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Old 02-26-2016, 03:46 PM   #281
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Whether or not I have something to hide is of little consequence. There is nothing in the law (read Constitution) that says the measure of the government's intrusion into my life is based in any way on the level secrets I may or may not have.
If a person is suspected of having committed a crime, US courts have the authority to allow a search of that person, their personal effects, their premises, etc. The Constitution protects us from >unreasonable< search and seizure, we don't have absolute protection from all searches under all circumstances.

The phone in San Bernardino (and other phones) are not being searched because they contain secrets. They are being searched because they are reasonably suspected, to the satisfaction of a judge, to have information related to the commission of a crime. A crime almost always means that someone else's rights have already been violated--stopping crimes helps protect individual rights.
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Old 02-26-2016, 03:50 PM   #282
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The Chinese wanted all tech vendors to submit their proprietary source code.

They got a lot of pushback.

The PRC isn't willing to ban products yet. Saw a lot of Chinese tourists with nice DSLRs and of course iPhones and iPads.
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Old 02-26-2016, 05:08 PM   #283
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If a person is suspected of having committed a crime, US courts have the authority to allow a search of that person, their personal effects, their premises, etc. The Constitution protects us from >unreasonable< search and seizure, we don't have absolute protection from all searches under all circumstances.
Hey, samclem,

You are right. I wasn't arguing the legality of any search or the merit of any probable cause in that particular instance. Just the poster's quote about going ahead with a search because "he had nothing to hide". I think such attitudes allowing intrusive conduct on the part of government officials is dangerous to our well being as citizens and a country. It only goes from there to "you shouldn't have anything to hide." Dangerous.

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The phone in San Bernardino (and other phones) are not being searched because they contain secrets. They are being searched because they are reasonably suspected, to the satisfaction of a judge, to have information related to the commission of a crime. A crime almost always means that someone else's rights have already been violated--stopping crimes helps protect individual rights.

Again, you are right, to a point. And again, I was not arguing that. I do not doubt there is probable cause to search this phone. In fact, I doubt there is anyone with standing alive to contest it. My point was and is, the government is seeking to cause a private business operated by free people who have committed no crime to act on the government's behalf against their will and, quite possibly, to the detriment of the company.

I'm not debating the legality of the search itself. I assume it's a good search. It's pretty boilerplate in that regard. But forcing a company to reveal what are in essence "trade secrets"? How can this be okay?

Ron
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Old 02-26-2016, 05:25 PM   #284
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Yes, I heard that on NPR, and I'll bet it is true. That's the best way out for Apple. If so, we'll see if the USG takes steps to block the sale and use of such an OS in the US.

Interesting times . . .
Can a system be defined so that breaking into it requires extraordinary measures such that it is outside the reach of hackers, and that it can only be done in a lab co-owned by both Apple and the government such that it cannot be abused? This means that even a rogue FBI agent cannot abuse it when he has no search warrant to examine a suspect's phone.

Such a facility will cost some money, but I think it is minimal when amortized over the number of phones that are sold. And in case people say that a leak would inevitably occur, I have noted in a previous post how the government has been able to keep classified projects secret, starting from the Manhattan Project.

Call it a back door if you wish, but a back door is nothing bad if hackers cannot get to it, and even the government needs to go through due process to enter. Right now, the personal properties and even the body of a suspect can be searched, so why is his phone so sacred?
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Old 02-26-2016, 05:33 PM   #285
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Can a system be defined so that breaking into it requires extraordinary measures such that it is outside the reach of hackers, and that it can only be done in a lab co-owned by both Apple and the government such that it cannot be abused? This means that even a rogue FBI agent cannot abuse it when he has no search warrant to examine a suspect's phone.

Such a facility will cost some money, but I think it is minimal when amortized over the number of phones that are sold. And in case people say that a leak would inevitably occur, I have noted in a previous post how the government has been able to keep classified projects secret, starting from the Manhattan Project
This, I could go for.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:21 PM   #286
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Can a system be defined so that breaking into it requires extraordinary measures such that it is outside the reach of hackers, and that it can only be done in a lab co-owned by both Apple and the government such that it cannot be abused? This means that even a rogue FBI agent cannot abuse it when he has no search warrant to examine a suspect's phone.

