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Should the government be able to require a "backdoor" into our phones?

 
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 06:25 pm
Apple posted this letter about a case in the ongoing dispute between technology companies and the government about end-to-end encryption.

http://www.apple.com/customer-letter/

Where do you fall on this issue and the issue of end-to-end encryption in general? Do you think governments should be able to force backdoors into our phones? Is the rise of encryption a threat to security or a right to privacy?
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 06:28 pm
@Robert Gentel,
The EFF is filing an amicus brief in support of Apple's position:
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/02/eff-support-apple-encryption-battle

The ACLU has also come out in support:
https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-comment-fbi-effort-force-apple-unlock-iphone
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 06:31 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Here are some NYC police and prosecutors coming out in support of the FBI:

http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2016-02-18/nyc-police-criminals-say-apple-encryption-a-gift-from-god
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 06:42 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I agree completely with Apple. And, this whole incident is pretty damn good marketing for Apple devices.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 06:46 pm
@maxdancona,
Depends on who you are, I guess. If you are on the side of privacy and encryption then their leadership in that fight is gonna resonate with you. But the FBI picked a good battle and by refusing to help them this way to open a terrorists phone they are also going to get a lot of bad press from people who are more law and order than privacy and individual liberty.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 06:48 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
But the FBI picked a good battle


there's been a fair bit of coverage on this angle - that the FBI's been waiting for the perfect case (or what they perceive to be the perfect case)

maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 06:52 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I don't see this hurting Apple at all.

The news stories are about a product that the FBI can't hack. That is a pretty impressive boast. Even if you disagree with them standing up for terrorists... I don't think that will stop anyone from wanting this in a phone.

If any phone company starts advertising "Now with FBI approved security backdoor!", I will admit that I am wrong about this.

Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 07:03 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
The news stories are about a product that the FBI can't hack. That is a pretty impressive boast. Even if you disagree with them standing up for terrorists... I don't think that will stop anyone from wanting this in a phone.


There really are people who do not want this in a phone. Hillary Clinton has called for a “Manhattan-like project” to break encryption though she also says a "backdoor" might be the wrong way but that there should be something tech companies can come up with (i.e. a backdoor that's the only thing that kind of thing can be called despite her confusion). John McCain has called for legislation against encryption that does not offer the government a backdoor and penned an article telling Sillicon Valley to join the war against terrorism.

Among non-tech savvy folk there is a lot of support for this idea, that the government should be able to get into any device if needed for criminal investigation. That these are a new breed of "warrant proof" devices.

Quote:
If any phone company starts advertising "Now with FBI approved security backdoor!", I will admit that I am wrong about this.


They will probably not want to advertise it, and in some cases are legally compelled to not disclose it.

I'm very glad this one is playing out in the open so far but I think there is a decent chance that Apple loses this battle.
jcboy
 
  4  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 07:10 pm
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 07:16 pm
@ehBeth,
And instead of asking for a backdoor for all phones they've limited the request to just this one phone (Apple could comply with a solution that only unlocks that specific hardware id).

But that is just going to be a precedent for the next case, and the next, and new ones from repressive regimes like China. Even if they've framed this as the perfect exceptional case if they get it the door is open.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 07:19 pm
@Robert Gentel,
However this case goes, it really needs new legislation. The legal instrument being used is just not adequate for this modern issue. The FBI is using the All Writs Act from 1789 to argue this case.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 07:35 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
Should the government be able to require a "backdoor" into our phones?

No.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 07:41 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
precedent for the next case, and the next, and new ones from repressive regimes like China. Even if they've framed this as the perfect exceptional case if they get it the door is open.


I was just looking for a podcast that talks about this very point.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 10:02 pm
@ehBeth,
Listening.

Whatever I said in the earlier thread, I moved along to No.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 11:54 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
There really are people who do not want this in a phone. Hillary Clinton has...


Have either Hillary Clinton or John McCain bought a phone that had the feature of being hackable?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2016 11:57 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
And instead of asking for a backdoor for all phones they've limited the request to just this one phone (Apple could comply with a solution that only unlocks that specific hardware id).


If they succeed in this case, they will be relying on a security flaw that would allow Apple to install a new OS without the user's permission.

If I understand this correctly, Apple has plans to fix this loophole so that the government won't be able to ask them to do this the next time.

In other words, hopefully there will be no next time because the technology will be fixed to make this truly impossible.
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2016 03:35 am
I wouldn't be surprised if Apple had already supplied the FBI with the required stuff, on the condition that the public never hears about it, or indeed is led to believe that Apple are refusing to do it.


Having lived in a capital city that has been targeted and regularly bombed by various terrorists since the 1960's, I come down on the side of gaining any inside information from these bastards, including decryption, although it should always be cleared by the highest level of judicial review before such action is taken.

Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2016 04:39 am
I heard a long piece on this on the radio, and two things not mentioned immediately came to mind:

Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

This is to my mind, an erosion of our constitutional rights which began with September 11, and that idiotic "Homeland Security" agency. I see this as a clear violation of these two amendments.
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2016 05:20 am
Apple vs the FBI - a plain English guide.......


http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/C6F4/production/_88323905_69c5da3b-1a01-4748-b10a-2ce6e9319284.png


What it all means, in plain English.....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35601035
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2016 09:43 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Have either Hillary Clinton or John McCain bought a phone that had the feature of being hackable?


Hillary clearly doesn't understand the issue because she wants the government to have access to it (i.e. a backdoor) but for it to not be a backdoor. She just thinks that technology folks are really smart and can figure out the problem (of wanting a backdoor but not knowing that it is what you want, essentially).

McCain clearly believes that the government should be able to have a backdoor and views all this end-to-end encryption as a serious threat.

Both of them presumably don't expect themselves to be targeted by the backdoor.
0 Replies
 
 

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