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leicsmac

Apple and Encryption

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Apparently a US court have ordered Apple to invent a way of compromising their encryption for their iPhones in order to look at the data on the phone of one of the San Bernadino shooters.

 

Apple have refused, intend to fight the order, and gave their reasons in a pretty good open letter.

 

http://www.apple.com/customer-letter/

 

Personally, I think constructing a backdoor like this would have serious consequences in the future and I wouldn't trust the alphabetised scurriers in the dark with such a tool as far as I could throw them, so I think Apple are definitely doing the right thing.

 

Thoughts?

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Not sure how bad the FBI must be at their jobs to need this - I lost my passcode for my iPad last easter, followed a YouTube guide and plugged it in, opened a hidden file, banged the encrypted code and hash into a rainbow table and had access within an hour; despite me not really knowing the first thing about hacking and using a budget laptop.

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Not sure how bad the FBI must be at their jobs to need this - I lost my passcode for my iPad last easter, followed a YouTube guide and plugged it in, opened a hidden file, banged the encrypted code and hash into a rainbow table and had access within an hour; despite me not really knowing the first thing about hacking and using a budget laptop.

 

The level of data the FBI are after is probably a bit more detailed than simply what's available when you're phone's unlocked. Will probably pertain to long-term call records, texts, any emails sent from iCloud account - even if it's been deleted etc. I'm sure the FBI are more than capable of unlocking an iPhone. If they planned it all last year and then deleted call history, emails, texts etc then just having an unlocked phone wouldn't be much good to the FBI - they want all the data they can get their hands on.

 

For the record, I think Apple is doing the right thing too. I just don't see the need for this - especially in this case, where the prime suspects are dead and it's unclear if accessing this data would actually move the case forward. It would be a complete erosion of civil liberties if Apple were to set the dangerous precedent of giving the government a 'skeleton key' to access encrypted data. And they can say that they'd only use it in this case as a one-off, but do any of us really believe that? They'd be letting the genie out of the bottle, and it would become commonplace - in my opinion, a court will find it very difficult to force Apple to create an OS that will allow law enforcement to access decrypted data, but if they DO create it, then it will be easier for courts to force them to do it again and again and again.

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Guest MattP

Tough one, ten years ago I would have totally sided with Apple but we live a completely different World now though, a e-mail or message on a Iphone shouldn't really be treated any different to phone records when it comes to the courts, if they have a reasonable suspicion it has information on it that could give information regarding terrorism or acts that have been or could be committed I'd probably side with the courts.

 

Owning an Iphone doesn't give you the right to total privacy.

 

Out of interest would the same people have backed Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson's right to provacy when we were trying to find out if they had hacked phones?

Edited by MattP

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If the FBI can get in then anyone else can.

 

Apple should tough it out otherwise they'll lose all credibility

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Go Apple, they are bang on the money here.  The tiny percentage of criminals scumbags this might possibly impact doesn't give Governments the right to be able to spy on everyone else.

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Tough one, ten years ago I would have totally sided with Apple but we live a completely different World now though, a e-mail or message on a Iphone shouldn't really be treated any different to phone records when it comes to the courts, if they have a reasonable suspicion it has information on it that could give information regarding terrorism or acts that have been or could be committed I'd probably side with the courts.

Owning an Iphone doesn't give you the right to total privacy.

Out of interest would the same people have backed Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson's right to provacy when we were trying to find out if they had hacked phones?

If it started and finished with this one phone, and that was an ironclad guarantee, I would agree. But it isn't and it wouldn't.

The comparison with wiretapping is outdated as that is a physical process requiring much more effort and therefore accountability than hacking a multitude of electronic devices, and could be used for multiple targets rather than just one only, which leaves it wildly open to abuse.

Regarding Brooks and Coulson, that is apples and oranges...that was part of a one-off criminal investigation, this is a government agency seeking intel about acts that may or may not occur and could open the door to multiple instances of it.

Edited by leicsmac

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If it started and finished with this one phone, and that was an ironclad guarantee, I would agree. But it isn't and it wouldn't.

The comparison with wiretapping is outdated as that is a physical process requiring much more effort and therefore accountability than hacking a multitude of electronic devices, and could be used for multiple targets rather than just one only, which leaves it wildly open to abuse.

Regarding Brooks and Coulson, that is apples and oranges...that was part of a one-off criminal investigation, this is a government agency seeking intel about acts that may or may not occur and could open the door to multiple instances of it.

 

Fair enough, I probably do come round to your way of thinking here, it's impossible in this day and age to imagine the authorities not abusing the privledges given to them.

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Fair enough, I probably do come round to your way of thinking here, it's impossible in this day and age to imagine the authorities not abusing the privledges given to them.

 

What amazes me that with all the money and "skill" at their disposal they can't crack/hack/rewrite the phones themselves without asking Apple to do it.

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The level of data the FBI are after is probably a bit more detailed than simply what's available when you're phone's unlocked. Will probably pertain to long-term call records, texts, any emails sent from iCloud account - even if it's been deleted etc. I'm sure the FBI are more than capable of unlocking an iPhone. If they planned it all last year and then deleted call history, emails, texts etc then just having an unlocked phone wouldn't be much good to the FBI - they want all the data they can get their hands on.

