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Bellona

Apple's war with the FBI

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There is no safe way for them to do this. The whole point of encryption is lost as soon as you implement a back door to it.

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There is no safe way for them to do this. The whole point of encryption is lost as soon as you implement a back door to it.

^Exactly.

 

For those that didn't see what the actual court order was,

 

What the FBI wants is for Apple to make a backdoor that allows brute force cracking of a passcode. Currently, not even Apple saves a person's passcode, it's encrypted and stored on the phone and there is no way to bruteforce it - you have to manually enter the passcode and after five (I think) wrong attempts, it locks you out for five minutes...try again and get locked out for 30 minutes, and so on and so forth, meaning any attempt to "guess" someone's passcode could theoretically take months or even years unless you get super lucky.

 

What the govt wants is for Apple to release an iOS update that allows them to bypass the manual entry of passcodes and the locking-after-failed-attempts security measure. They want to be able to connect the phone to a computer and have the computer cycle through every possible passcode permutation until it finds the correct one. Once such a method is out there in the wild, there's no stopping anyone from figuring out how to employ this on their own.

 

Anyone who doesn't see the (major) ramifications of doing this clearly doesn't understand the situation and/or the point of encryption to begin with.

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Again I agree with clay.

 

I have seen several "Apple should just do it" articles / opinions today. Those opinions seem to imply that privacy takes a back seat to national security.

 

Is what the FBI wants even possible? I am inferring from the "Just do it" Brouhaha that it is. Am I wrong? John McAfee's offer is an interesting twist IMHO

 

Side question: when I got arrested back in '14 my phone, etc was confiscated. Once a person is arrested doesn't all privacy rights go out the window?

 

Where are out resident law students when we need them?

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You cannot be forced to give up passwords. Anything in your head is yours alone.

 

You can, however, be forced to unlock your phone if you're dumb enough to use your fingerprint, face, or something else physical as a password instead of authentication.

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Many comments both for and against Apple doing this.

 

Problem: Apple specifically built the encryption to prevent them from having the keys to do what is requested. To comply with the order would require Apple engineers to attempt to hack the phone just the same as the FBI is currently doing. If, as has been alleged, Apple has some back door to the encryption on iPhones and that came to light, it would destroy their mobile device business.

 

The suggestions that Apple could just update iOS to turn off encryption or turn off auto-destruct after nn failed password attempts won't work either. One must enter one's password in order to install an iOS update.

Edited by Bellona

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Apple can't break into the phone in question.

 

Apple shouldn't make it possible to do so in the future.

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If, as has been alleged, Apple has some back door to the encryption on iPhones and that came to light, it would destroy their mobile device business.

 


I think the desire by the FBI is to create said backdoor not that it exists. But hopefully you are right about it destroying their business should they comply!

 


Apple can't break into the phone in question.

 

Apple shouldn't make it possible to do so in the future.

 

No they shouldn't !

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Well, the FBI has physical access to the phone AND their computers. Don't iPhones automatically sync with iTunes and move all files over? So wouldn't all of this not matter? 

 

I would think that the FBI would already have access to their Apple accounts, right?

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Well, the FBI has physical access to the phone AND their computers.

This means nothing with encrypted data, though. :)

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I found this interesting report (see page 23), looks like the password was changed within 24 hours after the government took possession of the device. If that hadn't happened triggering an iCloud backup of the information the government was seeking may have been accessible.  http://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000152-fae6-d7cd-af53-fafe53bb0002

Edited by Bellona

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As far as leaving a back door that would be off limits but supplying the Apple ID and passcode is something they should do.

That's something they don't have. The passcode is encrypted on the phone. The only thing Apple has would be the Apple ID password, which is not the same thing. And Apple already provided the FBI with everything it had.

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