Facebook Fights US Government Demand to Break Messenger Encryption in Criminal Case

Jimmy James

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2008
4,578
2,908
Magicland
Somehow I really doubt the Department of Justice would agree to hindering their own work just for the sake of helping a social media network look good...
I think the point was that trust for Facebook improves, therefore people use it more, and a supposed existing relationship benefits.
 

Treq

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2009
642
512
Santa Monica, CA
If Facebook steals your info it is ok but if they steal it and share it with the government then they do not approve of it. Makes you wonder. Just saw new Samsung Note 9 at T-Mobile this week. Comes preinstalled with Facebook with uninstall option removed. You can only force stop app which Facebook still has control over. Samsung Note 9 pretty much took bribery money to make sure Facebook app is preinstalled in the system with no uninstall option. Then just like Google Maps even though tracking is disabled it still tracks you. This app even though disabled still does what it wants in the background.
I never use the FB app on my iPhone. Worst battery hog ever. I only view FB in safari. Before I deleted the app my phone wouldn’t make it through the day. Now I rarely go home with less than 30-40% battery. Messenger I only install to get rid of the notification and I give it no permission for anything when I install it. Then delete it right after. I would never buy a phone that forced me to keep an app like FB installed. Apple’s pre installed apps are much less intrusive.
 
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fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
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US government wanting to ignore the constitution because it inconveniences them? I’m shocked.
Where in the Constitution is this prohibited?
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I don't believe any of this. They probably already have them access years ago, this is just a publicity stunt between the government and FB that they agreeded to behind closed doors in order to feign a fight that they are trying to protect user's privacy.
To make the end-to-end encryption bogus, several engineers at FB would have to be in on it, not just the higher ups. It's very unlikely.
 
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BuddyTronic

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,121
738
I find it inconsistent that a government who worries “making guns illegal will mean only bad guys have guns” doesn’t see the same argument applies to encryption.
Yes, well, I didn’t mention guns.

Also, maybe due to the poor sentence structure you used, I can’t figure out what point you are trying to make.
 

fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
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If Facebook steals your info it is ok but if they steal it and share it with the government then they do not approve of it. Makes you wonder. Just saw new Samsung Note 9 at T-Mobile this week. Comes preinstalled with Facebook with uninstall option removed. You can only force stop app which Facebook still has control over. Samsung Note 9 pretty much took bribery money to make sure Facebook app is preinstalled in the system with no uninstall option. Then just like Google Maps even though tracking is disabled it still tracks you. This app even though disabled still does what it wants in the background.
Yeahhh that's another reason why I don't f*** with Samsung phones, or any Android phone for that matter. The Facebook app is just the mobile website except with cancer added; they don't even make the UX much better.
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Yes, well, I didn’t mention guns.

Also, maybe due to the poor sentence structure you used, I can’t figure out what point you are trying to make.
? The sentence makes sense to me. What you originally said is a modified version of the old quote "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns."
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I find it inconsistent that a government who worries “making guns illegal will mean only bad guys have guns” doesn’t see the same argument applies to encryption.
Well the government can currently seize your guns to prevent crime, just like they want to "disarm" FB Messenger.
 
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bradl

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Jun 16, 2008
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Where in the Constitution is this prohibited?
The 4A applies in this instance, especially with the law that was passed recently that requires the government to get a warrant to search any 3rd party for your data. Previously, all that they needed was a subpoena, because that 3rd party wasn't implicated in the investigation; now, they need a warrant.

To make the end-to-end encryption bogus, several engineers at FB would have to be in on it, not just the higher ups. It's very unlikely.
Not necessarily again. All that would be needed is the encryption method and the cipher, assuming that both could be hacked or have been hacked. For example, using the old IDEA encryption method over SSLv1. Both have been hacked. Brute force the transmission to get to the encrypted message, brute force that, and you're done.

Or worse, one person kept both public and private keys used. Get those, and you're screwed, especially if they use both of those keys for every single message. Single point of failure.