For the record, I think Apple is doing the right thing too. I just don't see the need for this - especially in this case, where the prime suspects are dead and it's unclear if accessing this data would actually move the case forward. It would be a complete erosion of civil liberties if Apple were to set the dangerous precedent of giving the government a 'skeleton key' to access encrypted data. And they can say that they'd only use it in this case as a one-off, but do any of us really believe that? They'd be letting the genie out of the bottle, and it would become commonplace - in my opinion, a court will find it very difficult to force Apple to create an OS that will allow law enforcement to access decrypted data, but if they DO create it, then it will be easier for courts to force them to do it again and again and again.

Problem with that argument is that none of the data is ever more than soft deleted and still recoverable from the phone - same reason as to why you should drill a hard drive when you scrap it.

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Tough one, ten years ago I would have totally sided with Apple but we live a completely different World now though, a e-mail or message on a Iphone shouldn't really be treated any different to phone records when it comes to the courts, if they have a reasonable suspicion it has information on it that could give information regarding terrorism or acts that have been or could be committed I'd probably side with the courts.

 

Owning an Iphone doesn't give you the right to total privacy.

 

Out of interest would the same people have backed Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson's right to provacy when we were trying to find out if they had hacked phones?

What does give you the right for privacy? I hate the thought of eroding basic freedom and rights on the basis of terrorism because that's exactly what they want.

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Couldn't care less if the government went through my phone, laptop, tablet or whatever. I think they'll be pretty bored by the end of it.

 

I think you may not care less at the thought of it but I'm pretty sure you WOULD care if they actually did it.

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What amazes me that with all the money and "skill" at their disposal they can't crack/hack/rewrite the phones themselves without asking Apple to do it.

 

 

 

The skeptic in me thinks they probably already have the information they need, but it cant be legally used until they are given a legal way to use it...

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I think you may not care less at the thought of it but I'm pretty sure you WOULD care if they actually did it.

I really wouldn't, and I have no fear of them being bothered enough to look, because I have absolutely nothing to hide.

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I really wouldn't, and I have no fear of them being bothered enough to look, because I have absolutely nothing to hide.

Your personal digital information alone is worth a not unreasonable amount of money to a bunch of different groups out in cyberspace.

You would be ok with any kind of agency procuring that information and trusting them to not sell it on, for instance?

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I really wouldn't, and I have no fear of them being bothered enough to look, because I have absolutely nothing to hide.

 

But if they were looking it would be because you did have.

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But if they were looking it would be because you did have.

 

 

 

 

Then why shouldnt they?

 

 

 

And i am talking about in interests of national security... 9/11, London train bombings, ect... IF you are a suspect in any of those cases then yeah give them access...

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I really wouldn't, and I have no fear of them being bothered enough to look, because I have absolutely nothing to hide.

So your banking details and enough to commit identify fraud on you isn't worth hiding? Let's be clear, the government won't keep the backdoor safe and plenty of criminal gangs will get access

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So your banking details and enough to commit identify fraud on you isn't worth hiding? Let's be clear, the government won't keep the backdoor safe and plenty of criminal gangs will get access

 

 

Your personal digital information alone is worth a not unreasonable amount of money to a bunch of different groups out in cyberspace.

You would be ok with any kind of agency procuring that information and trusting them to not sell it on, for instance?

 

 

That is another matter entirely, data security would have to be at the top of the agenda.

 

But if they were looking it would be because you did have.

 

I would hope that so if someone had something to hide that could cause harm to others, they would be looked into and dealt with.

 

I'd place a sizeable amount of money that many who oppose government spying would be the first to come out and question how we didn't know about these plans.

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Apple are a bunch of hypocrites.

Since the iPhone was officially introduced in China seven years ago, Apple has overcome a national security backlash there and has censored apps that wouldn't pass muster with Chinese authorities. It has moved local user data onto servers operated by the state-owned China Telecom and submits to security audits by Chinese authorities.

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Apple are a bunch of hypocrites.

Since the iPhone was officially introduced in China seven years ago, Apple has overcome a national security backlash there and has censored apps that wouldn't pass muster with Chinese authorities. It has moved local user data onto servers operated by the state-owned China Telecom and submits to security audits by Chinese authorities.

 

Yes, but everyone knows the Chinese government are a bunch of repressive, authoritarian arseholes.

What Apple (and by extension an awful lot of other people) are hoping, right now , is that the US government isn't turning out to be similar.

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Couldn't care less if the government went through my phone, laptop, tablet or whatever. I think they'll be pretty bored by the end of it.

Same here mate! :D As long as they don't mess up with my game apps, no problem with me. ;)

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On the subject of Apple. I just had a message on my iPhone to reset my passcode within 60 minutes, almost as if it would self destruct if I didn't do it.

I did it, put my new passcode the same as my old but I'm suspicious. Had the phone for 2 years and never been asked to change it.

Anyone had similar?

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