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Apple vs. FBI – The Fight For Your Privacy

This week an issue has arisen that will set precedence that may impact a generation. Largely under estimated, the tech media has done it’s best to make the general public aware of just what is at stake. The issue of course is Apple Vs. FBI.

Apple vs. FBI

Image courtesy of Tomo News US

A quick primer; On December 2nd, 2015  22 people were injured and 14 innocent souls were cut down by sub-human mouth breathing wastes of organic raw materials in San Bernardino, California. The idiot who rightfully had his life forfeit for the barbaric act had an iPhone 5c. Now, of course the FBI wants access to that phone in order to investigate any possible connections and fellow extremists. On the surface is should be an easy thing… but two factors are at a loggerheads… Apple takes personal security very, very seriously and the FBI is about as trustworthy as an emaciated wolf in a Lilydale hen-house.

The FBI simply wants Apple to write software that would allow them to get the passcode via a “brute force” attack. This means they want to create a machine capable of entering all possible numeric passcodes in a reasonable amount of time. The problem of course is Apples ironclad security which is built to prevent such an attack. For each unsuccessful attempt the phone delays you more and more… or simply erases the phone completely. The FBI wants Apple to create a way around that.

Think on that.

Yea… keep going.

There you go….

Apple vs. FBI

That’s an adequate amount of shock and horror you should feel.

Yes, the FBI, the same folks who have created terrifying tools to mine mind boggling amounts a data on Americans good or evil want a way to get into Apples iPhone. But they say, “Just this one.”

Hands up, who believes them for any time span over a femtosecond?

The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook did not take this lightly and in a defiant letter outlined exactly where he and Apple stands on customers privacy. Read the full text here.

Apple vs. FBI

 

Apple Vs. FBI – Be On The Right Side Of History

This has roused a veritable hornets nest of conservatives jumping to their pulpits and accusing Apple of aiding terrorism, and a counter rabble of privacy and security experts supporting Apple in their stance. This story has reached around the globe and helpfully has been animated by our friends in Asia.

Apple vs. FBI

Source: TomoNews

On the conservative side, human shaped Cheetos dust Donald Trump called for a boycott of Apple products, 40 odd minutes after tweeting from his iPhoneJoe Scarborough asked the stump question of “what will ISIS think?”, Rudy Gulliana even attacked fellow conservatives over it and their stance on small government. The family of victims of similar atrocities are asking Apple to allow decryption as well, clearly and justifiably influenced by their personal experience.

A Battle For The Ages, With History

For some time now, multiple members of the US Congress have tried to introduce legislative bills that would force technology manufactures to build back doors into their systems to ensure law enforcement can gain access for criminal investigations. Government security agencies, especially the FBI have spearheaded this action.. and this court order action is smelling like a PR move by the FBI. Why? Because they actually have plenty of options to get into the phone if they so choose. The government themselves may have even buggered it all up (possibly on purpose it looks like now!) by resetting the iCloud password, thereby eliminating the ability for it to backup to the service; a place where Apple can indeed access information without to much trouble. Security legend and leader of apparently mohawk sporting, pierced, weed smoking and presumably skateboarding yellow with black polka dots shit wearing staff, John McAfee offered to decrypt it for them free of charge. Even the very sensible idea of letting Apple decrypt it in their own halls was floated by former CEO John Scully.

But no, the FBI choose to take court action against Apple, demanding they produce this tool for them, action being echoed by the Justice Department. Think about this.. if the FBI is successful in compelling Apple to decrypt this phone.. doesn’t that mean anyone should be able to? What about other agencies in need of getting into a suspects phone? Murder cases, missing persons, custody battles? Of course! There is no doubt anywhere that such a tool would be valuable to law enforcement… the medical isotopes of the nuclear bomb the FBI is looking for.

Apple vs. FBI

Many great things have come from Nuclear Research.. but we still do everything we can to prevent the wrong people from getting them bomb.

The FBI swears on a stack of Bibles that stretches to the moon that they will only use it for this one phone, (after which I’m sure they will magnetically and physically destroy all data associated with it and the staff responsible for it will voluntarily run themselves through with a samurai sword to ensure they take the secret across the River Styx.) but we know that simply isn’t true. With that tool in existence, it will get out.. and what if it gets into the very hands of those terrorists they are so scared of? Think of the national security risk that would pose. What about the fact that if it was done, wouldn’t other countries see that as a green light? China has already backed down off ordering back doors in devices.. you think they are going to sit there quietly and let this happen without them getting what they want? This tool is a nuclear bomb clear and simple, some great benefits but to great national and more importantly, personal individual cost.

Soon after Apple published it’s letter, other tech companies stepped up and voiced their support. Even Google, the king of “Fuck Your Privacy” came out with a lame duck statement. Security experts everywhere have been freaking right out, even the former head of the NSA has backed Apple on this one. Rich Mogull made his optinion very clear,

Make no mistake: This is unprecedented, and the situation was deliberately engineered by the FBI and Department of Justice to force a showdown that could define limits our civil rights for generations to come. This is an issue with far-reaching implications well beyond a single phone, a single case, or even Apple itself.

As a career security professional, this case has chilling implications.”

Even The Woz says were he at Apple he would fight it vigilantly. Probably the most important statements came from Edward Snowden himself, the one man who knows just how untrustworthy the US governemnt can be,

He also posted a rather telling block of text…

It’s clear that this issue is going to have massive ramifications no matter what way it goes. We here at The Stem, even though involved with law enforcment ourselves, are on the side of Apple in this case. This nuclear bomb cannot be built.

Apple vs. FBI

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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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