Obama Admin’s Anti-American, Despotic Power Play Against Apple

ByPamela Geller on February 21, 2016
55 Comments
Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 1.59.28 AM

What I know about computer science could fit into a thimble — so I delved deeper into various arguments concerning the FBI vs. Apple. Apple has helped the government extract data before. This time it’s different. The government says Apple has helped it extract data from iPhones roughly 70 times in the past, but Apple has never done what a court is ordering it do now: create software to crack its own security features for the FBI.

When I heard it was Farook’s work phone that the FBI wants Apple to break into, I had to laugh. I do not for second believe Farook used his work phone to communicate with his jihad brothers, rather than his own private phone, which he destroyed.

Obama’s FBI has been so dishonest and incompetent, I no longer believe they are being up-front and true in the battle with Apple. They screwed up on Garland, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, etc. Methinks they just want to to be able to break into everyone’s phones. As one reader with expertise in the field  pointed out, “if the FBI wants to get the information off the phone, they can ‘read in’ — Apple downloads the data and gives it to the FBI. All the players know this but the FBI want the information on how to break into the Apple encryption. This is wrong. It will open a can of worms.”

There are issues with Apple refusing to hack into their product for the FBI:

1. Apple cannot break into their own encryption on this model phone, and thus cannot obtain the info ordered by the judge, and

2. Apple doesn’t want to change its future encryption architecture for its phones to allow a back door entry, or they will be allowing all hackers to break into everybody’s phones.

If Apple could crack its own encryption procedures for this one phone, I’m sure they would. The reason they have previously opened the encryption on OLDER phones is because the encryption methodology had either a built-in back door, or those older encryption methodologies were not as sophisticated.

I suggest the FBI and the court ask for various phone records, and maybe they can read those from Verizon or whomever.

I think Apple would help with the current cell phone if they could, but I agree, it would really hurt their business if they gave all future encryption keys to the govt. What happens if Bernie or Hillary become president? You will want your unbreakable encryption on your phone.

And while I think Edward Snowden is a traitor, even broken clock is right twice a day:

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 1.57.27 AM

And here’s Apple’s side:

“Apple says investigators ruined best way to access terrorist data,” CNET, February 20, 2016:

A backup feature might have provided the FBI with a way to access data from the iPhone of a San Bernardino terrorist. But a change to the Apple iCloud password foiled that idea.

According to senior Apple executives on Friday, the FBI might have been able to obtain data from an iPhone 5C belonging to Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino terrorists, by connecting it to a familiar Wi-Fi network and having it create a new backup on Apple’s iCloud service.

The idea was foiled, the executives say, because the password to the terrorist’s iCloud account was reset shortly after the FBI took possession of the phone. That meant iCloud and the iPhone couldn’t recognize each other, the executives said.

The password reset is the newest wrinkle in the standoff between the government and Apple, which received a court order this week compelling it to create a custom version of its iOS operating system that bypasses security features on the iPhone. Apple rejected the order, saying it will fight the government’s request — all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary — because it means creating a “master key” for all phones that will undermine privacy and security.

On Friday, the Department of Justice derided Apple, writing in a 35-page filing that the company’s refusal to comply with the court “appears to be based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy.” US presidential hopeful Donald Trump also weighed in, calling for a boycott of the iPhone if Apple doesn’t comply. Meanwhile, tech industry leaders, including the CEOs of Google and Twitter, and privacy advocates, including Edward Snowden, have voiced their support for the company.

Apple already provided the FBI with access to Farook’s iCloud backups through mid-October, when he apparently stopped iCloud to back up the iPhone provided to him by his employers. (Farook and his wife destroyed their personal phones before their attacks.) The data left on the phone is encrypted with 256-bit AES security, the same standard used to protect US government computers. That encryption makes a brute-force attack on the iPhone 5C by the FBI nearly impossible. Such an attack includes trying numerous passwords until the right one is found.

One of the FBI’s key arguments for forcing Apple to unlock the phone is that agents believe Farook intentionally stopped backing up his work phone to Apple’s iCloud service to keep some information secret, according to the February 16, 40-page DOJ request (embedded below) that led to the court order.

In January, while assisting the FBI and the DOJ with the ongoing investigation, Apple engineers suggested a simpler idea than bypassing the iPhone’s passcode security. They recommended that the iPhone be connected to a known Wi-Fi network, such as one in Farook’s home or workplace, and plugged into a power source so it could automatically create a new iCloud backup overnight. If successful, that backup might have contained the missing information between the October backup and December 2, when the San Bernardino massacre occurred.

