Tim Cook Vs. FBI: Why Apple Is Fighting The Good Fight - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Comments
Tim Cook Vs. FBI: Why Apple Is Fighting The Good Fight
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/21/2016 | 11:20:10 AM
With apologies to Archer...
Between this and the tax brouhaha a couple of years ago...

 

Do you want Apple to relocate to another country?  Because this is how you get Apple to relocate to another country.
nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
2/21/2016 | 12:40:05 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...

@Joe I agree with you there. I believe that with tis we are making another case of PRISM and NSA. What is your opinion?

nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
2/21/2016 | 12:43:30 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...

@Joe I believe that asking company to unlock it and the retrieve all data will be a better preposition rather then providing them the tools to unlock the iphone. I am very much against even the law firms breaking into the private and privacy of any individual without their consent. And the legal suit is goimg directly into it. What do you say?

Gary_EL
50%
50%
Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
2/21/2016 | 3:37:19 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
If a certain Republican candidate gets elected, I'd like to see what happens if they EVEN TRY to move out of this company and still sell their iPhones here. I'm not interested in protecting terrorists, and neither is the vast majority of Americans. What I am afraid of is, what if, when they're looking for a bomb thrower, they find evidence of ordinary crimes, like theft, graft or fencing stolen goods?
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/24/2016 | 11:14:41 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
I think it's a very good bet that there is a vast contingent that are more loyal to their iPhones than their country's tax policies ;)
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/23/2016 | 1:32:55 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
@nomii: It's still the creation of a backdoor -- one that can become stolen, reutilized, reexploited.  This is why Apple is taking a stand.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 5:17:50 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
Yes, the tax burden has been causing a few companies to park in different economic regions. Security is a two way street, if the company parks in an economy that is not stable then, it too can erode the value of assets. 

I feel that there is a middle ground between Apple and FBI that can fulfill the requirements and concerns of both sides -- finding the middle ground is the difficult process.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 1:02:54 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
If Congress ends up stepping into this debate, I wonder if the tax liability loopholes will also come up...
kstaron
50%
50%
kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 1:27:22 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
I'm not suprised the FBI asked to break the codes, but I am disgusted that a judge said they should. That's a precedent for any law enforcement ant any time to crack your phone to see IF you have been doing something less than legal, which strikes me as an infringement of 4th amendment rights. This could have horrible repercussions of the general public that reach far beyond the perceived need to lock up a couple of whackjob terrorists.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/22/2016 | 8:51:53 PM
Re: Pew poll
Interesting 43sults: 51% side with the FBI on this. That doesn't mean 49% say the opposite, exactly. Rather 38% say Apple should not unlock and 11% don't know. See http://www.people-press.org/2016/02/22/more-support-for-justice-department-than-for-apple-in-dispute-over-unlocking-iphone/
Broadway0474
50%
50%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 10:24:37 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
If you're a fan of the military-industrial complex, perhaps the most disconcerting aspect of this case has to be the law's inability to circumvent Apple's security measures. The FBI can't crack them? Me thinks they need to do some more recruiting in Silicon Valley, not more alienating.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2016 | 6:38:47 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
The military-industrial complex is not good for business or the economy. If enough capital is invested into a system then, any security measure can be circumvented, NSA was an example of this and the result of exercising capital was that the IT industry suffered losses in the billions. The same losses might occur if capital is substituted with authority to circumvent security as it will erode consumer confidences. 

On the flip side, if base security needs (food, shelter and laws) are not provided by an economy then, it too can erode business confidences. 

