30 AM
This seems like grandstanding on the part of Apple.

Its cellphone customers are DEAD.

Apple has been ordered to allow access to two phones used in a terrorist attack. My understanding of the Patriot Act (not the 1789 act mentioned by Cook) would govern and require it w/o a court order. Even w/o the Patriot Act, there is no such thing as cellphone manufacturer/customer privilege; it's not like priest/confessor. Again, the customers at issue are dead and can't invoke privilege.

I doubt Apple has to "invent" anything as such a feature is probably in the works. As to the dreaded Chinese learning the secret technology from Apple, they no doubt already have whatever Apple has.

I pretty much don't believe anything is secure.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 11:51 AM
This is one of those issues where I look around and wonder where the Libertarians are.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 12:04 PM
I'm with apple on this one.

Once again we see a former prosecutor as judge.

I don't see how they can be impartial.

Period.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 12:23 PM

Its misleading to say "Apple is siding with terrorists and not a good American citizen" yet this is what the talking heads and media are running with today.

It seems the truth is more "Apple refuses to modify Iphone encryption technology to pave the way for NSA access ."

I have no doubt Apple would willingly give the gov the contents of this particular phone over in a heartbeat, but the goals of the government are to set up much more over-reaching access to these devices.

BTW, who cares if a prosecutor is now a judge? I would want someone with proven experience with interpreting the law to be sitting on the bench.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 01:47 PM
I have to stand with Apple. We already know that our government will spy on anyone. The government's budget for anti terrorism is massive. Many of the budgets are top secret so we really have no idea how much our war machine spends "protecting" us while expanding the Empire.

I know there are dangerous people out there. I sometimes get concerned at big sporting events and large concerts. I'm still not willingly giving up my freedom and privacy because of fear.

So far the terrorists do not pose a threat to the American way of life. No doubt they can commit acts of violence but our way of life will remain intact. There is no danger of our country being overrun and our government thrown out of power or our corporations shut down.

Good on Tim Cook.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 02:07 PM
Apple is defying a court order.

Apple's been ordered to assist in ONE cases against terrorists who killed 14 people. This is a criminal investigation.

The iphone owners are dead; they're not being spied on.

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 02:50 PM
If there is information that they can access on a phone, as ordered by a court of law then I think they should comply with the request.

I don't want some kind of unraveling of security for people not involved or suspected of crimes or anything like that. But we are talking about a specific case, specific phones and known crimes committed by these people. Any information on those phones should be unencrypted and access given to authorities.



 

Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 04:00 PM
I think the problem is that the government has a bad history of overstepping its bounds on spying on their own people. While I believe that Apple should assist law enforcement in this case, I understand that it opens a can of worms down the road. Right now, there are no guidelines that state when going into someones smart phone or computer should be done. This needs to be addressed on a larger scale soon. But that would require Congress to act, so, no chance of that.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 04:19 PM
There is protection against invasions; the 4th amendment.

Granted, the Patriot Act short-cuts a lot of checks in the name of National Security.

What I find most horrifying is that the FBI is publicly admitting its deciphering technique is so pathetically inadequate it requires the manufacturer to step in. That's scary. Sort of like before 9/11 and the CIA/FBI had few, if any, Arab-speaking analysts.

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 05:52 PM
http://blog.erratasec.com/2016/02/some-notes-on-apple-decryption-san.html

Please read.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 06:02 PM
Hey Nebish and Cyclone... Apple says this about the one case, one phone argument:

quote:
The Threat to Data Security

Some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution. But it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.

In today’s digital world, the “key” to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.

We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them.



Jerry's interesting link refutes that claim with this:

quote:
Q: I heard its a trick to force Apple to create a backdoor.
A: No, that's an invalid assertion. For one thing, the court order explicitly wants Apple to limit the special software for only this phone, so it wouldn't be something the FBI could use on other phones. Nor is that FBI asking for this feature to be placed on any customer owned phone, but only this one phone in their possession.



My feeling is that, once the government has the ability to crack one iPhone, they will exploit that advantage. History tells me the United States government will never give up a special power.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 07:31 PM
The government wants the legal authority to spy on any and everyone and that should not be legal in a country with the Constitution that the U.S. has. How many companies have caved in and provided phone records to the NSA? Rand Paul could probably tell you all the intrustions the NSA has made into people's lives. When they went from analog to digital telecommunications signals the govt. was able to tap into people's phone calls, and I remember when first they asked if I wouldn't like a nice, new free phone, at no cost to me, they would program the new phone at any of their retail outlets for my convenience. I resisted. Then they DEMANDED that people could not keep their old analog cell phones, and told me and anyone else they would no longer provide phone service unless we changed our phones, I was one of the last to give mine up.

The govt. demanded they do that because they could not adequately trace analog calls. It was not directed specifically to me, it was a national thing, they did not want anyone in the US having any privacy and those of us who dug our heels in using those old phones, were finally taken down.

If anyone thinks the govt. cannot tap their phone calls on their cell phones, you are mistaken. They can, they do, they just pretend that they don't. They may not be able to retrieve data if they are not on your call listening to you, they can and DO, do whatever they want and you can only stop certain things (ie. take your sim chip out if you do not want them to know where you are any given time; put a shield over your phone available at those conspiracy theorists websites etc. etc.) bottom line is Big Brother has already won. George Orwell warned you. WE ARE THERE NOW.





[Edited on 2/18/2016 by gina]

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 09:03 PM
Why can't Apple copy the phones' data to a portable drive, decrypt that drive, copy the decryption to another drive and give that to the Justice Dept., without giving away the decryption key?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 10:21 PM
quote:
Why can't Apple copy the phones' data to a portable drive, decrypt that drive, copy the decryption to another drive and give that to the Justice Dept., without giving away the decryption key?


Because that is not what the government is asking them to do.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 10:58 PM
quote:
Why can't Apple copy the phones' data to a portable drive, decrypt that drive, copy the decryption to another drive and give that to the Justice Dept., without giving away the decryption key?

_________________________________________________________________________

That would only make sense and we can’t have that!

The Obama administration screwed this up but good. They didn’t get their way in the discussions with Apple and arrogantly dragged Apple to court. Big mistake. You would think by now The Obama administration, after having their a$$ handed to them repeatedly in court cases would have learned but no.

By taking Apple to court the issue became part of the public record and Apple was forced to make a statement.

Apple is protecting their brand. They want their customers to hear them say “we are protecting our customers privacy etc etc etc.” Apple’s customers have been hearing that the NSA is “listening to your phone calls and reading your email” crap for so long they actually believe it. Apple knows this and positions itself to “ease their customer’s fears”.

The Apple and other companies in that field also know that if they privately and quietly to what you sensibly said it would not stay that way for long. If they do, Obama’s Justice Department will file thousands of cases in the courts walking in with box after box if phones they want jail-broken. With Obama’s history of political corruption those phones would be all owned by Republican politicians, donors, and groups as when Obama used the IRS to go after his political opponents.

This problem could have been solved with tact, honest negotiations and integrity but those things were obviously not in the room.

 

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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 11:01 PM
quote:
quote:
Why can't Apple copy the phones' data to a portable drive, decrypt that drive, copy the decryption to another drive and give that to the Justice Dept., without giving away the decryption key?

_________________________________________________________________________

That would only make sense and we can’t have that!

The Obama administration screwed this up but good. They didn’t get their way in the discussions with Apple and arrogantly dragged Apple to court. Big mistake. You would think by now The Obama administration, after having their a$$ handed to them repeatedly in court cases would have learned but no.

By taking Apple to court the issue became part of the public record and Apple was forced to make a statement.

Apple is protecting their brand. They want their customers to hear them say “we are protecting our customers privacy etc etc etc.” Apple’s customers have been hearing that the NSA is “listening to your phone calls and reading your email” crap for so long they actually believe it. Apple knows this and positions itself to “ease their customer’s fears”.

The Apple and other companies in that field also know that if they privately and quietly to what you sensibly said it would not stay that way for long. If they do, Obama’s Justice Department will file thousands of cases in the courts walking in with box after box if phones they want jail-broken. With Obama’s history of political corruption those phones would be all owned by Republican politicians, donors, and groups as when Obama used the IRS to go after his political opponents.

This problem could have been solved with tact, honest negotiations and integrity but those things were obviously not in the room.

This has nothing to do with Obama, moron. This has been between DHS, the FBI and Apple.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 11:02 PM
quote:
Why can't Apple copy the phones' data to a portable drive, decrypt that drive, copy the decryption to another drive and give that to the Justice Dept., without giving away the decryption key?


The Motion by the FBI requests that apple do it any way apple thinks is most feasible and refers to linking the phone to a computer.

Again, I think apple is creating PR for itself w/o any real conflict.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 2/17/2016 at 11:11 PM
quote:
http://blog.erratasec.com/2016/02/some-notes-on-apple-decryption-san.html
Please read.


Thanks for posting and the link to the court documents.

Interesting the phone is owned by the San Bernadino Dept of Public Health who joins the FBI in requesting apple reverse the 10 tries and you're out feature.

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 2/18/2016 at 09:06 AM
quote:
quote:
http://blog.erratasec.com/2016/02/some-notes-on-apple-decryption-san.html
Please read.


Thanks for posting and the link to the court documents.

Interesting the phone is owned by the San Bernadino Dept of Public Health who joins the FBI in requesting apple reverse the 10 tries and you're out feature.


If the phone belongs to the Dept. of Health don't they have the right to demand Apple to decrypt data on their phone?
If Apple denies their request wouldn't that be bad customer relations?

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/18/2016 at 10:06 AM
To take a point from Joe Scarborough this morning...

"hey terrorists, thinking of what phone you want next? Get an iPhone your secrets are safe here".

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/18/2016 at 10:07 AM
That wasn't his exact quote, but it isn't a stretch for someone to take that away from what is happening here.
 

True Peach



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  posted on 2/18/2016 at 12:09 PM
Mortal enemies Apple and Google are on the same side on this one...

http://money.cnn.com/2016/02/17/technology/sundar-pichai-google-apple-fbi/i ndex.html

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 2/18/2016 at 12:57 PM
http://video.foxnews.com/v/4762182348001/apple-unlocked-phones-for-feds-bef ore-why-is-now-different/?#sp=show-clips
 
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