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Old 03-02-2016, 09:37 AM   #341
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Congress can always decide that some products cannot exist. No ACME safe allowed, the same as individuals cannot build personal cannons, bombs, anthrax farms, or go naked without health insurance, refuse to pay SS. Anything is possible.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:44 AM   #342
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Not only did a NY judge rule against the FBI's request, this (below) doesn't help the FBI's case either. Good thing Apple is challenging. If Apple is required to unlock the shooters work phone (would you use your work phone to communicate with fellow terrorists?), hopefully it won't be until Congress passes legislation and/or the Supreme Court makes a ruling. We will ALL be better served in the end, including the intelligence community.

Not a great source, but it was on all the major network news shows this morning too.
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Comey, who is trying to force Apple to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, said at the House Judiciary Committee hearing that FBI agents reset the password to try to obtain data from the device but ended up locking themselves out, the New York Times reports. "There was a mistake made in the 24 hours after the attack," he said. Sewell said that if the FBI had followed Apple's advice, "the very information that the FBI is seeking would have been available, and we could have pulled it down from the cloud."
FBI: We Screwed Up Trying to Unlock Phone of San Bernardino Shooter
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:53 AM   #343
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Let's change your analogy just a little.

Suppose the ACME Safe Company sells safes with the option of a self-destruct mode. When activated, the safe cannot be opened in any other way than by using the correct combination. If someone attempts to open the safe any other way -- drilling, brute force, removing the tumbler set, whatever -- the self-destruct function releases chemicals that dissolve the contents of the safe.

Lots of people buy ACME safes. Some of them activate the self-destruct function for nefarious reasons, others activate the self-destruct function simply for privacy. Maybe they don't want their heirs to see the cross-dressing photos, or find evidence of an affair. Whatever.

So here comes the FBI, with a safe belonging to an alleged bad guy, and a warrant to open/search the safe. But the FBI cannot open the safe without potentially activating the self-destruct mode. The FBI asks ACME Safe Company to open the safe. ACME does not have the capability. So the FBI goes to court to compel ACME to develop a method of bypassing the self-destruct mode. ACME does not want to develop a backdoor because (choose one or all): it will cost ACME time/money to try to do this; or developing a backdoor will demonstrate that a backdoor is possible, opening up ACME safes to potential attacks by safecrackers / lessening the security of the ACME safes already sold, and potentially hurting future sales of ACME safes.

(I don't know the reasons that Apple is using to fight the court order, I just made up some reasons for ACME to fight the scenario).

So I've taken technology out of the scenario. I believe the crux of the issue is compelling ACME (or Apple) to hand over something that does not exist. It will be an interesting court battle.
My understanding is in the very beginning they stated it could not be done and now they are stating they should not have to do it (Apple), implying it could be done.

If it is impossible for ACME to do it, there is no point in even discussing it, IMHO.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:54 AM   #344
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Congress can always decide that some products cannot exist. No ACME safe allowed, the same as individuals cannot build personal cannons, bombs, anthrax farms, or go naked without health insurance, refuse to pay SS. Anything is possible.
True, that.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:40 AM   #345
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Congress can always decide that some products cannot exist. No ACME safe allowed, the same as individuals cannot build personal cannons, bombs, anthrax farms, or go naked without health insurance, refuse to pay SS. Anything is possible.
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True, that.
Absolutely, Congress can create a law requiring all phones have a back door built in. Pass a law stating that and that a backdoor must be built for old version before any new versions can be released. That would fix it all. You are not telling Apple to build a back door, just telling them they cannot release anything new until they do.

They could also pass a law stating that all internet providers must maintain a copy of all your web browsing history in case the court wants it.

Do you think congress has the guts to do it? I don't.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:48 AM   #346
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Absolutely, Congress can create a law requiring all phones have a back door built in. Pass a law stating that and that a backdoor must be built for old version before any new versions can be released. That would fix it all. You are not telling Apple to build a back door, just telling them they cannot release anything new until they do.

They could also pass a law stating that all internet providers must maintain a copy of all your web browsing history in case the court wants it.

Do you think congress has the guts to do it? I don't.
With that sort of backdoor stuff law, every resident of the US could be required to hand a key to their house or apartment to the local police. Heck how about a set of spare keys to your car while they are at it.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:07 AM   #347
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Congress can always decide that some products cannot exist. No ACME safe allowed, the same as individuals cannot build personal cannons, bombs, anthrax farms, or go naked without health insurance, refuse to pay SS. Anything is possible.