BL.
 

fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
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The 4A applies in this instance, especially with the law that was passed recently that requires the government to get a warrant to search any 3rd party for your data. Previously, all that they needed was a subpoena, because that 3rd party wasn't implicated in the investigation; now, they need a warrant.
Yes, so they force Facebook to put in a backdoor then only use it with a warrant, and it's totally constitutional. Not that I agree with the backdoors.

Not necessarily again. All that would be needed is the encryption method and the cipher, assuming that both could be hacked or have been hacked. For example, using the old IDEA encryption method over SSLv1. Both have been hacked. Brute force the transmission to get to the encrypted message, brute force that, and you're done.

Or worse, one person kept both public and private keys used. Get those, and you're screwed, especially if they use both of those keys for every single message. Single point of failure.

BL.
The bolded is the part where engineers would have to work together to make it insecure, so they wouldn't get away with it. The first one: Facebook doesn't use a cracked encryption method, nor does anyone else who isn't malicious. The second: E2E encryption means Facebook doesn't hold the keys.

Also, about telling the gov't which encryption method is used, that's not how it works. If you use an insecure encryption method, it will be hacked whether or not you tell anyone which one it is. They can reverse engineer based on your code, or if it's a well-known method, just guess.
 
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bradl

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Jun 16, 2008
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Yes, so they force Facebook to put in a backdoor then only use it with a warrant, and it's totally constitutional.
They can't, without violating other laws protecting some business practices; this could even violate the 1A rights of the company.

The bolded is the problematic part. The first one: Facebook doesn't use a cracked encryption method. The second: E2E encryption means Facebook doesn't hold the keys. Of course they could do both of those, but that's back to what I said, many engineers working together to make it insecure, and they wouldn't get away with it.
No-one asked what encryption method Facebook uses; they just asked if it was possible. ;)

Also, about telling the gov't which method is used, that's not how it works. If you use an insecure encryption method, it will be hacked whether or not you tell anyone which one it is. They can reverse engineer based on your code, or if it's a well-known method, just guess.
Again, all true; Like I said above, they asked if it were possible, which it is. That doesn't mean that Facebook would use any encryption method or transfer mechanism that was already cracked.

All in all, Facebook is telling the government to go pound sand, similar to what Apple did in the San Bernardino shooting incident. The government needs to find their own methods to prove their cases, not force companies to do their work for them.

BL.
 

fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
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People who believe that banning guns will mean only criminals have guns, who then go on to suggest banning encryption, are being inconsistent in their beliefs, in my opinion. There seems to be a parallel there that has been missed.
It happens the other direction. Where I live, there are lots of people who want to ban guns but oppose any government backdoors, citing the same reasons the pro-gun people cite. Generally the Republican party in the US are the people you're talking about, and the Democrats are the ones I'm referring to.
 

fairuz

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They can't, without violating other laws protecting some business practices; this could even violate the 1A rights of the company.
I don't see how this violates the First Amendment. The government outlaws certain technologies all the time.
 

JimmyHook

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2015
594
1,243
The US Government, not any government, can prevent “bad people” from using encryption so breaking it for law-abiding citizens is ridiculous and has no point. They’ll just use freely available tools to communicate that the government has zero control over. It’s time that all governments accept that unbreakable encryption is here to stay. Enforcement can use other techniques to solve crime.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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I don't think that is an accurate statement, but that's me.
You'd be wrong. The 4A now applies, leading to further cracking down of what the government has and does not have the rights to get access to.

BL.
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
You'd be wrong. The 4A now applies, leading to further cracking down of what the government has and does not have the rights to get access to.

BL.
Somehow I think I’m right, the government can get what it wants. It just shouldn’t be able to Willy nilly scan the internet just because.
 

