Following a high-profile attempt by the FBI and Department of Justice to force Apple to hack its own security encryption features, the federal government threw in the towel on Monday as it announced that it had successfully accessed information on the iPhone belonging to one of the perpetrators of the mass shooting in San Bernadino, California late last year.
But I thought the world was going to end if Apple didn't cooperate!
Everyone should always trust alarming assertions made by police, military, and "security" agencies.
The empirical fact is - although never acknowledged by "mainstream" media stenographers - that everyone should always DISTRUST alarming assertions made by police, military, and "security" agencies.
Seriously? The NSA had this down all along. They went back through the metadata that they collect on each and everyone of us, yada, yada, yada... gave it to the FBI. This whole thing was Kabuki theater for us proles.
How do we know what by whom and whether they did or didn't here? Did Apple say no and say yes in secret. Did the FBI do or didn't they but agree to say they did to make it look good or what?
I'm just asking whether or not anyone actually knows because I sure don't. Somehow I just don't figure everything is as it seems...ever anymore.
This sort of thing is becoming typical. Of course they could get into the dumb phone, and anyone with any expertise would know that. They floated the idea to see how it would play. They got enough flak that they decided that they could not run with it, specifically that they could not set a precedent to publicly and straightforwardly insist that there be a backdoor to all electronic communications.
They got some flak. They looked bad very quickly. They withdrew.
They are still the FBI. Tomorrow, they will be back with another ruse.
Edward Snowden commented on this case in his conference on privacy with Chomski and Greenwald. He stated that this was a test case, appealing to the public/court to get the back door code in order to fight terrorism after the horrific event in San Bernadino. He stated that the intelligence agencies could tell immediately from meta data whether or not any suspicious calls were made to or from the phone number. I do not remember of any such concern being discussed in the harangue of Apple, and in building the case for disclosure. The real agenda was further invasion of our privacy and to collect data on all citizens to keep us in line.
And then there is the cunning use of flags to build empires. And of course, by that same reasoning when a bad case of Clapper misspeak goes viral does it mean that flags increasingly become false flags?
Hmmm - well i wonder if this doesn't also undermine Apple's claim that it's phones are "secure" ...
So, public, Apple doesn't have to "unlock" a phone for the authorities, they can just get into it anyway - no surprise there ...
I don't believe a word the FBI says. I agree with many commentators that this was never about unlocking a device, this was a test case to bully a tech company into submission and establish a legal precedent, and it proved too big an ask. So they withdrew with a churlish "never mind".
Given the FBI's dismal track record at honesty and transparency, I choose to believe that iDevices are still safest from unauthorised prying eyes, and support all efforts to make all devices even more secure.
" "It was about an unprecedented power-grab by the government that was a threat to everyone’s security and privacy"
I view this case very differently. For a decade and a half now, every man, woman, child and even invalid is stripped down to their underwear and private parts in what is considered an essential attempt to secure the nation. While Apple, the mega corporation with a $200B in tax-dodged overseas stash, proclaims its right not to submit itself to the law even in a case where people were murdered by people with suspicious ideological affiliations. While privacy might be a focal topic here, I would not discount the power of the mighty corporations to dodge the law as they please.
As an IT engineer, I did not believe that the problem of decoding the said phone is a an insurmountable challenge to someone with FBI's resources. This drama of Apple vs. FBI, IMO, is another sham show of publicity for Apple, along the lines: "see what lengths we went to protect your info", and also for a company that pretty much had no new product to showcase for nearly a decade, beyond improving the slickness of the edges of the phone and the colors of its accessories.
It was, but a nice Israeli company helped out our FBI heroes.