Such a facility will cost some money, but I think it is minimal when amortized over the number of phones that are sold. And in case people say that a leak would inevitably occur, I have noted in a previous post how the government has been able to keep classified projects secret, starting from the Manhattan Project.

Call it a back door if you wish, but a back door is nothing bad if hackers cannot get to it, and even the government needs to go through due process to enter. Right now, the personal properties and even the body of a suspect can be searched, so why is his phone so sacred?

Why should Apple do this without any compensation?

It does not seem like Apple is using this argument and I doubt it ever will... just throwing it out myself...


But, if Apple develops a phone that even it cannot hack because of this current debate, then that facility would not be needed...
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:21 PM   #287
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Again, please note that the legality of the search is not an issue. The FBI and others simply do not have the technology to easily and reliably conduct a search of the device.

The LEGAL issues derive from the command by the Court that a business construct something (GovtOS, as the Apple documents call it) against their will and their best interests, and further authenticate that production (by digitally signing it) for use with other products.

The various arguments that "it is only one device, and the software can be destroyed" are already moot, as there are another 182 devices that various agencies have already announced an intent to request the same product and service be performed for.

This is a novel new use of the All Writs Act, which appears to be uncomfortably close to a writ of attainder. (Google that. It didn't end well the last time writs or attainder were used in this little corner of the world.)

The initial case, if the Court's order is upheld on appeal, will establish new case law extending the All Writs Act in some peculiar directions. It will be possible to command a third party to produce a product for the Court's purposes against that third party's will. It will be possible to compel a third party to digitally sign items so as to appear authorized or validated to the standards of that third party, without the item actually being an authorized or validated item.

This is not a good thing. Combine this new authority with the existing demands we have seen revealed from the FISA and other secret courts. You won't be able to trust any software product or web site originating under US jurisdiction.


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Old 02-26-2016, 08:04 PM   #288
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Why should Apple do this without any compensation?
No, they should not have to do it for free. The cost will be passed on to the users, either by a higher price or by the government levying a tax.

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But, if Apple develops a phone that even it cannot hack because of this current debate, then that facility would not be needed...
True. Then, if the ability to search a suspect's phone is important enough, Congress will have to pass a law mandating this back door.

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Again, please note that the legality of the search is not an issue. The FBI and others simply do not have the technology to easily and reliably conduct a search of the device....

The various arguments that "it is only one device, and the software can be destroyed" are already moot, as there are another 182 devices that various agencies have already announced an intent to request the same product and service be performed for...
It may be time for Congress to look into this matter, and to pass the appropriate laws to address problems caused by this new technology. No more kicking the can down the road.

From a Web site:

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The flurry of legal activity by the companies came as the F.B.I. also escalated the matter, calling on Congress to settle the question of when law enforcement should get access to citizens’ private data. Apple earlier this week had also asked for Congress to step in.

“The larger question isn’t going to be answered in the courts, and shouldn’t be,” James B. Comey Jr., the F.B.I. director, said in a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee earlier on Thursday. “It’s really about who do we want to be as a country and how do we want to govern ourselves.”
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:32 PM   #289
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Just the poster's quote about going ahead with a search because "he had nothing to hide". I think such attitudes allowing intrusive conduct on the part of government officials is dangerous to our well being as citizens and a country.
++1


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My point was and is, the government is seeking to cause a private business operated by free people who have committed no crime to act on the government's behalf against their will and, quite possibly, to the detriment of the company. . . But forcing a company to reveal what are in essence "trade secrets"? How can this be okay?
I haven't heard that the government wants Apple to reveal anything about its trade secrets, OS or anything about the tool used to get the data. They just want the data (and if it is encrypted, they will deal with that I guess). I can't argue from a constitutional basis about the foundation for this "taking" of private company resources by the government, but I can say as a practical matter the government does it very regularly. Heck, Apple spent time in the past bypassing the locks on scores of phones for the government. When the government asks a bank to go back and produce records on a client for the purpose of an investigation, or when the court tells a phone company to assist with a phone tap--those companies spend the time of their employees to comply with those requests (just as Apple has done in the past). So, I can only say the government does this frequently. And if a phone company or bank refused to assist (even after the government offered to pay for their time), then I suppose the pressure would be ratcheted up.

