It didn’t take long for the long time adversaries to join hands and come after one of the biggest technology companies in the world. Let the record show that on February 17, 2016 the United States government and the People’s Republic of China finally said enough is enough and came for their bite of the Apple.
The case stems from the US Government’s inability to get into terrorist Syed Farook’s iPhone. Despite their best efforts, the Apple technology is too good for even the best in our government to circumvent. Instead of going to Congress, the Feds found a hand-picked federal judge to do their bidding.
If Apple complies with a court order and builds code to unlock their phones, a code they currently don’t have by the way, it will go against the privacy standards they have touted and used as part of their business model for more than a decade. Within the last year, Apple fervently fought China to keep their iPhone protections in place. China threatened Apple, but in the end preferred their business and didn’t require the back-door mechanisms to be part of the phones. Make no mistake, if the United States compels Apple to cooperate, not only will the US Government have access to your phones, but now the hackers in China can gain entry if they were so inclined, and they will be inclined. Remember, this is a back-door that does not exist. The Feds want Apple to work on this all-encompassing “MASTER KEY” for iPhone. This is not to just unlock ONE phone. The technology that Apple is being asked to create would unlock EVERY iPhone.
The government is basically asking Apple to write a program that hacks their own customers and open up their banking, medical and other personal information that many of us store on our phones knowing we have these protections. Tim Cook said today…
“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.”
On Tuesday February 16th The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) admitted they could not break into San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook’s iPhone. Despite unprecedented cooperation from Apple, the phone’s technological genius and encrypted mechanism prevents back-door hacks, even by the genius’ in the federal government.
Now after cooperating fully, Apple is being ordered by a federal judge to unlock Farook’s phone for the federal government and retrieve any data that might be left on the phone and then hand it over to the federal government. The federal ruling compels Apple to disable the security features of the device, thereby allowing the federal government more than 10 bites at trying to learn Farook’s pass code. The problem here is that Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated today and he has stated all along that Apple doesn’t have the key to open the back-door and they aren’t compelled to do the research for something they don’t want as part of their business model. More from Cook….
“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.”
Cook went on to say…..
“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.”
You see as an iPhone owner one of the beautiful things about the phone is if you try to enter the passcode more than ten times and you are wrong, the phone locks up. Cook says if they open Farook’s phone then back-door is open for any iPhone Even though there is not an expectation that digital and electronic communication is totally private, we know as iPhone owners the company holds these privacy matters as sacrosanct. This MATTERS to those of us that buy iPhones, it’s a selling point. So, for the Feds to flippantly ask and require Apple to acquiesce is a huge miscalculation on their part. Cook and Apple knows this.
In this era of complete distrust of government and those that run it, why would we want our technological key holder to open this “back-door” for a government we don’t particularly like and we don’t particularly trust ? Well, the minions have come out of the wood-work with comments like,
“if you have nothing to hide, you won’t mind sacrificing a bit of privacy.”
“Sometimes for the good of the country you need to give a little.”
“You are Un-American and you support the terrorists if you don’t give the government this authority.”
These are patently false and ignorant statements. Us iPhone owners love America, love our law enforcement and those that protect us.
What we don’t love are those that question OUR love of country and safety because we won’t freely hand over access to our electronic communication. What we don’t love is government that continually lies, scares and uses propaganda to manipulate their subjects as they continue to erode our civil rights.
Kudos to Tim Cook. Kudos to Apple. Since the US Government doesn’t value our personal liberties, I am proud to do business with a company that still holds personal liberty and privacy in high standing.
“IF YOU STAND FOR NOTHING YOU WILL FALL FOR ANYTHING.”