With software? Good luck with that.

Remember that until the late 90's cryptographic software was a controlled munition, with nothing stringer than the original DES encryption permitted. That was readily cracked using a simple Rainbow attack in a few minutes on an awesome 90 MHz Pentium.

So, where did stronger encryption come from? Internet sites outside the US borders. US vendors would write software that accepted plug-ins, and at install time the user had the option on many products to download better encryption such as PGP.

Apps like Telegram will just go right back to that model. Oh, implement the Great American Firewall to ban access to nasty software the FBI says is bad, by buying the China edition of Internet primary routers? Tunneling software like Tor takes care of that. Heck, the US government paid to develop Tor to allow activists to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

Won't work.


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Old 03-02-2016, 11:13 AM   #348
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Congress can always decide that some products cannot exist. No ACME safe allowed, the same as individuals cannot build personal cannons, bombs, anthrax farms, or go naked without health insurance, refuse to pay SS. Anything is possible.
That's right. But they have to actually pass a law.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:13 AM   #349
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Absolutely, Congress can create a law requiring all phones have a back door built in. Pass a law stating that and that a backdoor must be built for old version before any new versions can be released. That would fix it all. You are not telling Apple to build a back door, just telling them they cannot release anything new until they do.

Terrorists buy phones before they come to the US.

Meanwhile, a reward is offered on the DarkNet for the master key. 1000 BitCoin for the keys. A dozen government IT techs that want a new Corvette race to sell the master key. (One of the greatest telecom intercept projects of the Cold War was sold out by a tech who wanted a new Corvette.). Hilarity ensues, along with massive credit card fraud and identity theft.

This ends well...


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Old 03-02-2016, 12:10 PM   #350
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Terrorists buy phones before they come to the US...
Phones can be blocked from roaming, using their ID (IMEI).

Yes, it is indeed difficult, and there may not be anything we can do, but to slow them down. "Innovation has its dark side", as Buffett recently noted. Perhaps there is not much one can do, short of taking down the digital phone network and going back to the old analog wireless phones.

Here's what Buffett wrote (the boldface is mine):

Quote:
... the major threat our citizenry faces: a “successful” (as defined by the aggressor) cyber, biological, nuclear or chemical attack on the United States. That is a risk Berkshire shares with all of American business.

The probability of such mass destruction in any given year is likely very small. It’s been more than 70 years since I delivered a Washington Post newspaper headlining the fact that the United States had dropped the first atomic bomb. Subsequently, we’ve had a few close calls but avoided catastrophic destruction. We can thank our government – and luck! – for this result.

Nevertheless, what’s a small probability in a short period approaches certainty in the longer run. (If there is only one chance in thirty of an event occurring in a given year, the likelihood of it occurring at least once in a century is 96.6%.) The added bad news is that there will forever be people and organizations and perhaps even nations that would like to inflict maximum damage on our country. Their means of doing so have increased
exponentially during my lifetime. “Innovation” has its dark side.

There is no way for American corporations or their investors to shed this risk. If an event occurs in the U.S. that leads to mass devastation, the value of all equity investments will almost certainly be decimated. No one knows what “the day after” will look like. I think, however, that Einstein’s 1949 appraisal remains apt: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and
stones.”
So, I think all problems with the human race will be self-limiting. When we are back to sticks and stones, there will be no more stinkin' phones, smart or dumb ones.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:52 PM   #351
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With that sort of backdoor stuff law, every resident of the US could be required to hand a key to their house or apartment to the local police. Heck how about a set of spare keys to your car while they are at it.
There's no need for spare keys. We have battering rams.

And it's against the law to booby trap your own home. You can maim firefighters or the police when they have legitimate reasons to enter.

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That's right. But they have to actually pass a law.
That was what I meant, now and many posts ago. Congress needs to define laws allowing the use of "battering rams" on cell phones.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:55 PM   #352
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Philliefan33 ,


Good follow-up, but again, the question is can the Federal government compel, via action related to a warrant, a company to do something to obtain information related to the heinous death of Americans - I think the answer must be yes, otherwise, private citizens, criminal private citizens, non-citizens, can simply tell the Federal government to GTH ...how does the IRS obtain information that someone has hidden ... or that millions of someones have hidden?


