Apple vs The FBI
The FBI and Apple Are at it Again
Cristal M Clark
These tiffs between the FBI and Law Enforcement are getting a bit old. On the one hand, Apple refusing to unlock iPhones is understandable on the other hand it makes perfect sense that they would help. Donald Trump’s tweet over it actually makes sense to an extent. I’ll ask this question twice in this article, what is the our government asking Apple to do exactly?
We value our privacy but you know when you break the law with acts of terrorism, mass shootings, rape, child molestation, murder, being a drug lord and so on, why the fuck should anyone want to protect that individual? They harm others, in brutal ways, fuck them and whatever so called rights they feel entitled to, their victims had rights before the criminal took those rights away.
The FBI recently asked for Apple’s help by Apple unlocking a pair of iPhones belonging to Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the man accused of killing three people at a Navy base this past December.
In response to the FBI’s request, Apple said that it handed over gigabytes of information, including but not limited to iCloud backups and various other transaction type of information. Apple also said that it gave the FBI “all of the data in our possession” and that it was open to assisting the FBI in other ways going forward.
So Apple is willing to help to a certain extent.
Attorney General William Barr recently called Apple out for not going the extra mile. The AG had this to say: “We have asked Apple for their help in unlocking the shooter’s iPhones. So far Apple has not given us any substantive assistance. This situation perfectly illustrates why it is critical that investigators be able to get access to digital evidence once they have obtained a court order based on probable cause. We call on Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of Americans and prevent future attacks.”
Wait, what is the AG asking for exactly? If you don’t understand the question, read the AG’s statement again. Are they asking for Apple and others to help prevent future attacks by unlocking user devices before the user commits a crime? That is what court orders and warrants are for right? If memory serves, they asked after the fact and Apple turned over everything that they could.
If you have an Apple device everything is backed up to iCloud, when a user doesn’t want something backed up to the cloud for instance, the users, pictures, video, notes, reminders, social media accounts, any app really, they will select that manually and in the case of Mohammed my guess is that Apple gave the FBI everything backed up, these mass shooter/terrorist types don’t usually save things locally, they aren’t stupid. They’ll delete everything they don’t want law enforcement to see before they commit the actual crime and that would include deleting it from the cloud. Therefore, personally I do not believe unlocking the phone would provide any more intel than Apple already turned over.
The AG is asking for a backdoor just for law enforcement and to that request Apple responded:
“We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys. Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations. We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.”
Apple is correct, as history shows, backdoors are exploitable. In fact, Tim Cook already responded to this issue back in 2016: “The only way we [can do what the FBI wants] would be to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the software equivalent of cancer, we think it’s bad news to write, we would never write it, we have never written it. And that is what is at stake here.”
Apple is not going to waiver in its stance on the issue the AG and law enforcement as a whole need to better understand how technology works as well as certain criminals think and work. If they understood it better maybe they would better understand why Apple gave them everything they could give to them and they are unlikely going to find anything further on the criminals device.
Cristal M Clark