Craig Federighi on Renewed Government Push for Backdoor Device Access: 'Weakening Security Makes No Sense'

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Law enforcement officials are revisiting proposals that would require tech companies to build backdoor access into electronic devices to allow for better access to data in criminal investigations, reports The New York Times.

    This is an issue that was heavily debated following the 2016 legal dispute between Apple and the FBI over the iPhone 5c that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. The government wanted Apple to create software that would allow them to access data on the device, which Apple refused to do.


    In response to rumors over renewed efforts to build such a tool, Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi told The New York Times that weakening security protections in iOS devices would be a grave mistake, maintaining Apple's stance on the issue.
    Apple has continually argued for the need for improvements to device security to stay ahead of hackers and other bad actors who exploit security vulnerabilities in iOS devices. During the dispute over the San Bernardino device, Apple refused to build a backdoor tool into its devices and argued that if such a tool existed, it could easily end up in non-government hands.

    Federighi has previously spoken passionately on the issue, and in early 2016, he published an op-ed in The Washington Post using the same argument he reiterated in his statement to The New York Times. iOS devices, he said, are "part of the security perimeter that protects your family and co-workers." From Federighi in 2016:
    According to The New York Times, FBI and DOJ officials have been "quietly" meeting with security researchers to work on approaches that would provide "extraordinary access" to encrypted devices like the iPhone. Based on this research, DOJ officials "are convinced" there's a way to create a backdoor to access data without weakening a device's defense against hacking.

    One method under discussion involves a special access key that would be generated when a device encrypts itself, allowing data to be unlocked without a user's passcode. The key would be stored on the device itself, in a part of the hard drive that would be encrypted separately. Only the device manufacturer, with a court order, would be able to access it.

    Susan Landau, a computer security professor at Tufts University, told The New York Times that this would create "significant additional security risks" given that "so many more tech companies" would need to access these keys to comply with the inevitable flood of law enforcement access requests.

    Talks inside the executive branch have reportedly been renewed over whether to ask Congress to enact legislation that would require tech companies to create a new access mechanisms for law enforcement officials. The talks are said to be in a preliminary stage with no imminent request for legislation ready at this time.

    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: Craig Federighi on Renewed Government Push for Backdoor Device Access: 'Weakening Security Makes No Sense'
  2. deanthedev Suspended


    Sep 29, 2017
    I’m still amazed there are idiots out there that think they can keep a secret master key/backdoor...
    a secret.
  3. york2600 macrumors regular


    Jul 24, 2002
    Portland, OR
    A backdoor for the US becomes a backdoor for China and Russia in no time. No thanks
  4. Septembersrain Contributor


    Dec 14, 2013
    They've already started the wheels turning and now they are asking for permission?

  5. iObama macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2008
    This whole Facebook thing has me really 'doubling down,' to use Tim's phrase, on my privacy online. Am I willing to sacrifice ease of use for privacy? I was two weeks ago. Now? I'm not so sure.

    Suffering through ProtonMail (it's good, but it's no Gmail), DuckDuckGo, Ghostery, and meticulously staying on top of which apps have permissions for what.
  6. techwhiz macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2010
    Northern Ca.
  7. TheShadowKnows! macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    National Capital Region
    Asymmetric encryption (public key encryption) is so last century (invented by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Len Adleman at MIT in 1977).

    From the same genesis, MIT, PKE will be obsoleted once governments (or a few deep-pocketed bad actors) develop a usable Quantum computer running Shor's algorithm.

    Much ado nothing: the end of "Too Many Secrets".
  8. justiny Contributor


    Jul 28, 2008
    Fairfield, NJ
    Perhaps if lawmakers and government officials would stop being lazy and do their jobs, the need to hack into a mobile device after a tragedy/criminal act wouldn’t become the paramount necessity to conduct a proper investigation.

    The level of incompetence is astounding; government information on all levels is leaked out on a daily basis, and they believe the public would trust them to hack into devices while respecting privacy responsibly? What about the devices belonging to victims and witnesses?

    The precedence of this is terrifying. Not no, but hell no.
  9. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Gun violence issue? Instead of addressing the question of why the person was able to get a gun in the first place, lets spin this as an issue about encryption and privacy.
  10. Jim Lahey macrumors 6502

    Jim Lahey

    Apr 8, 2014
    Great Britain
    Why is everyone so stupid?

    If this ever happens I’m going off grid. Thick as two short planks.
  11. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    ‘But what if we didn’t just have a backdoor, but instead was a really really secure backdoor?! Surely that would be ok!?’
  12. Dave-Z macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2012
    Then they're idiots, because there isn't.
  13. Saipher macrumors demi-god


    Oct 25, 2014
    Not this again. I thought we were over this already. The worse part is with the appointees from current administration, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually went ahead with it.
  14. barkomatic macrumors 601

    Aug 8, 2008
    The government couldn't care less about the larger disruptions that would be caused by creating a backdoor. They have the shortsighted goal of obtaining evidence against suspects over the likelihood that countless people would end up having their identities stolen and their private personal communications posted online. The Russians and Chinese will have these keys no more than a few weeks after they are created. Our government simply can't keep secrets.
  15. mariusignorello macrumors 68000

    Jun 9, 2013
    I use ProtonMail and won’t turn back. It’s been rock solid.
  16. MacLawyer macrumors demi-god


    Aug 1, 2009
    I thought there already was a device out there that cracks iPhones.
  17. Glideslope macrumors 603


    Dec 7, 2007
    A quiet place in NY.
  18. Beenblacklisted macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2011
    You may have the best signature i have seen yet.
  19. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2015
    Arlington, Texas
    One minor change: The worst part is with appointees from ANY administration"! :). Appointees aren't elected and thus aren't on the same short leash.
  20. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    Better access to data in criminal investigations is also better access to data in criminal activities.
  21. Karma*Police macrumors 68000

    Jul 15, 2012
    Oh, the irony... so the government wants to investigate/regulate FB and social media because they're concerned about user privacy but they want to seriously compromise people's data that's far more sensitive than who our friends are, where we went for vacay and what movie we watched this weekend? SMH
  22. coolfactor macrumors 601

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    If this ever went through (which it won't), I wonder if the government would then request special devices for themselves without this backdoor? Double standard.
  23. 341328 Suspended

    Jul 18, 2009
  24. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2009
    I’m ok with the FBI and researchers trying to hack devices. I don’t agree with them asking the OS developers to intentionally build it into the software and/or hardware.
  25. tridley68 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2014
    I'm sure they would have special devices remember they are above the law.

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