Again--if Apple doesn't develop this capability and keep it in house, it's entirely possible the government will pay another company to try to do it. I don't know if that's possible/feasible, but if it is then Apple's trade secrets and the workings of its OS will be known to far more people (incl possible competitors) than if they'd just complied. And they'll have themselves to blame.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:39 PM   #290
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But, can we really trust that is true anymore? The government software could be causing this to look like a posting from MPaquette
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:48 PM   #291
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Apple v FBI

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But, can we really trust that is true anymore? The government software could be causing this to look like a posting from MPaquette

Precisely. For all you know, this post could be coming from an FBI system that I was required to digitally sign with my credentials for purposes of an ongoing investigation, under a Writ from the Court.

At least you know that the Writ probably didn't originate with the FISA court, or I'd be under a gag order. Or maybe that's what they want you to believe. Welcome to the rabbit hole.

This case will establish the case law permitting just that.


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Old 02-26-2016, 11:15 PM   #292
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I have been reading a few articles about the legalities... some are interesting reading...


One had a stmt in it that I will probably butcher.... but it basically said that a court order can not compel someone to produce something that it does not have....


IOW, all the people that talk about subpoenas etc. and their legality... well, that is the court telling someone to supply something that it already has... as the example just above, the bank HAS the bank records... the wire taps are on equipment that the phone company already has... etc. etc.... IOW, they are not requiring any of these entities to actually create something new and then turn that over.... this one does...


They then said if it stood, what would prevent it from forcing Apple to create software that would be used to turn on the camera, or the mic or even record conversations... all of these can have the flavor of good police work when used on the bad guys... but is it right?
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:51 PM   #293
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Since some are of the mind that it is no matter if a backdoor is created, I read today that the hack of the IRS has now released information that the data taken from the IRS is 5* greater than was thought.

We are getting to the point that encryption should be required rather than outlawed.
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:58 AM   #294
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In the case of the IRS getting hacked, it was said that SSNs stolen elsewhere were used to obtain info from the IRS Web site. This is more a case of identity theft.

Encryption allows access by the intended user and locks out snoopers, but here they have problems telling a hacker from a legitimate user. Your computer and smartphone can be as secure as they should be, but if hackers break into a large establishment's computer, that's when they hit the mother lode.
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Old 02-27-2016, 01:06 AM   #295
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Large computer systems are often compromised when a hacker gains access through a legitimate user.

At a megacorp where I worked, they initially allowed employees to remotely access the company's system from home using personal PCs. Then, they found out that some employees' PCs had malware which could infect the rest of the system. So, they then allowed remote access only via company's laptops, which were under control of the company and had all virus protection up to date. Company laptops also had other security features for authentication.
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Old 02-27-2016, 05:02 AM   #296
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I haven't heard that the government wants Apple to reveal anything about its trade secrets, OS or anything about the tool used to get the data. They just want the data (and if it is encrypted, they will deal with that I guess).
samclem,

Hey, no question, I could be misreading this whole thing. I guess I landed here because Apple has only two responses to the government's request, aside from capitulating. "We can't do it" or "We won't do it". I thought, maybe by mistake, that Apple was saying they could not break into this phone without causing vulnerability to other phones with the same security features. That is one of the things that is different for me. If your bank reveals the contents of your bank account to the FBI, my account information is not in jeopardy. If the bank gives the FBI everyone's account information so they can cull though it to see if there is something incriminating in yours....I have a problem with that. More importantly, I do take issue with the larger argument of government compulsion "for the greater good" as if the greater good trumps Apple's right to maintain the secrets they created in securing their phone systems.