A third player might be useful in this situation, to decide when to circumvent the security environment of private firms to arrive at an optimum outcome and when not to circumvent security. However, overtime the third player will either be viewed as biased towards the FBI or Apple, etc.  
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/25/2016 | 1:00:10 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
@Brian: I am unconvinced that the FBI is interested in a middle ground with Apple.  They have been lambasting the company and its encryption in the press for about a year now -- likening Apple's encryption to horrific crimes against children (see my piece for InformationWeek on this topic here: www.informationweek.com/government/cybersecurity/bypassing-the-password-part-3-freedom-compromised/a/d-id/1319972 ).
Broadway0474
50%
50%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2016 | 9:44:26 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
Joe, given the strong and public stance that Apple has taken at this point, do you think they can take a middle ground compromise with the feds? I think that would be viewed as a loss for Apple, no?
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 2:53:05 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
@Broadway: Any middle ground is Apple's loss, because most of the public don't understand anything and they only follow what the media tells them, and if Apple makes a compromise the media will follow suit and say all bad things about how Feds are watching over us due to Apple, and this would create declining iPhone sales.
Broadway0474
50%
50%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 9:11:35 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
SachinEE, that is what I was thinking. I think the wrong compromise with the feds could put Apple in a spot where their brand is tarnished. Whether that would lead to reduced sales over the longer term, that part I am not so sure about.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2016 | 10:36:38 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
I think you are overestimating the reach and influence of the data-protectionist tech circle.  While you and I might be rooting for Apple, don't forget that you and I read tech sites and work in fields where we are highly concerned about data protection and data privacy.  There is also a popular faction that is vocally opposed to Apple/supportive of the government's efforts here (with notables such as Bill Gates and Donald Trump being public faces of those efforts).  Polling indicates that about half of Americans think that Apple should backdoor the iPhone.
Broadway0474
50%
50%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 11:05:22 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
Joe, the key is that people really trust in the government in the US. Or at least the government run by their party. It's an amazingly transformation (or regression) considering how little trust Americans had in their leaders in the 1970s.
batye
50%
50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
3/1/2016 | 3:45:47 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
@Broadway0474, everything changes... nothing stays the same...
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
3/18/2016 | 9:17:30 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
I think we still don't trust the political figureheads (Congressional approval has been extremely low for years -- and Presidential approval ratings haven't been very high for the past decade or so), and even local law enforcement agencies have suffered some PR black eyes lately, but there's a great deal of trust in federal law enforcement and federal agencies -- or, if not trust, then disgruntled apathy.
Broadway0474
50%
50%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
3/20/2016 | 5:32:23 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
It amazes me that that trust in federal security forces exist. It wasn't long ago that the FBI and the CIA were investigated for spying on Americans. Then you have the Snowden incident more recently!
Joe Stanganelli
100%
0%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
3/21/2016 | 3:16:25 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
@Broadway: I think most people outside of tech don't particularly care -- or even remember -- who Edward Snowden is anymore.  That was nearly three years ago.  The Kardashians have done so much since then.
jastroff
50%
50%
jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
3/21/2016 | 9:30:23 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
Good point, that most people don't remember Snowden anymore. That's what living in Russia will get you -- 
virginiaraegan
50%
50%
virginiaraegan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2016 | 11:58:51 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
Good point. Today, there're still more people who'd rather trust authorities blindly than try and figure out at least basic points themselves.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
3/23/2016 | 11:35:20 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
Indeed, I remember reading once -- during the beginning of the Ukraine debacle not too long ago -- that while the Russian people know that the state media lies to them, they at least feel like they can "trust" it more than foreign media (which they have come to believe is even more untrustworthy).
Broadway0474
50%
50%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
3/22/2016 | 10:42:43 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
I'm sure some of the hawks out there, no matter how technically illiterate, still have a grudge against Snowden fed to them by their particular media outlets. These same outlets are the ones pushing the anti-Apple homeland security line. So maybe it's a matter of what your grudge is how long you remember.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
3/23/2016 | 11:36:44 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
It's really interesting to me how, when I attend tech conferences and the subject of Edward Snowden comes up, no matter how neutral the speaker tries to sound, one can always tell exactly how they feel about Snowden one way or the other.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/22/2016 | 8:49:52 PM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
<Do you want Apple to relocate to another country?  Because this is how you get Apple to relocate to another country.>

