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Old 02-22-2016, 11:34 PM   #161
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Samclean...

I saw a few people on the cable channels talking about this and there was one with a former FBI agent and someone else... both indicated that it IS new or different legal grounds...


I cannot say for sure, but because most people talking are saying it is going to the Supreme Court no matter what the lower courts say would indicate it is different.... if it were settled law it would not go that far...
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:54 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
I saw a few people on the cable channels talking about this and there was one with a former FBI agent and someone else... both indicated that it IS new or different legal grounds...
As I understand it, Apple's contention is that the All Writs Act, which has been the legal justification for previous instances in which Apple (and other) tech companies have been compelled to provide assistance for many years, is not a sufficient justification for this activity. If I've got that right, there's no new law or a new technical wrinkle, it's just that the Apple is now objecting to the existing law and the traditional interpretation of it.
If the SCOTUS rules on the case, we'll possibly have clarification on this point. The government will have an opportunity to defend their position (citing previous courts' upholding of this interpretation of the All Writs Act, as well as a host of other laws that support their position).

Apple has been building these communication devices for years, and this need to assist authorities in legitimate investigations is just part of that business. Apple has accepted that until now, they've bypassed the locks on scores of iPhones at the request of authorities. They have now decided, for whatever reason, that it's a part of their business that they no longer want to do. It seems to me that the only ways they can rid themselves of it are:
-- Get a judge to say they don't have to do it anymore. That's what they are trying to do now. It's the cheapest approach and probably worth a try from their perspective.
-- Stop making these devices
-- Make devices that cannot be unlocked/cracked by anybody (including Apple)--some type of quantum-based encryption, etc. This is the holy grail of cryptographers and Apple isn't likely to succeed where others have not. But if they could do it, Apple would just say that what the government is asking is impossible.
-- Make devices with security features that are strong and which Apple has no technical advantage over anybody else in unlocking. Apple is being compelled to assist because they have technical experience and unique knowledge of their proprietary OS that allows them to make the information on a phone (clear text or encrypted) available to investigators. If, instead, Apple's phones relied on software/encryption entirely external to the phone and Apple's unique areas of proprietary expertise, then the government has no case to compel Apple to assist--because Apple would not be in an advantageous position to provide assistance. For example, if Apple's phone just enables the user to access a public-key infrastructure network, the data is kept on the phone in an encrypted state, and knowledge of Apple's OS provided no advantage in accessing or decrypting the data or accessing the keys, then the government has no standing to single out Apple to provide investigatory assistance. I would think this is the best route for Apple to go, if they want to be "clean" of assisting authorities.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:19 AM   #163
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All telecom companies have discussions with FBI at some point in their production. There are CALEA laws that enable taps of the equipment and include ability to unencrypt data during real-time, capturing data/messages/voice, etc. Some of it can be done, some of it can't be done. However, when they wanted this technology embedded in the software, congress had to pass laws and the govt paid the companies for the millions of dollars of development done. Different countries do it differently, but its all written into law and every telecom complies, so no secret, no special treatment, and its open so everyone knows what is being asked.

I'm on Apple's side, this warrant is above and beyond anything that would be expected. Breaking any security is a bad precedence and writing special software for the government is also something I'm not comfortable with. And it leads Apple open to being asked for special software for other governments which is even scarier.

I'm more concerned about how much this conversation has taken over the story. Ie what have they found and why is this the center of the conversation as I can't believe this phone data is the center of all investigation. These people had facebook accounts, email, phone records,etc... certainly more info would be found in those records that on the phone.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:31 AM   #164
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FWIW, Bill Gates has sided with the government on this issue:

