Apple opposes judge’s order to hack San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone
Apple has put it’s foot down and actively opposing a judge’s order to assist the FBI to break into the Iphone of one of the San Bernardino, California shooters.
Apple is calling the directive “An Overreach by the U.S. Government”.
But there is far more to this story. Quickly Read Through the Next few slides to see why the judge’s order has a profound impact on all of us.
On December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and 22 were seriously injured in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, which consisted of a mass shooting.
Originally the fear was a foreign terrorist group with possibly more wide spread threats. The FBI quickly concluded the 2 killed were not part of a terrorist Cell.
Next Up: Those Responsible for this tragedy
The perpetrators, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik a married couple living in California where responsible for this tragedy. Farook was an American born U.S. Citizen while his wife Malik was Pakistani born but was lawfully a permanent resident of the U.S.
Both were killed after a police pursuit of the vehicle.
The FBI has promised to leave no stone unturned during their investigation. Farook has a locked Iphone that is encrypted by default.
As we already know from past criminal cases, the FBI has sought and has gotten Apple’s help to retrieve data from phones.
In many cases no help was needed as there where a wide number of ways for law enforcement to gain access to individuals phone pictures, texts, call history and video stored on past iphones.
What has changed with the latest Iphones is an Encryption that the FBI has not been able to decrypt.
On Farook’s iphone there is a passcode to unlock the device. The catch is the FBI only has 10 attempts to enter the correct passcode before the phone is wiped clean.
This is why the FBI went to a California judge and asked that an order be issued to require Apple to assist the FBI in gaining access to this Iphone.
There are numerous huge implications for this kind of request. Clearly we all want to know who this shooter was talking to or doing on the specific device.
Already you would imagine that any call information is available on the Cell service provider. The same would hold true for websites visited as well as texts sent to and from the device.
This phone does still hold the possibility of notes, photos, video as well as contact information.
Should Apple therefore assist the FBI to decrypt the Iphone? Your first thought is most likely yes but it’s just not as simple as that
Apple CEO Tim Cook released a public letter the other day explaining why Apple will not comply with the court order to assist the FBI in decrypting the phone.
In the letter he alluded that a backdoor to the Iphone would be something that is too dangerous to create. Apple would basically have to create an update for the phone that would remove or disable the passcode. Creating such an operating system would mean that operating system could be used on ALL iphones and no ones person information would be safe.
For me the author of this article I want to quickly state my view on the matter.
The patriot act was supposed to be used for just terrorism. That is how it was pitched to congress. Yet there are countless and I mean countless times it was used in non terror cases to gain information during criminal investigations.
It was in part because of government snooping that Iphone made the bold step to have phones encrypted by default to help protect its users information from eyes that received no court order and from police over stepping their authority and downloading information off of phones without a court order or users consent.
Apparently the 4th amendment that protects our private papers from being searched does not apply to electronic images and documents.
End of my Rant. Now let’s continue on with the story.
In Cook’s letter he called for a public discussion on the order say the company was “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” – End quote.
It is important to point out that Apple has been ordered to create software that does not currently exist.
If a Judge can order Apple to create something then can a Judge order a car company to create devices to automatically shut off cars if a police officer wanted? Why not?
I fail to see what the difference is. Both the Iphone in question as well as a car could be used by a terrorist domestic or otherwise. If anything having the car shut off switch could even be considered more reasonable as there are far more high speed chases then there are terrorist in the U.S.
If a backdoor was already available should Apple hand it over?
To be clear no back door does exist but if one was available would Apple be in the wrong or right to hand it over to the FBI?
Apple did point out “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”.
It’s highly possible that the Judge in question did not fully understand the implications of ordering Apple to assist the FBI in decrypting the phone.
The one thing that is for sure is this battle is far from over
Apple went on to say in the letter “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.”
I don’t know about you but I found this comment a bit chilling and definitely thinks we need to take a step back and have this order looked at by a higher court.
Not all too surprising we have the presidential candidates already making statements about Apple not complying with the court order.
Today on Fox and Friends Donald Trump has stated “I agree 100% with the courts,” Trump said on “Fox and Friends.” “I think security over all — we have to open it up, and we have to use our heads.”
Because it is Donald Trump you have to think he was speaking off the cuff and maybe not fully informed on the situation. Either way it speaks to the fact that Donald Trump would rather the government be able to access your phone data in the name of fighting terrorism then to protect your privacy.