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Apple's Tim Cook Rejects FBI Order For Security Backdoor Into iPhones

     
11:14 am on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Apple's Tim Cook has taken a strong stance against a demand from the FBI to enable a backdoor to break into the data on an iPhone owned by a gunman.

It's an interesting way to handle this because if the Apple "customers" say yes, do it, it'll give Apple the authority to change the status. If they say no, it'll still show Apple in a good light for standing up to the authorities.
We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack.
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.


Read Tim Cook's statement in full.
[apple.com...]
1:29 pm on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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i completely disagree with his position.

forgetting the symantics of it all - i don't think people can expect privacy from government agencies, i feel it is the price we should have to pay for being a member of society.

obviously this is a whole can of worms!
2:32 pm on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Yes, the can of worms is well and truly set out with this.
The request not only impacts Apple users, but every user of every system.

If you agree there should be a backdoor, what checks and balances should be put on it?
Remember, the negative side is that if there is a backdoor, it's likely to be found and your data compromised by hackers.
3:12 pm on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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i realise that data could be compromised by hackers - and therein lies quite a dilemma.

i do feel that individuals do not have an absolute right to privacy though, i also know that whatever the checks and balances they would not be 100% perfect.
perhaps there should be no backdoors but that people if requested should have to reveal any personal data to authorities, if they refuse the penalty could be draconian.
in this case it is complicated because the owner of the data is dead and actually as i understand it, the data is irretrievable without a backdoor.

i also know that once politicians get involved with legislating about technology, it ends up even more messy due to bad advice or ignorance.

i think greater minds than me will have to battle this one out!
3:18 pm on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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i don't think people can expect privacy from government agencies
Terrifying...

If there is a backdoor, why even have a front door?

Why stop there, lets start making sodium thiopental treatment a requirement during any interrogation.
3:30 pm on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Surely, in any case, a brute force attack could be undertaken by the authorities. They must have enough computing power at their disposal to get in there, unless, it really is a complex passcode.
The other thing is, if it's a phone, surely they can retrieve the phone and text records. I would have thought they knew the phone number by now.
I probably don't know enough about it to comment, but those are questions in my mind.
3:43 pm on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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brute force attack


The iPhone destroys all data after x number of failed passcode attempts, that what the gov is trying to get Apple to disable.
3:45 pm on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Ahhhh, right, thanks. That's a little more serious for users, too, surely. I assume it's after many attempts, and not just a user that's forgotten their password.
7:04 pm on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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i don't think people can expect privacy from government agencies

Uh... The Apple corporation is a government agency?
7:27 pm on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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i don't think people can expect privacy from government agencies, i feel it is the price we should have to pay for being a member of society.

Wow, people actually feel that way? That is so frickin' scary! Seriously you need to really think about it.
9:38 pm on Feb 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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There's also the expectation vs. desirability issue. Sure, you can reasonably expect to be a victim of a crime at some time in your life* ... but that doesn't mean you would want or choose for it to happen, or will refrain from raising objections when it does.


* At some time this month, if you live in {insert city name to taste}.
12:19 am on Feb 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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i don't think people can expect privacy from government agencies, i feel it is the price we should have to pay for being a member of society.
Wow, people actually feel that way? That is so frickin' scary! Seriously you need to really think about it.

Probably one of the scariest things I've read on WebmasterWorld in a long time. I don't have time for a lecture about the incredibly dangerous slippery slope that line of thinking leads to. It's exactly that sort of thinking that allowed the NSA & GHCQ to turn a terrorist attack into a full-blown Orwellian surveillance society.

The simple explanation of why Apple shouldn't allow this sort of tampering with its encryption or its system of wiping a device after a certain number of ties is that if the US can make Apple help thwart their encryption protections, what's to stop Russia, China, or others from demanding the same? People seem to forget that Apple is a global company.
8:49 am on Feb 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Now, it seems Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai has weighed in supporting Tim Cook at Apple.

Pichai tweeted that the request “could be a troubling precedent” and stressed that action could “compromise users’ privacy” — but he did not state what Google would do if it were the subject of the judicial order rather than Apple. Google CEO Sundar Pichai Says Government Request for Apple Back Door Could Set ‘Troubling Precedent’ [recode.net]
11:51 am on Feb 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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My personal safety and yours and everyone else's is not a matter of national security. In the big picture, we don't matter.

The fbi has a history of using personal information to blackmail politicians to the detriment of the US, this is a threat to national security. The loss of our privacy is the real threat to our National seciurity. It puts too much power into the hands of people behind the scenes.
12:05 pm on Feb 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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i do feel that individuals do not have an absolute right to privacy

In that regard a butt cam in the china bowl would be no problem, right?

The "feds" want a way to crack a passcode on a phone and want the maker to provide that access. Think about that! Think about it every time you take a call on your cell!

We've enough problems with technology outsourced overseas and do we really know how it works (or who it reports to?)?
12:16 pm on Feb 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The loss of our privacy is the real threat to our National seciurity. It puts too much power into the hands of people behind the scenes.

Here, here!

and do we really know how it works (or who it reports to?)?

We probably don't, but if there are back doors, it's going to be even worse.

I would, however, welcome this debate on privacy and security because the time is right, and it's gone on too long, imho. Privacy on a broader level is very weak. Think about how and what stats about you are already in the hands of commercial business.
 

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