Quote:
In an interview with the Financial Times, Gates took the position of the government, denying the case would set a precedent. "This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case," the newspaper quotes Gates as saying.
"It is no different than [the question of] should anybody ever have been able to tell the phone company to get information, should anybody be able to get at bank records," Gates continued. "Let's say the bank had tied a ribbon round the disk drive and said 'don't make me cut this ribbon because you'll make me cut it many times."'
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:58 AM   #165
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FWIW, Bill Gates has sided with the government on this issue:
This does not surprise me. One of the innovations MS brought to the PC world was enabling SW providers and third parties alike to download and store code and files on your computer to change, extract and communicate information about your computer and browsing (on a large scale), all without your knowledge or consent.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:03 AM   #166
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This does not surprise me.
Oh, I'm no fan of MS, and I don't think having Bill onboard necessarily bolsters the government's position. I was just getting the bad news out there in the spirit of full disclosure . . .
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:10 AM   #167
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Oh, I'm no fan of MS, and I don't think having Bill onboard necessarily bolsters the government's position. I was just getting the bad news out there in the spirit of full disclosure . . .
Got that, it needed to be posted. Just getting in my $0.02.

Despite my personal opinion, I think he has credibility in this area and deserves to be heard. Besides, the nature of privacy may have changed with the introduction of the information era, and my views old-fashioned and out of date.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:17 AM   #168
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I've been following this issue the last few days. I generally side on Apple's side. And I really hate to say that. I'm not what you might call an Apple fan. I have but 3, unrelated comments/questions. 1) I have lost all confidence in the FBI if their people cannot break into the iPhone, 2) Why haven't we heard of this "bricking" issue before? I would think that some high school pranks or would have been played already or ex-spouse vengeance actions. (maybe but I haven't heard of them), and 3) I think the SCOTUS would be locked 4-4 on this issue until we get a new Justice. That would mean the lower court decision stands.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:30 AM   #169
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<strikeout is my 'edit':
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
...
-- Make devices that cannot be unlocked/cracked by anybody (including Apple)--some type of quantum-based encryption, etc. This is the holy grail of cryptographers and Apple isn't likely to succeed where others have not. But if they could do it, Apple would just say that what the government is asking is impossible.
-- ....
I'm pretty sure that making a device that even Apple could not unlock is not really that hard at all.

From what I recall from working with some products that were going to use Intel's 'Secure Boot' system (this was > 10 years ago, but even those concepts were around for a long time, and are probably still the basis for what is used today), some digital keys are generated at first power on, and each active component has to develop a 'handshake' based on these keys (in the most secure methods, without actually exposing the keys themselves).

If Apple were to just throw away those initial keys, which are pseudo-randomly generated, I'm pretty sure that even Apple could not get in (unless they programmed in a special 'back door' - which they claim they do not want to do anyhow).

But this might also mean that even Apple couldn't replace modules like the fingerprint sensor either? It has a unique ID. Maybe if they keep that ID, they can develop a replacement method that could remain secure w/o exposing the other, lower level keys, I dunno? But M Paquette has warned that a 'bad-guy-spy' fingerprint module might be able to access stuff in the phone, and if Apple has the FPR module ID's - that seems to leave a hole.

The physical equivalent would be a safe maker that is able to create a "master" combination for a line of safes, in addition to a unique combination code for the user. If the customer (say a business, buying a large order of the same safes) does not want the master combo option, the manufacturer, rather than redesigning their safes, could just program the master randomly for each safe in that order, and then destroy any evidence of the alternate combo code - better yet, never have any actual record of that code, so there is nothing to destroy. You could ask the safe mfg to break in, but they would not have any better luck than anyone else.

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Old 02-23-2016, 09:40 AM   #170
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... 1) I have lost all confidence in the FBI if their people cannot break into the iPhone, ...
No, it isn't a lack of skills on the FBI's part - security methods are extremely advanced these days. Devices are built with these security features designed into the very hearts of the silicon, it isn't just tacked on. It's part of their DNA, in effect. The device is a closed HW/SW system - It's way different from hacking an internet password (a much more open system).


