U.S. Government Calls Apple's Opposition to iPhone Unlocking Order a 'Diversion,' Says Fears Are 'Overblown'

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Prosecutors representing the United States government today filed another document (via The Verge) to support the motion to compel Apple to unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, calling the original order a "modest" request that would not result in a universal "master key" and dismissing many of Apple's legal arguments.

    The document says Apple's rhetoric is false and "corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights." Apple's efforts, and those of its supporters, to highlight the wider issues the order could have on encryption, are a "diversion," says the government.

    Unsurprisingly, the government argues that the All Writs Act does, in fact, give the courts the power to compel Apple to unlock the iPhone, disagreeing with Apple's argument that Congress' choice not to expand on the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act serves as evidence Congress has limited the assistance companies must provide to law enforcement.

    It also walks through several prior court cases in an effort to challenge many of Apple's claims, including that no company has been conscripted to produce code for the government and that it would be an undue burden for Apple to create new software for the FBI.

    Apple is accused of "deliberately" raising technological barriers preventing the government from obtaining the data on the iPhone through a lawful warrant. "Apple alone can remove those barriers so the FBI can search the phone," reads the document, "and it can do so without undue burden." Apple is "one of the richest and most tech-savvy companies in the world," and is "more than able to comply with the AWA order." The government goes on to suggest that there's no evidence a narrow order could apply to additional devices in the future, but if it does, Apple is "more than able to comply with a large volume of law-enforcement requests."
    Several sections in the motion also disagree with the notion that the software could be used on other devices and could fall into the hands of hackers or lead to Apple being forced to comply with data requests from foreign governments.
    Apple and the U.S. government have been engaged in a fierce public battle over the order that would require Apple to help the FBI break into the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook by creating new software to circumvent passcode restrictions on the device. Apple believes complying with the demand would set a dangerous precedent that could lead to the overall weakening of encryption on smartphones and other electronic devices.

    Apple executives, including Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi have all given public interviews in recent weeks explaining Apple's stance, positioning the government's request as an overreach of power that could snowball into a continual stream of invasive demands impacting the privacy rights of its customers across the world.

    Apple is scheduled to appear in court to fight the order on March 22, the day after its planned March 21 event that will see the debut of the iPhone SE and the new 9.7-inch iPad.

    Update: Apple legal chief Bruce Sewell spoke with reporters following the government's filing, and a transcript of what he had to say has been shared by Business Insider.

    In the statement, Sewell says the "cheap shot" brief's tone "reads like an indictment." He says it is an "unsupported, unsubstantiated effort to vilify Apple" rather than an effort to cover the issues in the case.
    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: U.S. Government Calls Apple's Opposition to iPhone Unlocking Order a 'Diversion,' Says Fears Are 'Overblown'
  2. garirry macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2013
    Canada is my city
    This is actually starting to become scary. Sad that a country like the US wants this sort of power.
  3. Mactendo macrumors 68000

    Oct 3, 2012
    They'd better work to prevent terrorists attacks, not to search terrorists phones after it happened.
  4. theelysium Suspended


    Nov 18, 2008
    FBI sure is assuming a lot about Apple's abilities. FBI is also ignoring the fact that Apple has told them in order to do this it will created the key for all the iPhones. Why is it that the insufferable never listen to the facts?
  5. york2600 macrumors regular


    Jul 24, 2002
    Portland, OR
    So serious question if Apple is forced to do this: What happens when their own employees don't want to be on the feature team for this? Apple is going to have a hard time finding iOS engineers that are going to willingly corrode the security of the platform.
  6. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    well this just shows that politicians have no idea about how technology actually works as usual. shocker
  7. theelysium Suspended


    Nov 18, 2008
    or search the terrorist's work phone they didn't use for the attack, because the phones they did use were destroyed.
  8. gsmornot macrumors 68030


    Sep 29, 2014
    "Apple is "one of the richest and most tech-savvy companies in the world," and this is what it comes down to. In addition, its a general ..we the govt are telling you what to do so why are you not just doing it? Hold strong Apple. People think this is about protecting your calendar invite to play cards on Tuesday. No, this is your right to remain private if you want. Not all areas in life will offer you privacy but those you keep secure should unless you offer to unlock the door.
  9. mariusignorello macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2013
    FBI: create the key
    Apple: no, it will have terrible consequences and unlock every iPhone
    FBI: no it won't
    Apple: yes it will
    FBI: no it won't
    Apple: *rolls eyes*
  10. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    On the one hand there's probably no reason that Apple couldn't create a special firmware load for this device that would allow a brute attack to succeed and honor the DOJ request.