It wasn’t clear whether the auto-backup idea would work, but the FBI never got the chance to try, Apple said.

The FBI didn’t respond to a request for comment. But the bureau told CBS News on Friday that someone with San Bernardino County (Farook’s employer, which actually owned the phone) remotely reset the password on Farook’s account in the hours after the attack.

In a tweet, San Bernardino County officials confirmed they had changed the password on the iCloud account, saying the FBI had asked them to.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 1.54.20 AM

According to senior Apple executives, the password reset meant that someone would need to log in to the phone and enter the new password before it could sync with Apple’s iCloud servers again. That wouldn’t be possible without knowing Farook’s iPhone passcode, which is the very thing the FBI hopes to obtain by compelling Apple to modify its iOS software and bypass its own security features.

In the court order, a federal judge offered Apple the ability to use “an alternate technological means,” if one existed, to provide the FBI with access to Farook’s iPhone data. According to Apple, the auto-backup scheme was the best idea to date.

On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said company engineers had been advising the FBI and cooperating with the investigation but that the call to rewrite iOS would create a “backdoor” into the iPhone that hackers and malicious governments could use to undermine the privacy and security of all iPhone users. The company on Friday asked for a three-day extension to file its appeal to the court order, and the deadline has reportedly been moved to February 26.

“We have no sympathy for terrorists,” Cook wrote in an open letter to customers explaining Apple’s decision to challenge the court’s order. “But now the government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”

Social media giants back Apple in dispute with FBI | Fox News

Facebook and Twitter have come out in support of Apple’s decision to fight a court ruling ordering it to unlock an iPhone used by the San Bernardino terrorists.

And weirdly, the NY Times article on this battle, “Apple Fights Order to Unlock San Bernardino Gunman’s iPhone,” removed this whole section concerning China:

times omitted china

As one tweeter pointed out:

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 2.41.33 AMApple says the FBI is making access demands even China hasn’t asked for

 

 

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Comments at Atlas Shrugs are unmoderated. Posts using foul language, as well as abusive, hateful, libelous and genocidal posts, will be deleted if seen. However, if a comment remains on the site, it in no way constitutes an endorsement by Pamela Geller of the sentiments contained therein.

  • Fred

    I don’t even want to even think of Clinton or Sanders as President. If they and the other savages on the left had their way we would all be in jail for patronizing conservative media such as Ms. Geller’s site, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh. Conservatives would be arrested on fabricated hate crimes and Sharia would rule the world.

    • The origional roger

      That is a serious thought and it will most likely go that way if the current world trend is followed.

    • lato_sensu

      “I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person”

      • Fred

        Bring it on, convict

      • Fred

        You are a pimple on the ass cheeks of life

      • Fred

        You again? You’re a nugget. No matter how many times I flush you won’t go away will you?

  • rambler

    Before Apple has to do one darn thing for the gov, the gov should clean up it’s act. Apple isn’t the problem here. Who allowed the 9/11 hijackers to come here and not get booted when they overstayed their visas? Who allowed the Boston bombers in and allowed them to live on the dole until they killed and injured innocent people? Who allowed that that wife and that family in San Bernardino to come here and to stay here? It isn’t up to any company to have to clean up after the fed failures. Getting into that phone won’t fix immigration, state dept or FBI failures. Oh and why are we buying phones from China? What if China already had a way into all of our phones? Our gov wants to come after us and is using that phone to do it. The reality is that the feds don’t care what is really on that phone, since they have proven that they are only good at “watching” terrorists until those terrorist kill people leaving us to clean up the mess and to live with the consequences. If Apple caves, ditch their phones.

    • roxie

      I would ditch all Apple products. Slippery slope.

    • freewoman

      Yeah, no kidding. They didn’t do anything when it was going down in the first place. This is obviously a leftist agenda.

    • The origional roger

      Yes, I agree with this, much as I would like to see the phone opened if it helped round up the rest of the supporters in the community of Muslims,
      I agree there is more at stake than the government wanting info of the phone in question, this shooting is the carefully presented excuse that they are using to force compliance with an agenda.

    • Pathfinder0100

      So well said rambler!!!

      • rambler

        ;-)

        • Dirty Dutch

          Hiya doll.
          <3

          • rambler

            Hiya Sunshine.

          • Dirty Dutch

            (((-:

  • Walt Parkman

    Wait. What? The FBI told the county to reset the password within hours of the attack, then “the password reset meant that someone would need to log in to the phone and enter the new password before it could sync with Apple’s iCloud servers again. That wouldn’t be possible without knowing Farook’s iPhone passcode, which is the very thing the FBI hopes to obtain by compelling Apple to modify its iOS software and bypass its own security features” ??? This is some kind of joke, right?

