FBI Concerned With New Default Encryption Settings in iOS and Android Devices

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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The FBI has been in talks with Apple and Google about the way the technology companies are marketing the privacy features in their smartphones, according to FBI Director James Comey (via The Huffington Post). Comey says that he is concerned that the two companies are "marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law."

Comey's remarks come following both privacy changes introduced with iOS 8 and a new privacy site that Apple introduced last week, explaining that the company has altered the way encryption works in iOS 8. Apple no longer stores the encryption keys for devices in iOS 8, making it impossible for it to unlock content on devices under police request.

"Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access your data," reads its new privacy site. "So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8."

Shortly after Apple announced the encryption changes to iOS 8, Google announced that the next generation of Android, set to be released next month, will also encrypt data by default, providing the same encryption protections to its smartphones that a passcode provides to iPhones.

According to Comey, though he understands the need for privacy, he believes government access to electronic devices is necessary in some cases.
"I like and believe very much that we should have to obtain a warrant from an independent judge to be able to take the content of anyone's closet or their smart phone," he said. "The notion that someone would market a closet that could never be opened -- even if it involves a case involving a child kidnapper and a court order -- to me does not make any sense."
He goes on to say that one day, it may matter "a great, great deal" that the government be able to infiltrate "a kidnapper's or a terrorist or a criminal's device." His goal, he says, is to have a "good conversation" in the country "before that day comes."

The exact nature of the talks between FBI officials and Apple and Google remains unknown, with Comey only stating that the discussion has been over the "marketing of their devices."

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: FBI Concerned With New Default Encryption Settings in iOS and Android Devices
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,031
11,947
Comey doesn't get it.

If he supports the 4th Amendment (like he says he does), then he needs to get a warrant and serve it to the suspect, to have their device unlocked. Apple is not the suspect in any investigation like he describes.

It sounds like he is complaining because the usual circumventions they had to get around the 4th Amendment are no longer available.. as it should be.

BL.
 

Ja Di ksw

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,308
6
I hate how authorities view the desire for privacy as the same as desire to cover up a crime. There are plenty of reasons to want to keep legal activities private other than committing a crime.
 

proline

macrumors 6502a
Nov 18, 2012
630
1
The reality is that the mere existence of any kind of electronic back door is a major threat to user security that far outweighs any occasional benefit to legitimate police investigations.
 

SavMBP15

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2010
371
6
What a bunch of @#$*!

What about all the data that is in my head??? The government is pissed they cannot have that too.
 

flash84x

macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2011
189
132
Keep instilling these fears in your citizens to breach their privacy... If there is a backdoor for you eventually anyone else can break into it.
 

Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
2,096
2,558
Kassel, Germany
Haha, and of course he plays the "think of the children card".
Boy, that's getting super old!

"The notion that someone would market a closet that could never be opened -- even if it involves a case involving a child kidnapper and a court order -- to me does not make any sense."
Glassed Silver:mac
 

Arcus

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2004
704
304
of my hand will get me slapped.
""marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law."

I am not above the law just because I dont want to include people in the conversation that I deem to not be allowed in my conversation. This statement is very Orwellian.
 

brendu

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2009
2,444
2,422
USA
It seems to me that it would be perfectly fair for the FBI to get a warrant requiring a suspect to unlock their phone so that it can be searched much the same way their house is. The FBI doesn't go to the bank that owns your house when they want to search it and likewise shouldn't go to apple to get my data. Serve me a warrant saying I have to give it to you or I go to jail. That's how lawful search and seizure works. Deal with it FBI.
 

ThisIsNotMe

Suspended
Aug 11, 2008
1,849
1,062
Comey doesn't get it.

If he supports the 4th Amendment (like he says he does), then he needs to get a warrant and serve it to the suspect, to have their device unlocked. Apple is not the suspect in any investigation like he describes.

It sounds like he is complaining because the usual circumventions they had to get around the 4th Amendment are no longer available.. as it should be.

BL.
And what happens if they do get a warrant and the suspect refuses to unlock their device? That is the issue.

If the police have a warrant to search my house, they have a variety of means to gain entry if I do not unlock the door.

Hell, if I own a safe and the government has a warrant, safe manufacturers will assist in opening the safe.
 
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