It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'd say 95% confidence
Apple will lose. More interesting is that this is once again a good
example of the media spending a lot of time covering something and
getting most of it wrong. The fact that Tim Cook is lying, doesn't
help. He's claiming the court is asking Apple to put a backdoor into
it's products. Media has it all incorrect too, widely reporting that
Apple is being asked to break the encryption.
Truth is the court order is very specific. For the one terrorist iPhone
they are being asked to:
1 - disable the feature where if you incorrectly enter the password
10 times, the phone erases all data.
2 - provide a means so that the FBI can try passwords via an
electronic means, eg Bluetooth, wifi, etc., instead of via
BTW, Trump is calling for a boycott on all Apple products until
is going on, and then Apple will need to explain how those who died were
less important than those with I-Phones. Privacy is fine, but they are
defending a dead terrorist privacy rights. Once you establish that the
owner is such, it is not like you are defending the rights of innocent
This overlooks the obvious: you can run an "app" on the phone.
That app can implement ANY encryption technology that you choose!
I.e., one that *Apple* can't crack! One that may change more
often than a "mainstream phone supplier" (Apple) would likely want
it to change (because Apple wants things to be compatible; bad guys
only care that THEY all have the same "code"!).
Bad guys can throw a phone into a meat grinder or incinerate it
at extremely high temperatures. Remove the battery, carry it out
into the desert and drop it in a sand dune. Etc.
You've got a group that everyone *claims* is "tech savvy" and
you're HOPING to "not be too far BEHIND them"?
Paraphrasing your initial comment:
"All it will take is one terrorist attack AFTER APPLE HAS BEEN
COERCED INTO COMPLIANCE, and then THE FBI will need to explain
how those folks died DESPITE the lost privacy."
That was what jumped into my mind the first time I heard pundits
discussing the issue.
Understood that the immediate issue is disabling a certain feature on
a single phone and writing an app to try many passwords against that
phone... but I think their endgame is precedent because it really
is a problem for law enforcement not to be able to get to these
devices if/when they can demonstrate a legitimate need.
But so far, I have not heard anybody bring up two obvious-to-me points:
1) As you say, encryption can be implemented many ways. It seems like
Apple is just putting this in to get a little marketing edge over
the Android world - and, maybe, to avoid the hassle/exposure of
guarding their database of backdoor PWs from intruders like China,
North Korea, or organized crime interests.
But, in the end, it seems like the functionality will become
universal as software solutions emerge, Android makers play
catch-up, and computing power increases (I would guess encryption
takes more horsepower implemented via an app than a chip).
So, within a few years, any Bad Guy with half a brain will have
unbreakable encryption on their devices regardless of what happened
with Apple. OTOH, maybe mainframe computing power will increase
too - so that big organizations will have the horsepower to crack
even the strongest encryption within a reasonable time
Should be interesting....
2) The precedent that the government seems to be looking to set would
go beyond that single iPhone and beyond iPhones in general.
For instance, one of the outfits I work for gives me a laptop so
I can VPN into their system. Said laptop has an encrypted hard
drive - as do all of their corporate laptops - and I am guessing
that if I do not supply the password, nobody on God's Green Earth
is going to be able to read that drive without a few hundred years
of supercomputer time.....
So I would think the government will be wanting a back door into
corporate laptops too.... and once that backdoor would get out into
the public sphere a lot of corporations would be feeling a lot of
On 2/20/2016 12:46 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:
So, lets make it illegal to install "non-Apple-sanctioned"
(and secretly blessed by the spooks) apps on phones? And,
lets make sure there is no way an EXTERNAL DEVICE that can
be manufactured by a hobbyist (e.g., $5 Raspberry Pi) can't
interface to a STANDARD Apple-sanctioned app and exhange
data that has been encrypted OUTSIDE of Apple's sight!
(i.e., we'll just remove any connectors, display, speaker
and microphone from the phone and make it unusable by
bad guys... OR, anyone else!)
Exactly. So, what's the outcome? Make it illegal to sell
a device that doesn't contain "crackable" protections?
And, make it illegal to publish information on how to BUILD
such a device (even if "not for profit")?
And, just hope the bad guys obey *those* laws (while ignoring
Or, hackers wanting to hold your device hostage for ransomware.
Depends on the encryption technology used.
E.g., a one-time pad takes very little computational power to
implement (i.e., YOU could encrypt and decrypt using a pencil
and paper sitting at your kitchen table)
Esp if said encryption is intentionally designed with (secret) flaws.