    • Trevor Fortune

      Why don’t the county change the password back to the old one so they can sync the phone?

  • Mahou Shoujo

    The big issue here is privacy, as well as trust. If there is a way to get into phone data, it can and will be hacked for criminal purposes. If it is possible to break the encryption in this particular case, it should be done as a one time thing, by court order. In all likelihood it can’t be, if high level encryption could be broken, every electronic bank account would have been emptied by criminals a long time ago, Engineering phones with “back doors” is another victory for terrorism, as they have forced the irresponsible government of the white mosque, to succumb to their actions. Considering hussain the muslim has no respect for the American Constitution there is no reason to believe he will not use any spying method available to promote the suppression of infidels for the benefit of islam.

    • Don Grantham

      Save a tree… burn down the forest.

      • Mahou Shoujo

        That sounds like the politically correct progressive way to do it.

        • Don Grantham

          Vince pro pretio omni

          • Mahou Shoujo

            The costs of losing are much higher.

          • Don Grantham

            That’s the whole point of a Pyrrhic victory. But hey, at least you win…

          • Mahou Shoujo

            Sometimes it is better to have a Pyrrhic victory then get the bill for defeat.

          • Steve

            Yes, ha ha we’ll be free to have our privacy invaded-whatever’s “left”.

  • Rocinante44

    in any fight between obola’s executive branch and anyone else, i’ll believe anyone else. i can’t stand apple and their holier-than-thou homosexual boss, but in this fight, i find it interesting that an obola-supporting bunch of california loonies appear to be resisting the Federal Bureau of Islam. I think they see it as free advertising for apple; they’ll cave pretty soon. let’s all keep in mind that the obvious solution is get rid of muslims in this country instead of unconstituionally searching our phone calls without a warrant

    • freewoman

      I don’t think so, they know they’d lose business big time if people didn’t think their phones were safe.

  • JustThinking

    John McAfee, who knows quite a bit about technology has weighed in on this, and this is worth listening too: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/19/john-mcafee-fbi-should-let-me-hack-iphone.html

  • Richard

    Maybe the feds should ask the Chinese for help. The chicoms seemed to have no problem hacking the government-held Personally Identifiable Information on the OPM computers. They got me in that hack.
    Besides, the feds are not trying to subpoena technology that currently exists. They are trying to compel Apple to create new technology to suit their whimsy. It’s like being compelled by a dictatorship to create a time machine. It sort of reminds how the Nazis during WWII used slave labor to manufacture war materiel. The use of slave labor in manufacturing is one reason the quality of German weaponry toward the end of WWII suffered. At this point I think Apple is correct in sticking to its principles.
    But one question: Among the 5 points at the top of the article, that alternative means exist to gain access to this device…any description of those alternate means is conspicuously absent from the article.

  • RealEngineer2

    Snowden is a complete, indisputable, undeniable, irrevocable FAKE. Virtually EVERYONE in the Info Tech Industry knew about the impending NSA Surveillance net WAY BEFORE this FAKE made his “revelations”.

    He is little more than the Kim Kardashian of tabloid technology, famous for nothing more than being famous.

    NOTE Snowden “released” his “secrets” in June 2013. The APRIL 2012 ISSUE OF WIRED MAGAZINE did a “FRONT PAGE EXCLUSIVE REPORT”, on those same “secrets”, literally putting on the cover of the issue, quote, “Deep in the Utah Desert, the NSA is building the country’s biggest spy center. It’s the final piece of a secret surveillance network that will intercept and store your phone calls, emails, Google searches”.

    On page 083, it states, quote, “the data stored…will naturally go far beyond the world’s billions of public web pages. The NSA is more interested in the so-called invisible web, …data beyond the reach of the public. This includes …US and foreign government communications…”

    Look at this guy- “between the ages of 15 and 20, he didn’t have a job”, through “self-education he became an expert on systems”. “He went from being a security guard in suburban Maryland to having his own nice apartment in Geneva, able to drive all around Europe”. (Source: NPR 4/16/14)

    And what about that “studio quality” propagandist–style portrait, complete with “deterministic stare” that cropped up a day after his, uh, “betrayal”? Yup, we all got one of those publically available for just such an occasion, right? He TOTALLY REEKS of “government disinformation” stooge.