Quote:
2) Why haven't we heard of this "bricking" issue before?
The 'bricking issue' (error53) didn't exist until users upgraded to the new software, and then only if the software detected a problem with the finger print module (like if it was replaced by a third party, who did not have the capability of reprogramming the original ID#s into it). Or in some cases, if the FPR was defective (but still functioned as a basic 'HOME" button).

At first, Apple (and some posters here) insisted this was required to keep the phone secure. Apple later admitted it was unintended, and updated the SW so that a non-secure FPR was just ignored, rather than totally locking the phone. This fixed the 'bricking'.

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Old 02-23-2016, 10:00 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Despite my personal opinion, I think he has credibility in this area and deserves to be heard. Besides, the nature of privacy may have changed with the introduction of the information era, and my views old-fashioned and out of date.
I would guess that the ability to make financial money movements by relying on the device security features "might" make a difference. With a PC it was up to the secure site to protect the clients.

Apple seems to have decided to take the responsibility off the site operators (through fingerprint recognition as an example.).
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:16 AM   #172
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The 'bricking issue' (error53) didn't exist until users upgraded to the new software,
Sorry if I was not clear. I meant making the iPhone useless and wiped after 10 password tries. As in, what the FBI is wanting to get past in this phone.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:28 AM   #173
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Sorry if I was not clear. I meant making the iPhone useless and wiped after 10 password tries. As in, what the FBI is wanting to get past in this phone.
It might be a fairly recent thing (not sure which IOS versions this applies to), and it is an option, not default:

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204060

Quote:
Change your passcode or passcode settings

To change your passcode or passcode settings, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. On devices without Touch ID, go to Settings > Passcode.


....

Erase Data: Choose whether to erase your device automatically after ten failed passcode attempts.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:32 AM   #174
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Experimenting with a device with a self-destruct mode is not easy. When authorities capture a bomb, what do they do to disarm it? Most of the time, they just take it to a remote place and detonate it, although they would want to know how it was built. In this case, they want to keep it intact to get info.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:56 AM   #175
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I've been following this issue the last few days. I generally side on Apple's side. And I really hate to say that. I'm not what you might call an Apple fan. I have but 3, unrelated comments/questions. 1) I have lost all confidence in the FBI if their people cannot break into the iPhone, 2) Why haven't we heard of this "bricking" issue before? I would think that some high school pranks or would have been played already or ex-spouse vengeance actions. (maybe but I haven't heard of them), and 3) I think the SCOTUS would be locked 4-4 on this issue until we get a new Justice. That would mean the lower court decision stands.

From what I hear about the SC, if they do decide 4-4 they can just shelve the case and wait for a 9th justice.... IOW, not decide it right now... I also do not think that the legal process can be fast enough where they would hear it this year anyhow... lower courts and appeals can take awhile...
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:02 AM   #176
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Opps... I see posted already responded...
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:05 AM   #177
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From what I hear about the SC, if they do decide 4-4 they can just shelve the case and wait for a 9th justice.... IOW, not decide it right now... I also do not think that the legal process can be fast enough where they would hear it this year anyhow... lower courts and appeals can take awhile...
If the Supreme court is deadlocked the lower ruling stands.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:18 AM   #178
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Government mandates that require a company to produce a new product to government specifications against the best interests of the company and its customers is fairly unusual.

It appears that the All Writs Act now permits writs of attainder. That didn't end well last time.


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Old 02-23-2016, 11:26 AM   #179
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Government mandates that require a company to produce a new product to government specifications against the best interests of the company and its customers is fairly unusual.
Assuming Apple won't be selling this new software/procedure, why would we call it a "product?"

The government, using the established legal procedures, is asking Apple to perform a service. Just like it asks a bank or phone company to perform a service ("use your expertise to discover and provide all information available on your system pertaining to the activities of Mr John Smith between 1 Jan 2014 and 31 Dec 2015.") Responding to these requests is just part of the cost of doing business, as Apple has acknowledged through their past acquiescence to these requests.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:44 AM   #180
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FBI vs Apple, summed up on Star Trek.

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