Apple Reiterates Inability to Unlock iOS Devices Running iOS 8 or Higher in New Court Filing

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple this week informed a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, New York that it "would be impossible" for the company to access data on a locked iPhone running iOS 8 or later, reports Reuters. Apple was responding to a request from the judge, James Orenstein, to help him decide whether to fulfill a U.S. Justice Department request that would have forced Apple to help authorities gain access to a seized iPhone.

    Apple's response is not a surprise, as it is the same thing the company has said several times in the past. Since iOS 8, Apple has stopped storing encryption keys for devices, making it impossible for the company to unlock iPhones and iPads under police request. Without an encryption key, Apple cannot bypass a passcode to gain access to an iOS device.

    In a brief filed with the court, Apple said 90 percent of its devices are running iOS 8 or higher and are thus inaccessible. Apple is able to access the 10 percent of devices that continue to use iOS 7 or below, but the company told the judge that being forced to comply with the Justice Department's request could tarnish its brand.
    Apple's encryption changes, implemented in 2014 with iOS 8, have been unpopular with some law enforcement officials. FBI Director James Comey has expressed concern that encryption implemented by companies like Google and Apple lets people "place themselves above the law."

    Just yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook told an interviewer encryption is a necessity and that software backdoors are unacceptable, reiterating Apple's long-standing opinion on the subject.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Apple Reiterates Inability to Unlock iOS Devices Running iOS 8 or Higher in New Court Filing
  2. captain cadet macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2012
    For someone studying Security, If they can't crack it, they cannot crack it - The law is so far behind with technology meaning the Law is out of date!
  3. neuropsychguy macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
  4. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2009
    All Your Memes Are Belong to US
    Good job Apple. They courts should be forced to go to the accused, and then the accused should be able to invoke the 5th.
  5. Mascots macrumors 68000


    Sep 5, 2009
    I can not get over this quote.

    Like mining and storing millions of communication records illegally collected from American citizens.

    Like not requiring the use of a court system to subpoena information because it's inconvenient or will never been have accepted.

    Like attempting to circumvent software designed for consumer protection by using malware to grant that access.

    Like giving authority to government entities for full, free access to devices under a law that was never designed to be interpreted under today's technological conditions or by lying about the situation in which those conditions were not actually met.

    Let's see..
  6. mariusignorello macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2013
  7. spoa94 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2011
    New Orleans, LA
    I love Apple's stance on security and privacy but I wish we as users could opt in and out of some of these features. For instance I would be okay with Apple storing my health, fitness, and Siri data in the cloud and not only on my device. I don't like that when I restore my iPhone from iCloud I lose all this data. I want to be able to tell Apple what I want to keep secure and what I don't necessarily care about keeping secure.
  8. hlfway2anywhere macrumors 65816

    Jul 15, 2006
    But won't someone please think of the children!? /s
  9. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    Was a similar request put into Google? I only ask because apparently they implement similar measures as Apple and I'm curious as to why it would be Apple in this case. Serious question.
  10. predation macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2013
  11. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Even more brilliant to see this coming and change their encryption methods from ios8 on.

    For the government to basically claim everybody is guilty of something and we need to see what you are doing whenever we want to in order to catch a few bad "apples" is WRONG!

    They should follow the laws or update old laws that have lost it's grip over time.
  12. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    The problem with these backdoors that people like that FBI-bloke (and the other sock puppets advocating them) don't seem to understand is: if Uncle Sam get's a backdoor, everybody else will want to have one, too.
    The same backdoor that unlocks an iPhone of a suspect child-molester will also unlock a phone of a suspected dissident in China or Kazakhstan. Or Iran. And the Mexican government (and thus the cartels...) will also have it.
    Of course, there's always the 5-dollar wrench ( - but people quickly realize it doesn't scale and is really bad for morale.
  13. spoa94 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2011
    New Orleans, LA
    Yes that is true. MR posted an article about it awhile back. Police can force you to unlock iPhone with TouchID because of something to do with the fact that they have the right to take your fingerprints.
  14. Four oF NINE macrumors 68000

    Four oF NINE

    Sep 28, 2011
    Hell's Kitchen
    Suck it up feds, and learn to deal with the constitution!
  15. Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
    that's what Im expecting from a serious company
  16. AbSoluTc macrumors 601


    Sep 21, 2008
    Correct. So make sure you have an alphanumeric passcode and you turn your device OFF/RESTART before you have to hand it over. Odds of most people needing to do that are slim but keep it in mind TouchID will not work if the phone is restarted or turned off/on.

    Also, good for Apple! No government agency needs access to what I have on my phone. I don't care what excuse they come up with or try to pedal for the sake of "homeland security".
  17. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I could be wrong, but I believe most if not all of this data is backed up and restorable if you do a local, encrypted iTunes backup. Granted it's not an automagic process like iCloud backups are, but still might be an option for you. Edit: Looks like yes, at least some of this stuff gets stored on encrypted backups:

    In any case, it's a two-way street: Not only would you want to be able to opt-in to have Apple store that data, but Apple must also be willing to do all of the legal compliance required to store that data for you. No doubt, Apple would need to comply with HIPAA, and they're probably not willing to handle the elevated liability they'd face if something happened to your personal health data (like, if your iCloud account got hacked).
  18. Huracan macrumors 6502


    Jan 9, 2007
    I support Apple. Enough is enough with the technological intrusion from government into our lives. If we followed the government's logic we should allow the FBI to put cameras in our bedrooms, our cars and everywhere, as it should help capture some criminal. I prefer to have privacy even if it means a slightly higher risk of a criminal getting away.
  19. Rhonindk macrumors 68040


    I don't think they are not as far out as we are being led to believe.
    I wonder if this is a case of government agency redirection: aka smoke and mirrors.
  20. Rafagon macrumors regular


    Jun 19, 2011
    Miami, FL
    I am totally in agreement with Apple. Government, get your noses out of our business.
  21. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Require a warrant? Why, that's crazy communist talk!
  22. DJsteveSD macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    let them think for themselves! :cool:
  23. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. No one should be able to access my device without my approval.
  24. jpgr15 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2015
    Bravo, Apple!

    Gotta love the hypocrisy here. God forbid the common folk have a layer of protection and privacy from the almighty federal government.

  25. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm guessing this is related to a specific case where a locked iPhone is being held as evidence and the owner is unwilling to (or maybe is dead and unable to) unlock it. Just my guess, the article doesn't go into a ton of detail, but a judge wouldn't just wake up one morning and decide to have Apple do this for no specific reason.

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