    I’ve been an engineer over 20 years. If you were a manager in a multi-million dollar company, (like BOOZ ALLEN which “hired” Snowden to work Fed contracts), -would you get away with telling your boss, “Let’s reject this military veteran candidate from Princeton with 10 years’ experience, and hire a HS dropout who occasionally did security guard work. We have a good reason, he’s a geek”.

    The absolute top grads from the best schools in the USA get rejected at Booz Allen. The public has been convinced by a “media campaign” that a HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT actually made $122,000/year consulting for one of the top engineering firms in the world, completely trumped all screenings to acquire security clearances, then “pilfered” top-secret documents THAT FOR REASONS UNKNOWN were conveniently UNENCRYPTED, then casually took these off premises. GET REAL! Credit card numbers have to be encrypted, even in a GROCERY STORE.

    Pamela Gellar states , “Obama’s FBI has been so dishonest and incompetent, I no longer believe they are being up-front and true in the battle with Apple. They screwed up on Garland, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, etc. Methinks they just want to be able to break into everyone’s phones”. (I TOTALLY AGREE…)

    By THEIR OWN ADMISSIONS, the FEDS record ALL DIGITAL COMMUNICATION as “meta-data”. Apple is being played by the Feds as a “bad guy” to “decrypt information” and likely for much more. Snowden alludes to this in his (likely scripted) remark…”Alternative means for gaining access to this device…do not require the manufacturer’s assistance…”

    • The origional roger

      This facility that they are building in Utah will have to have a large digital storage capacity for all my comments on Pamela Geller, Ha,
      I really am in trouble if the Islamists come to power.

  • mjazzguitar

    They want to unlock the suspect’s phone after letting everyone trample all over the crime scene right after the attack.

    • Benton Marder

      “Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”—William Pitt, the Younger, speaking on the Dia Bill in November of 1783. One can say the same about ‘national security’.

  • Mickey Emerson

    And how is it Snowden is a traitor for simply informing the American public they are being illegally spied on?
    Maybe people need to go listen to some of JFK’s speeches, where the government doing things in secret against the people is not only wrong but a serious threat to our most basic freedoms and rights. One of which happens to be the right to privacy, and the fact there is to be no intrusion on our rights without due process and a warrant.

  • Kind of odd that Apple would create a program it didn’t know how to decrypt.

  • Jackie

    Thank you for explaining this fully Pamela. I was confused why Apple would say no when they have complied before. NSA FBI power grab. I shoulda figured when we had pictures of the terrorists refridgerator contents and a corrupted crime scene while they refused show Tashfeen’s face.

  • Laurence & hopeful

    Trump is wrong in demanding that Apple do as the FBI and court is ordering. He is in need of better counsel regarding this.

  • Personally, I always thought #1 is true and always operated under that assumption, but I have a software background.

    Secondly, I’ve always thought that the solution–assuming that I were wrong about #1–would be to get the FBI and Apple together in a room with the phone, have Apple extract (copy) the phone’s memory, hand it to the FBI, end of story.

    Maybe that’s too simple.

    • Steve

      That’s what some have said in the media and I’m surprised they wouldn’t just do that and be done with it like you say.

  • If I think I understand such things, then the term “backdoor” refers to a software method to circumvent the encryption that exists in the published software–that is, the firmware on the phone in the customer’s hand. For this method, hacking is–probably–easy (but I don’t know anything about hacking); and I presume this is the reason for Apple not having such a backdoor within the customer’s hand.

    As for the ability to de-crypt whatever is encrypted, the key accomplishes that and anyone who has created a personal key for personal data that’s encrypted knows such a thing. If I think I understand such things, then if Apple has the ability to access the data on any phone, then it is the “logon-on” “firewall” that is being “unlocked” and thereby providing access to the data, which needs to be de-crypted. If Apple claims that they can de-crypt data on any phone without the user’s key, then that’s nothing more than knowing the encryption algorithm. I may be wrong about this.

  • Drew the Infidel

    The court order obtained by the FBI is probably not even valid. They simply petitioned the judge for it without Apple’s lawyers present. With no adversary in court it is unlikely to be enforceable.

  • Has our FBI devolved into the Keystone Kops?

    • Steve

      That’s the perception they want to generate to make us think they are on the level in needing help from apple in order to get the software to break in all future phones. Isn’t that nice.

  • Ektor

    While I am not a big Apple fan, they should not give away the key to the store to Obama’s corrupt administration, or the FBI. Where do you draw the line on privacy? This will only be the beginning as the government will extract every bit of data and info they can from all possible sources on everyone There will be no limits. The Marxist liberals are silently building files on every American in order to single out those who oppose their suppressive regime. There are many other ways to fight terrorism and gain intelligence on terrorists.