Anyone recall "40 bit" encryption? :>
I see it as disheartening. It tells me that the folks who are supposed
to be keeping us safe have no real options other than playing catch-up.
"Yeah, we've got some arabs, here, who want to know how to fly
large aircraft. But, they aren't interested in knowing how to
LAND said aircraft (presumably, that would be the FIRST thing
you'd want to know as the ground can be pretty hard when encountered
from a great height)..."
You *know* there will be stories about how the spooks were unable to
prevent an attack despite having access to all that telephone
Or, the encrypted contents of phones (recall phones can be accessed
remotely! You'd have to be pretty naive to think the spooks
haven't figured out how to remotely, surreptitiously install
an app on a specific phone that was "of interest" to them!)
Businesses (here) are concerned that commerce will move to foreign
suppliers -- who provide better legal protections for this sort of
stuff ("global market"). Why keep your sensitive corporate data in
a cloud service run by a US firm -- subject to US laws that make
its contents available (probably with a SECRET search order) -- when
the internet can let you access a cloud service running in another
country that doesn't have those same "risks"?
On Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 7:11:27 PM UTC-5, (PeteCresswell) wrote:
IDK, 7 from 8, but
from what Tim Cook is saying, my understanding is that their position,
their philosophy, is that they don't have any keys to the encryption,
that they remain solely in the possession of the user. Which is
consistent with what the court order, obtained by the FBI, asks for.
It doesn't ask for Apple to provide a key, it asks only that they
disable the 10 strikes erase and provide a means to enter passwords
electronically instead of via the keypad.
On Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 3:16:08 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:
I don't see why we have to figure out the outcome, the endgame
of all encryption, for all devices, for the whole world, etc.
That is an interesting debate, but it's not what's being asked
for here in the current case. What is being asked for is very
specific and very limited:
Prevent this one iPhone from erasing the evidence on it if
the failed PWD attempts reach 20 and create some way for the
FBI to be able to enter PWDS via Bluetooth, usb, wifi, etc.
All that has to be determined is if that is legal or not.
That seems to be a point of departure for some of the pundits I have
heard giving forth on the matter: yes, the government's explicit,
up-front request is just for that single phone.... but some of the
pundits are saying that the *real* agenda is that they are trying to
build precedent. Slippery slope and all that....
PBS News Hour Weekend just had a little segment about John McAfee of
anti-virus fame offering to do the job on that single iPHone for free
within some single-digit number of days - and eat his shoe on national
television if he fails:
On Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 7:16:26 PM UTC-5, (PeteCresswell) wrote:
I don't doubt that. But the court has to deal with the here and
now, the actual issue, not theoretical what ifs. Those are for
lawmakers to decide. And Cook is being dishonest, claiming that
the govt is asking that they build a backdoor into their products.
The govt probably has asked that, certainly would like that, etc,
but it isn't what's being asked by the court order.
I made another post where I suggested that possibility. How would
Apple like it if the FBI offered a $100K reward to anyone that could
show how to do what they ask on an iPhone 5. Apple, do you feel better
or worse now? I think Cook has to be an idiot to be gambling the
future of the company. How about some place gets blown up, major
attack, and it turns out later that the perps had links, communication
with that phone that Apple won't help with?
It's not the app they want help cracking. It's the "10 tries and
we've deleted everything" the govt wants to bypass.
I don't agree with Tony that there's no code that can't be cracked,
but there are probably many that can't be cracked in 10 tries.
This all is about phones that were still in use when the bad guy got
killed or captured.
On Sat, 20 Feb 2016 09:11:26 -0800 (PST), trader_4
If the media reported it accurately it would not get the attention
they want. I do understand you don't want to start down a slippery
slope, but the way you put it from the court order it does not should
IMO, we should never have heard about it. The FBI should have quietly
approached Apple, "pssst, can you do us a little favor?" and never
made it public. They guy is dead, the guy is a terrorist.
On Sat, 20 Feb 2016 09:11:26 -0800 (PST), trader_4
I think apple is making a mistake but the first mistake was the FBI
not doing this very quietly so the precedent was not set in the first
Now Apple has put the government in a corner forcing the geeks at NSA
to crack the whole i-phone security apparatus and making all I phones
I have no doubt the boys at the puzzle palace in Ft Meade can do it
even if it means taking the flash chip off the card and installing it
in a machine designed to do nothing but read encrypted flash chips.
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