In these instances, I do side with government restraint. And I come from a background of someone who has written subpoenas and search warrant applications like the ones you are talking about.

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Again--if Apple doesn't develop this capability and keep it in house, it's entirely possible the government will pay another company to try to do it.
You are right about this. No doubt about it. And Apple has every right to complain about it from a legal standpoint if the FBI breaks in to the phone(s) this way. But this action would compel Apple to do nothing. I guess the theme of my posts, poorly stated, is this. The government has a duty, a responsibility, to protect us from terrorists. But such responsibility does come with limitations. I don't want your rights violated for my safety because I really don't have any safety if that happens. And I'm no anarchist. We need government. But, if we say the government should be allowed to do something because a majority of people would be safer as a result, aren't we saying the government can do anything it wants? I would bet over 99% of the people working in government have no ill intent. But, like any endeavor, in local, state and national offices there are smart people, dumb people, people who follow their oaths and a few who don't. It's incumbent on us to monitor this and, every once in a while say, "No, you can't do that". It keeps them honest.

Good conversation. The only thing missing is the coffee.

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Old 02-27-2016, 07:00 AM   #297
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But, can we really trust that is true anymore? The government software could be causing this to look like a posting from MPaquette
Wow, this subject certainly has legs. A good discussion. A lot of folks seem to have a deep distrust for the government and I get that. I just wanted to say I also have the same level of distrust for mega-corps, even though I have always worked for one. Their intent is pure profit. Not sayint that is all bad but their actions need to be viewed through that prism.

Again, JMHO.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:15 AM   #298
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I have been reading a few articles about the legalities... some are interesting reading...

One had a stmt in it that I will probably butcher.... but it basically said that a court order can not compel someone to produce something that it does not have....

IOW, all the people that talk about subpoenas etc. and their legality... well, that is the court telling someone to supply something that it already has... as the example just above, the bank HAS the bank records... IOW, they are not requiring any of these entities to actually create something new and then turn that over.... this one does...
But a lawyer might be able to spin this for Apple. Technically, I could say the bank does not have the 'something' to pull my records in the way that the govt wants, the bank might need to write a script to pull that info from their database. I guess that would not hold if all the govt is asking for is the same statements they send/provide to the user anyhow. But if the govt asked for 'all transactions above $X, made to such and such accounts', that could take a script.

Now, writing a script like that is trivial compared to writing a GovtOS, but the concept might stand?

-ERD50
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:55 AM   #299
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But a lawyer might be able to spin this for Apple. Technically, I could say the bank does not have the 'something' to pull my records in the way that the govt wants, the bank might need to write a script to pull that info from their database. I guess that would not hold if all the govt is asking for is the same statements they send/provide to the user anyhow. But if the govt asked for 'all transactions above $X, made to such and such accounts', that could take a script.

Now, writing a script like that is trivial compared to writing a GovtOS, but the concept might stand?

-ERD50

Just using your example, the bank probably already has that script... but it really does not matter... what they are asking is for information that the bank is holding that the gvmt does not have...

With this case, the gvmt already has the phone, and the information, so it is not asking Apple to provide them with information that Apple has that the gvmt does not....


I know this is cutting a fine line with some.... some are looking at it with a broad brush and some with a fine one... I get that. I am just on the side of Apple in this argument....

Now, if the phone had been backed up to the cloud and Apple had a copy, I do not think they have a leg to stand on in not providing that info to the gvmt.... if it were encrypted, that is not Apple's job to break it... but the gvmt's job... they just supply 'what they have'...
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:27 AM   #300
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To draw the line/analogy finer--Apple does already have "the thing" the government wants: The knowledge of the OS and the expertise/processes needed to modify it to produce a tool to get into that phone. And, just like other "things" (customer bank account data, etc) the company is in a unique position to provide this "thing" to the government (in furtherance of Constitutionally valid purposes).
Yes, a slippery slope. But the government forces companies to do things they don't want to do all the time--and always with the stated justification that it is "in the public interest." Hey, if this proved to be the wedge that rolls back all that other stuff, I'd probably be in favor of it.
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