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Forum Post: free and open communictions are under attack

Posted 4 years ago on Feb. 18, 2016, 1:37 p.m. EST by agkaiser (2460) from Fredericksburg, TX
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

free and open my ass.

The cops, corporations and corporatist politicians have turned communications into a tool of oppression and/or a tower of babel in which genuine communication is inhibited or denied outright.



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[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 4 years ago

Message from Apple: February 16, 2016

A Message to Our Customers The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.

This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.

The Need for Encryption Smartphones, led by iPhone, have become an essential part of our lives. People use them to store an incredible amount of personal information, from our private conversations to our photos, our music, our notes, our calendars and contacts, our financial information and health data, even where we have been and where we are going.

All that information needs to be protected from hackers and criminals who want to access it, steal it, and use it without our knowledge or permission. Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data.

Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That is why encryption has become so important to all of us.

For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers’ personal data because we believe it’s the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.

The San Bernardino Case We were shocked and outraged by the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino last December. We mourn the loss of life and want justice for all those whose lives were affected. The FBI asked us for help in the days following the attack, and we have worked hard to support the government’s efforts to solve this horrible crime. We have no sympathy for terrorists.

When the FBI has requested data that’s in our possession, we have provided it. Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants, as we have in the San Bernardino case. We have also made Apple engineers available to advise the FBI, and we’ve offered our best ideas on a number of investigative options at their disposal.

We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.

The Threat to Data Security Some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution. But it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.

In today’s digital world, the “key” to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.

We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them.

A Dangerous Precedent Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.

The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.

[-] 3 points by Viking (417) 4 years ago

Three cheers to Apple's CEO, Tim Cook. Good post, Thanks Shule.

[-] 2 points by ImNotMe (1488) 4 years ago

''Apple vs. the FBI: Inside the Battle Snowden Calls "the Most Important Tech Case in a Decade" with Amy Goodman, DemocracyNow!

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 4 years ago

Never-Say-Anything is extremely capable of breaking into all electronic devices' communications. It has obviously discovered how truly vulnerable the U.S. is in the cyber domain. It is tasked to defend the U.S. so it likes the U.S. businesses and individuals to upgrade their cyber-defense. Encryption will not stop Never-Say-Anything stone-cold but it will stop others less capable.

The story is vastly different for the Feral Burro of Incompetence. Firstly, it doesn't care about cyber-domain collateral damage. Impounding data for investigation literally means yanking the server's plug from the electrical outlet and lugging it home. Anyone innocent or not whose data are on that server can be knocked out cold in the cyber domain. Hence, it qualifies as the Feral Burro of Incontinence as well because it pisses off the innocents, too, when its bladder is too distended. Secondly, it wants to set a precedent using a law from centuries ago when horses were the fastest means of travel and electronics did not exist. It does not care about U.S. businesses or individuals being penetrated in the cyber domain. Investigation will become so much easier if everyone takes everything off for inspection. Nudism is what it craves.

The U.S. is very strong in cyber offense due to the Never-Say-Anything that has just said something (it's bizarre, isn't it?) but is very weak in cyber defense due to the businesses not having to pay the costs resulting from cyber attacks (corporatocracy/kleptocracy resulted in extreme weakness). Stuxnet escaped out there, so beware!

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 4 years ago

Remember Newton's Third Law? Great force may generate great reaction. We went through that with the King of England. Also, small force applied orthogonally can guide great force. Stingrays can also sting up their own most important orifice. I want to be far away from them when they free and open their ass.

Never-Say-Anything knows far more about this matter than the Feral Burro of Incompetence. I really don't get it why even after Never-Say-Anything has said something (gasp!), our Dumbass district still wants to ferment apple cider for export.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2460) from Fredericksburg, TX 4 years ago

Stingrays are just gull shit on the tip of the iceburg.

"With Stingrays police are able to locate and track individuals, eavesdrop on calls, send malicious software, and even disrupt interactions between protest organizers. Even more alarmingly, they’re doing this all without warrants or public oversight. In fact, the NYPD was just caught using Stingrays more than 1,000 times without a warrant while many other police departments have refused to disclose how they are using them."