Goes to the falling apart of the structure ...can't be allowed.


Not a legal argument, just perhaps a reasonable one.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:34 PM   #353
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Philliefan33 ,


Good follow-up, but again, the question is can the Federal government compel, via action related to a warrant, a company to do something to obtain information related to the heinous death of Americans - I think the answer must be yes, otherwise, private citizens, criminal private citizens, non-citizens, can simply tell the Federal government to GTH ...how does the IRS obtain information that someone has hidden ... or that millions of someones have hidden?


Goes to the falling apart of the structure ...can't be allowed.


Not a legal argument, just perhaps a reasonable one.

Maybe, but as my aunt told me long ago: "When you go to court you don't get justice. You get the law."

It will be interesting to see how the courts interpret current law in this case.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:52 PM   #354
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They could also pass a law stating that all internet providers must maintain a copy of all your web browsing history in case the court wants it.

Do you think congress has the guts to do it? I don't.
Well, Google already does that, so there is no law needed...
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:56 PM   #355
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There's no need for spare keys. We have battering rams.

And it's against the law to booby trap your own home. You can maim firefighters or the police when they have legitimate reasons to enter.


That was what I meant, now and many posts ago. Congress needs to define laws allowing the use of "battering rams" on cell phones.

Yea, and that law will stop a terrorist who is willing to die for their cause...
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:12 PM   #356
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They could also pass a law stating that all internet providers must maintain a copy of all your web browsing history in case the court wants it.
I think ISP's do have to keep a browsing record history for all their users in case the FBI suspect someone of child pornograhy. When I was working and reading trade magazines I recall reading an article about an IT manager in a chemical company who received a court order from the FBI to provide browsing history for a particular employee who was being investigated for child pornography. The article said that the order quoted an existing law that all companies that provided internet access should maintain a browsing log. The IT manager said that he was totally unprepared for such a targeted request and found it very awkward extracting the browsing history of just one person from the logs. (He did not want to hand over the entire set of logs to the FBI)

I just did a search on this and can only find an article on CNET that discusses this.

Police: Internet providers must keep user logs - CNET

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A 1996 federal law called the Electronic Communication Transactional Records Act regulates data preservation. It requires Internet providers to retain any "record" in their possession for 90 days "upon the request of a governmental entity."
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:14 PM   #357
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Why doesn't the FBI subpoena the source code and write the modified OS themselves or have the NSA do it?
It seems like a case of setting a legal example more than anything else.

Source code can be written so that it is uncrackable. And since it can be written anywhere in the world, the US would have no jurisdiction over it. So US users would be left with an insecure device. Worldwide competition will drive users away from US made devices due to insecurity.

Right now it is trivial to communicate with others with absolutely uncrackable security, if one desires it.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:27 PM   #358
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Let's jump to the next logical step. Assume that Apple is compelled to open this phone, and put in a backdoor in all devices.

Mr Terrorist decides to encrypt a message. Will it get hidden in a photo, then scrambled? In an audio file? Or maybe some out of print book has intervals counted between letters, and we transmit that one-time-pad. It's simple, could be easily done on a computer, and unless you get the exact book, and know the starting point and also the key, that encryption is unbreakeable.

What is gained by this whole constitutional encroaching exercise?
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:32 PM   #359
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Steganograpy has been around a long time, and is used by many including unsavory characters for covert communications.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:58 PM   #360
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Yea, and that law will stop a terrorist who is willing to die for their cause...
Very little will stop a terrorist from dying. What can be done is to reduce the number of innocents he takes with him.

When people object to the government doing anything, it's one of these arguments: 1) they will abuse it and encroach the privacy of the public, 2) the tool will leak into the hand of bad guys, and 3) it does not work because the bad guys will work around it.

The police has battering rams and weapons, but they do not abuse it as a daily occurrence to break down people's doors or hurt them. There's still due process in place, and it mostly works.

About leaking "stuff" into the hand of bad guys, secrets about ICBM launch control conceivably can get into bad hands. I am sure that's worth a lot of money to some bad guys, even countries. What has been done to keep these secrets safe all these years?

And about crime prevention, it is true that one can never prevent all crimes (that's why we still have crimes!). It does not mean that we give up. And often, examination of evidence after-the-fact or forensic investigation can give us clues to prevent new crimes, or pursue some leads.
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