    On the other hand that opens Pandora's Box when Apple will be asked to do the same thing hundreds of times a year anytime any local/state/national government wants the same thing.. they will have set the precedent.
  11. theelysium Suspended


    Nov 18, 2008
    It is time for all of us to wake up.... we are slaves in the US... enslaved by the FEDs with it's Dollar.... lied to by the Government, Nasa is fake, 911 was a setup to strip us of our freedoms and the wars we fight are unjust, but we don't see that because our media is controlled... we are in a mind control situation....we are living in a bubble created by our deceivers.

    Now our deceivers want full access into our iPhones.
  12. sputnikv macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2009
    This is the most enraging thing I've read in a long time.

    They are accusing Apple of the very thing they're aiming to do Jesus Christ.
  13. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    The government only has themselves to blame for all this hooplah. Requesting Apple help them decrypt the iPhone to retrieve evidence off it isn't going above and beyond any set laws. But at the same time, you can't help but feel they've poisoned the well of goodwill with all the demands for backdoors and common encryption bypasses they made beforehand.

    It'd be like the police bullying a local locksmith, demanding he make a master key for them that unlocks every house and business in the city. They make a big deal out of it, deride the guy on TV, and generally make asses of themselves. Then one day they lose the keys to an important crime scene...
  14. ColdShadow macrumors 65816


    Sep 25, 2013
    I'm %100 with Apple on this,it's scary and disgusting at the same time to see how government and FBI want the ability to breach personal privacy.
    unless you are mentally challenged,of lower IQ or a child,you will realise the terrorist/criminal cases are just an excuse.
    Apple should proceed with designing a new version of iOS that makes their request technically impossible.so they cannot comply even if they choose to.
  15. drumcat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 28, 2008
    Otautahi, Aotearoa
    The only debate is whether the people can hold back the government, or if democracy is truly gone.
  16. wiz329 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Sorry FBI, there's a judge in NYC that would say differently ...
  17. Branskins macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
  18. duffman9000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2003
    Deep in the Depths of CA
  19. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Jun 28, 2011
    If they know so much, let them make their own phones and OS's.

    Bet nobody would buy them.
  20. Keirasplace macrumors 601

    Aug 6, 2014
    Are they schizo? The FBI, DOJ and local DA's said they're waiting for this god damn hail mary to unlock more phones and the FBI guy said it WAS to set a precedent.... Now supposedly everyone's overreacting?

    That's like saying to calm down while someone's about to breach your head with a sledgehammer.

    How about using a nuke to get info on a phone that the FBI says has almost certainly nothing after having had access to that info and foobared it (on purpose?), is that not a bit of an overreach? Hmmm..... Whose doing the overacting here.

    Considering how this would massively affect the ability of Apple to sell phones in China (for example), how the frack is that overracting.

    I think it's blown just in the right proportion : moon size.
  21. miniroll32 macrumors 65816


    Mar 28, 2010
    It's a complicated topic for sure.

    The FBI are correct on two accounts; Apple are turning the issue into hyperbole (with regards to the technical consequences) in order to protect their brand, and that it is possible to create this software for just one device with no questions asked. One time usage, then it literally self-destructs.

    The other side of the argument is the precedent, and that's something that I feel Apple should be doing more to protect. If they did, the ball would be in the FBI's court and they would have to explain their position in future cases such as this. My guess is that they would try and wriggle out of it...

    Who knows what will happen?
  22. jdblas69 macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2012
    Also it is not just going to be Apple that is affected by a precedent being set. All tech companies will be exposed to this precedent. DOJ will be knocking on other tech companies saying "we need information and you have to do it because if Apple can and has to do it, so do you"
  23. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    How about the Government gets a little more educated about this topic before giving an opinion?

    And... This story is getting more overplayed than a Miley Cyrus song. :eek:
  24. Huracan macrumors 6502


    Jan 9, 2007
    So sad that the government is trying so hard to convince us that this loss of privacy rights is a modest request. This is supposed to be the government of the people. Well, this individual says that it is not worth forcing Apple or any company to weaken a device privacy protections.
  25. duffman9000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2003
    Deep in the Depths of CA
    It's not up to Apple or the FBI to define what is or isn't precedent. Anytime the FBI says "precedent anything" they are talking out of their butts.

    Also, the modified FW will not just self destruct. It has to do with preserving change of custody. The source will have to be examined by 3rd parties if it is ever used in a real (not secret, which I know the FBI would love) court.

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