Rajani Isa

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2010
1,147
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Rogue Valley, Oregon
Nice to see how the government fails to convince even the most stupid citizens that they‘re the good guys. Like as if they couldn‘t give themselves a warrant leading to revealing the messages they warranted for.
Warrant is useless if they can't read the messages
but you can force someone to bake a cake...
That;'s a bit of a reach. Apple, Facebook - they don't care who you do or don't believe in, they won't program a backdoor into their encryption.
 

tennisproha

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2011
1,189
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Texas
I don't believe any of this. They probably already have them access years ago, this is just a publicity stunt between the government and FB that they agreeded to behind closed doors in order to feign a fight that they are trying to protect user's privacy.
You're on the wrong forum; conspiracists of absurd nonsensical allegations congregate elsewhere.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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Somehow I think I’m right, the government can get what it wants. It just shouldn’t be able to Willy nilly scan the internet just because.
You're wrong.

https://venturebeat.com/2018/06/22/u-s-supreme-court-rules-police-need-a-warrant-to-obtain-phone-location-data/

While this first applies to location data, the parameters indicated by SCOTUS would also apply to all 3rd party issues similar to the one asking for location data. If the 3rd party has the data, the government can not simply subpoena the 3rd party to get that anymore; they require a warrant. Justice Roberts, as well as the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case stress that, with Roberts writing the majority opinion in the case.

BL.
 

centauratlas

macrumors 65816
Jan 29, 2003
1,089
1,412
Florida
Opinions will obviously vary here, but one can’t support Apple in the San Bernardino shooter case and not back Facebook in this case. Or vice versa.
I am curious when Apple will extend the same encryption to iCloud and iCloud backups. That would demonstrate true conviction.
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I get your sarcasm, but I don't think people understand that the right to keep and bare arms includes more than just guns. Any tool that citizens use to protect themselves should be classified as arms. That includes encryption.
I'd also add that the US Constitution is a document of enumerated powers, not enumerated liberties. That should mean (at least until a century or more ago when the concept started to be eroded) that the government has to have the enumerated power to do something and that the Bill of Rights was secondary protection of people's rights, not the primary one.

Today many view the Constitution as something that doesn't really limit the government because something is for "a good cause" which is complete nonsense. The Constitution protects our liberties and when it is eroded, our liberties are eroded too.
 

4jasontv

macrumors 68000
Jul 31, 2011
1,787
1,478
What does that have to do with privacy?

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Nothing. Many of us see cryptography as being a tool akin to
In both the Zimmermann and Bernstein cases the government claimed that encryption was a dangerous munition, akin to a bomb, not akin to small arms. The second amendment doesn't generally apply to bombs. Again, extending its reach from small arms to encryption software seems highly doubtful as something you could actually get through the court system. I wasn't saying you couldn't make the argument, I was saying you would't have much luck getting a judge to accept it.

FWIW, I watched Zimmerman's case quite avidly at the time, still have a few of the machine-readable PGP munition t-shirts squirreled away somewhere (and I'd forgotten Bernstein's name, but am familiar with his software and his cr.yp.to website).

The link results in this (as an error page on the UC Hastings site):

ERROR: This is an invalid URL. Please reenter the URL, or if you clicked a link in an email message to get here, make sure the link was not split across two lines.​

Probably not what you'd intended. As I said, I paid a lot of attention to the case at the time.
Yes, it was behind a paywall. I fixed it. We can disagree about how a judge would perceive it, but I think it would provide a lot of clarity if a judge would hear it.
 

fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,161
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The correct question if you have read the Constitution, the Federalist, Anti-federalist papers etc is:

Where in the Constitution is this power enumerated?
The courts and whoever else chose a long time ago not to go with that interpretation.
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What does that have to do with privacy?

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The US government considers encryption a weapon, in the context of export laws: no exporting weapons to enemy nations. As you know the Second Amendment protects our right to have weapons. So some people think that it extends to encryption. Problem is despite the Second, weapons can be confiscated in the name of preventing crime, which is what's going on in this case with FB, so the argument doesn't really work.

Also, I don't think encryption is a weapon. But I wonder if the First protects it since it's a form of speech (kidding).
 
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