@Joe Well, it already has locations outside the US and does play around with its identity for tax purposes. That's why it favors Ireland as a base.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2016 | 2:33:48 AM
Re: With apologies to Archer...
Ireland is its base for certain international purposes, but the US would stand to lose a lot more tax revenue -- and a lot more jobs -- if Apple's true headquarters just up and left.
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 7:15:59 AM
Encouraging
Although I'm pleased to see Mr Cook taking a stand, what's really encouraging is the number of other companies and heads of those firms standing with him and Apple. If more tech firms organise and make a stand for encryption, it stands a much better chance of surviving this current legislative debate. 
jagibbons
100%
0%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 1:00:26 PM
Situation could have been avoided
This situation never should have happened if San Bernadino County had properly management over hardware and service that it owns and provides to its employees to undertake their public service.

an iPhone 5C that belonged to (but evidently was not managed by) the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health

Even the most basic mobile device management (MDM) can force a change to a pin or password on a controlled device. If my employer paid for the phone and pays for the service, I have very little expectation of privacy over that device. I can choose to live with that and have both personal and company data on the device, or I can choose to use a separate device for personal use.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2016 | 7:06:12 AM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
That is a great point. If the phone is the property of the Department of Public Health then, I feel that the department should request their vendor to unlock their property. And, if the department wants to share the content of the phone with the FBI, it is their decision.

If a user misplaces the password for their smartphone, I imagine that the user will be requesting Samsung or Apple to provide a new password.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2016 | 7:11:07 AM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
The administrative tools exist. They may not be in use in this case, which is a failure for San Bernardino County.
vnewman2
50%
50%
vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2016 | 4:59:09 PM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
I wonder exactly what (owned but not managed) means?  They paid for it, but listed this guy as having admin rights to the account?  Maybe he set up the account on his own accord?  Strange
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/24/2016 | 6:21:11 AM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
Yes, you are right. It seems that the employee created all the necessary accounts as a consumer would create if the consumer had purchased the phone.

As a general rule of thumb, I would imagine that if an enterprise purchases a device, it will include a control layer to limit the amount of rogue applications that can be activated on the device. A remove switch to turn the device off in the case of theft or the disgruntled employee. And, recover the device if a password has been forgotten.  
vnewman2
50%
50%
vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
2/24/2016 | 1:49:55 PM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
I'm not sure about the recovering a password part.  I believe you just have to reset it and I guess that's where the problem comes in...
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/24/2016 | 3:26:51 PM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
The functionality would be similar to Android Device Manager that can be accessed by a user through a desktop computer. Android Device Manager enables a user to locate, ring, erase, lock or reset device password. It will not display the old password because, the password is encrypted. However, it will provide an entry key into a device to reset the password and recover the device.
TerryB
50%
50%
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
2/25/2016 | 1:21:25 PM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
Yikes Brian. So what stops ADM from being a hacking device on any Android phone, yours or not? Surely you don't USB attach any phone to computer and then you get all that ability? Is it locked to a particular SIM or IMEI in advance or you can not get in?

Full blown MDM systems are expensive. I'm not overally shocked a public gov isn't running one. Our Lotus Notes Traveler can issue a remote wipe to a phone but by no means could access the data on it or reset the passcode protection.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2016 | 7:17:25 AM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
@TerryB, the abilities of Android Device Manger are transferred to the phone over WiFi or 4G. ADM seems to read the Model Number data from the operating system. I feel that it would have been more intuitive for the user if ADM read the Device Name rather than Model Number. For instance, the default Device name for a Samsung Note 4 is Galaxy Note 4 and it is modifiable, the Model Number might be SM-N910C, it is not modifiable.

There is the possibility that ADM is utilized as ransomeware -- a user's Google account will need to be compromised for it to work and the user will need to be slower than the hacker for the hacker to retain control of the account during the duration of the exercise. I feel that it is unlikely for such an attack to be take place because, News travels extremely fast and I have not heard of a similar incident as yet.

