Apple opposes Judge's order to unlock shooter's phone

Discussion in 'Electronics Insanity' started by Teegate, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
    Site Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    21,539
    Likes Received:
    3,557
  2. 46er

    46er Piney

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    8,250
    Likes Received:
    1,813
    If the FBI does not have the means to unlock a phone, we are in deep doodoo. I see little reason why Apple should be forced to create something they do not have, nor want.
     
  3. bobpbx

    bobpbx Piney
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2002
    Messages:
    11,148
    Likes Received:
    1,885
    What a bunch of unmitigated bull crap. The guy is dead, I see no harm. Also, you don't think Apple has secrets they easily keep under wraps, such as technical advancements? They can do this for the government and still keep the way they got in secret. And, I'll bet they already have the technology to get in there. It's not like they need to invent something new.

    Find a way that satisfies both parties. Stop stonewalling.
     
  4. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    6,721
    Likes Received:
    1,118
  5. Jon Holcombe

    Jon Holcombe Explorer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    The older I get the less confident I am that government law enforcement (FBI, Municipal Police, State Police, CIA), are acting on my behalf. The incidence of wrongful arrests and incarceration, and abuses of power are legion. How many wrongfully convicted men have been put to death, and if DNA testing had been available, would have been exonerated? The government has absolute power over all of us, and in this case I believe Tim Cook is correct. Granted most law enforcement officers are brave and honorable. It's their bosses I don't trust.
     
  6. bobpbx

    bobpbx Piney
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2002
    Messages:
    11,148
    Likes Received:
    1,885
    From that article you posted...."The shooters pledged allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, or Daesh, right before the attacks."

    Game over. Once you do that, you are no longer U.S. citizens. Open the damn phone Apple.
     
    Broke Jeep Joe likes this.
  7. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    6,721
    Likes Received:
    1,118
    The technical issues here are kind of interesting. As I understand, they are not asking Apple to "open the phone" Bob. They want Apple to create special firmware for that phone only. The firmware would disable the normal security measure that limits how often you can enter a wrong passcode and also prevent the phone from going into locked down mode when certain security measures are breached. That would allow the FBI to use a passcode guessing program unlock the phone with brute force by repeatedly entering codes until they hit the right one.
     
  8. 46er

    46er Piney

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    8,250
    Likes Received:
    1,813
    Folks have short memories; not long ago they lost control of the firearms they were selling to criminals, and more recently top secret emails. Protecting a piece of software would be beyond their abilities.
     
  9. SuperChooch

    SuperChooch Explorer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    305
    In this case, I agree whole heartedly with Apple's decision. In is not as simple as "he is a criminal/he is a traitor/he is dead, therefore it doesn't matter." They are talking about creating a mechanism to break end to end encryption, which in the 21st century, is the last bastion of personal privacy. I have no doubts that the FBI has the best of intentions, but as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Once this genie is released, there is no putting it back in the bottle. End to end encryption is vilified by those who don't truly understand what it means to not have it and its value will only go up in time as as our lives continue to be more and more online.
     
    Teegate likes this.
  10. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    6,721
    Likes Received:
    1,118
    The conspiracy theorist in me makes me suspicious of all the attention being given to encryption recently. Most likely the government can already crack just about everything so it's in their interest to make a big stink about how they can't.
     
  11. bobpbx

    bobpbx Piney
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2002
    Messages:
    11,148
    Likes Received:
    1,885
    Yeah, like that. Open it. I don't give a damn who does it. Preferably Apple, the company that keeps their billions offshore.
     
  12. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    6,721
    Likes Received:
    1,118
    READ the court order, it has nothing to do with "breaking end to end encryption". I summarized it above, but here is the actual order which is quite specific.

    "Apple's reasonable technical assistance shall accomplish the following three important functions: (1) it will bypass or disable the auto-erase function whether or not it has been enabled; (2) it will enable the FBI to submit passcodes to the SUBJECT DEVICE for testing electronically via the physical device port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or other protocol available on the SUBJECT and (3) it will ensure that when the FBI submits passcodes to the SUBJECT DEVICE, software running on the device will not purposefully introduce any additional delay between passcode attempts beyond what is incurred by Apple hardware."
     
  13. SuperChooch

    SuperChooch Explorer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    305
    And that software, which doesn't exist today, couldn't be misused on other devices in the future? I understand the point it is not technically cracking the encryption, but isn't the result the same? I am also concerned about the precedent: "let's just do it for this one guy now" but next time it's "well, the capability already exists, let's just do it again" or "here is a court order, now you need to hand that software over to us."
     
  14. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    6,721
    Likes Received:
    1,118
    IMO, it's something completely different. Let's say you had secret documents inside a locked safe in your house. It would be like the government telling the ADT to turn off the burglar alarm, not asking for a key to the front door or the combination to the safe. From what I understand of the situation, this doesn't sound too unreasonable. But it's more fun to turn this into some kind of political debate instead of understanding the technical issues. ;)
     
  15. 46er

    46er Piney

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    8,250
    Likes Received:
    1,813
  16. SuperChooch

    SuperChooch Explorer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    305
    I enjoy the back and forth, but we can play the agree to disagree card at any time. :) Regarding politics, I don't even talk about that with family or close friends, let alone on the internet so I'm not looking at that angle, but let's dig into the technical. I don't think your analogy is quite accurate in this case. A password cracker is a trivial piece of software. The only thing that keeps this from being a trivial exercise right now is the fact the phone wipes after a certain number of incorrect inputs, resulting in a catastrophic loss. Even with the best cracker algorithms the risk of total loss is too high to attempt. Once the wipe risk is removed, the task is trivial again. There is no risk to data loss and the cracker will probably have the phone unlocked in under a second, assuming they used the default 4 digit password and not much longer if they used a stronger password. So, I think a better analogy in this case is they are turning off the alarm, but the front door is unlocked and the documents are on the floor in the foyer. Given the current capability of password crackers today, the only real protection is the unacceptably high risk of total loss of the data in the event of a wipe. That wipe risk being removed is the ADT alarm in you analogy and there is no further real protection besides that.
     
  17. Jon Holcombe

    Jon Holcombe Explorer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    From Tim Cook's letter: "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." Perhaps I don't understand the technical issues, but I imagine Tim Cook does. This is a more than just an arcane technical software and encryption discussion, it IS a political debate. Apple has helped the government up to this point, but they seem to think by going further they are weakening encryption on iOS devices and that is a problem for everyone. It will be interesting to see if they comply.
     
  18. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    6,721
    Likes Received:
    1,118
    @SuperChooch - In your earlier post you said "In this case" and "they are talking about creating a mechanism to break end to end encryption". That simply isn't the issue "in this case". Just getting into the phone would not allow someone to access encrypted data stored inside. That is a separate debate which has been in the news recently. And when Bob says Apple should do this because it's a big evil corporation that keeps money overseas… that sounds like politics to me.

    For the record… I have owned Apple computers since 1978 and continue to use them because I feel they are better than the competion. But I also have an Android tablet and a Windows PC and find them very useful - even better than Apple products for certain things. Steve Jobs was a genius who I always admired. I really dislike Tim Cook. They are taking a big stance on this because Apple got a lot of heat from users over what it was doing with personal data a couple years ago, and it was also revealed that the government had secret ways of spying on the iPhone, possibly developed with Apple's assistance. So now Tim's a big champion of the little guy. If the winds ever start blowing in the other direction, I have no doubt he would quickly flip. Most likely Apple is at its peak now and will slowly slide down from here, who knows how far.
     
  19. SuperChooch

    SuperChooch Explorer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    305
    Just trying to do some reading over lunch, so it is quite possible I could have missed something, but I haven't heard that the encryption in question is either an encrypted doc on the phone or an encryption app that contains data but rather, they are referring to the encryption of the iOS operating system (and associated data) itself. And if that is the case, then having the password absolutely provides access to all the data that is not otherwise encrypted by some other, additional, means. But again, maybe I missed something. Unfortunately, lunch is over so have to get back to work. Will check back later. :)
     
  20. SuperChooch

    SuperChooch Explorer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    305
    Oh and by the way, I totally agree on your assessment of Tim Cook. He is not to be trusted nor is he a hero in this, it just so happens that, in this case, a corporate objective coincidentally happens to align with the best interests of the little guy.