  • scocope

    From my understanding is that the DOJ wants the ability to break in to be provided to THEM instead of just wanting Apple to get in to give them the information. For some “odd” reason Apple just doesn’t trust the Feds.

  • Noname

    Oh come on…the Feds have hackers working for them. If they wanted to see what was in the dudes phone, trust me they have. There is simply no excuse in the world for this other than the Feds want an excuse to have more control over what the people say and do. Absurd. Tell your friends to vote republican if you don’t want the rest of your life to look like the rest of the western world.

    • Bob

      Garyjohnson2016.com

  • Steve

    This makes more sense as to apple’s rejection to the fbi than the simplistic bantering on media. It doesn’t surprise me that the vestiges of freedom we have left are being assaulted with subterfuge by the progressive socialist agenda.

  • Marc Goldstone

    The solution is to by law make it illegal for the cellular service companies (ATT, Verizon, etc.) to forward encrypted material on their networks other than credit card and other finance account information. Apple would be in effect forced to issue a SW update to implement this as would every other cell phone manufacturer. Any third party encryption software running on a cell phone would have its content blocked by the cellular service companies. Unless the user updated their software by the final implementation date they would find themselves unable to make calls or send data to others.

  • IslamophobicCanadianAthiest

    Thats all the people need is an untrustworthy,sneaky and proven crooked government agency having free access to all their information.

    Terrorists ? every citizen is only a word away from being deemed a terrorist if it is in governments interest’s for any reason.

    And public safety has nothing to do with that declaration.

    Data is power and who are the first to usually misuse power?.

  • Pathfinder0100

    DON’T give in Apple No matter what Trump says. (I’m gonna vote or him, I hope) I DO NOT agree with him, the Judge, FBI and anybody else that wants that “back door”!! Damn it! the way it’s goin’ now there will be NO freedoms left.

  • Bob

    Let’s be 100% clear about this stupidity. The government agency that owned this phone had the option of installing a simple workforce management program that would give them access to the employees (government owned) phone, and effectively give them a second passcode into the entire file system and usage. The program costs $4 per month per installed user. They did not install it, so now they want Apple to negate security on every iPhone in the world because they were stupid and lazy.

    EVEN WORSE, they in fact bought the software and paid for it. They just never installed it. This is typical government idiocy that they were paying for things they never even used. So they are not only lazy and stupid, but also incompetent and criminally negligent in doing their jobs.

    But they want to blame Apple for this.

    • … they in fact bought the software and paid for it. They just never installed it. This is typical government idiocy that they were paying for things they never even used.

      This should be have been a legal consideration for, in this case, Apple before they released this product and now Apple has to fight for it’s life against the most powerful competition imaginable: The full weight and authority of the Legal, Judicial and Enforcement entities of the United States Government.

      I am glad I don’t have Apple stock.

  • The conspiratorial angle (water seeks low ground) is that this is a “power”, “privacy” grab by the FBI and-or Executive Branch (“The Current Executive”). The thing about any of these entities being “incompetent” is that they could bungle along, incompetently, and, in the end, win and increase their power and reduce our privacy because they have the full weight and authority of LAW and ENFORCEMENT behind them, that is, it will be a side-effect of their incompetence, they don’t need the intent. Anyone who has been through the legal system for any reason knows what I mean.

    The thing about an intentional (premeditated, planned) grab of power or reduction of privacy is that it implies unethical–even evil–behavior.

  • I agree with rambler’s post. Before Apple has to comply, the government needs to fix its own act. The US military continues to buy technology from China that is installed in US missiles, planes and hundreds of other military grade products. Foolish is not the right word for this.
    I’m with Pamela on this. I don’t trust the FBI. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no fan of Apple. They’ve gotten way too big and arrogant but this is an non-Issue. The government and public need to focus on the ongoing problem of Muslims (some radical and some not as much) pouring into the country. If you can’t see what they are doing to Europe than surely you must be blind and deaf.
    Of course Apple can develop the code to decrypt their encryption system it’s just about money. It won’t be cheap and it’ll surely endanger their marketing scheme. People won’t trust Apple and will shop elsewhere. That’s the main point. There are 100 other phone companies out there and once Apple complies, terrorists will simply use phones made elsewhere that do not have a back door into their security system. The FBI can’t force companies outside of the US to do anything so this is so ridiculous. Just another psychological method that the US government uses to deflect our attention from the real problems facing the US.