Cost is a major concern as you rightly pointed out. Economies of scale have provided consumers will free ADM and thousands other free antivirus apps that provide similar functionality. If a department does want to allocate $10 extra per device for a premium service on top of a $500 device, free services (supported by ads) would be better than no service. 
vnewman2
100%
0%
vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
3/1/2016 | 12:30:28 PM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
I just checked with our Asset Admin department who controls and manages all the firm owned phones and plans with ATT, Verizon, and Sprint.  I was told, at least with regard to iPhones, a lost password cannot be recovered - the person would need to connect to iTunes, wipe the phone and start over again.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
3/1/2016 | 1:55:41 PM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
That is extremely interesting. In essence this would create a good standing for Apple from the view point of employees as they will know that their phone data cannot be viewed by the organization for which they work and this might be a huge plus as individuals do not segregate their personal data from professional data on a device and as a result, they desire a high level of privacy.

It also leaves the organization with no powers even after paying for a device.
Broadway0474
50%
50%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2016 | 10:25:38 PM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
I believe what vnewman reported, but I still can't believe it. You're telling me that on a company issued and owned iPhone, once I am behind the password firewall, that company can't see what I am doing, where I am going, what apps I am using, etc.?? And they give all that away, so that they can rest assured that any company data is also safe?
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/24/2016 | 11:16:57 PM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
Ah, but while the physical device might or might not be the property of a government agency (and, even so, there are other legal issues there), the accounts linked to the phone may or may not be.
PedroGonzales
50%
50%
PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
2/25/2016 | 10:14:59 AM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
It seems there isn't much the FBI can do to get the information from that individual's Iphone.   This battle will be a long one.  What do you suggest as these scenarios occur more often in the future?  Is there an alternative or does the government has the power to get personal data from a desired individual.   
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 2:58:09 AM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
@Pedro: The problem would be when the Feds track down a criminal and collect his data and at the same time the criminal is in a country whose government is trying to track him down, and since the Feds have the data they wouldn't be giving it away just like that.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2016 | 10:33:45 PM
Re: Situation could have been avoided
Well, the FBI did win the court battle.  Now Apple is appealing.

With the text of the EU's Privacy Shield, a.k.a. "Safe Harbor 2.0", being released in less than 12 hours from this posting (and with that proposal being less binding than original Safe Harbor was), if Apple loses, then I suspect that will severely impact US tech companies' ability to do business abroad.
cyclepro
50%
50%
cyclepro,
User Rank: Moderator
2/23/2016 | 12:20:05 PM
Apple vs FBI
I see Tim Cooks point. You would think that the goverment has enough talent on their side to crack the phone itself and would not need Apple to do it for them.

 
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/23/2016 | 1:34:29 PM
Re: Apple vs FBI
Funnily enough, John McAfee has boasted that if the federal government hires him, he and his team will crack the phone inside of three weeks.

The degree to which he is blowing smoke remains to be seen, but the guy does have the street cred.
jastroff
50%
50%
jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2016 | 4:22:22 PM
Re: Apple vs FBI
Great offer by John M -- seems like the Govt can use some help. Although as Bill Gates has tipped Apple's hand, they do know full well how to retrieve the information wanted. They don't want to do it. 
Broadway0474
50%
50%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2016 | 11:22:00 PM
Re: Apple vs FBI
jastroff, who knows how to retrieve the wanted info? Apple or the government? And if the latter, why don't they want to do it? Because they want the reuseable backdoor? They want the public win? 
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2016 | 2:36:59 AM
Re: Apple vs FBI
Depending upon how one reads his boasts about being able to break into the phone with his team, John McAfee seems to suggest that the encryption itself is sufficiently strong enough to withstand expert cracking -- and that what's really needed is some undercover social engineering.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 2:56:31 AM
Re: Apple vs FBI
@Joe: McAfee might know security measures but they seem to be changing and are being upgraded by the hour. So don't hold on to any of his boasts.


2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Slideshows
10 Trends Accelerating Edge Computing
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  10/8/2020
Commentary
Is Cloud Migration a Path to Carbon Footprint Reduction?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  10/5/2020
News
IT Spending, Priorities, Projects: What's Ahead in 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  10/2/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
[Special Report] Edge Computing: An IT Platform for the New Enterprise
Edge computing is poised to make a major splash within the next generation of corporate IT architectures. Here's what you need to know!
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll