NYPD chief: iOS is a gift to ‘kidnappers, robbers and murderers’

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iPhone mobile encryption touch id
Public enemy no. 1?
Photo: Olly Browning/Pixabay

Making it sound like the 2016 version of a souped-up getaway car, NYPD counter-terrorism chief John Miller described iOS as the perfect tool for “kidnappers, robbers and murderers” in a recent interview — all due to its uncrackable privacy policy.

“You are actually providing aid to [felons] who have actually been recorded on the telephones in Riker’s Island telling their compatriots on the outside, ‘You gotta get iOS 8. It’s a gift from God,’ — and that’s a quote — ‘because the cops can’t crack it,’” he said — referring to Apple’s current privacy standoff with the FBI.

“I still don’t know what made [Apple] change their minds and decide to actually design a system that made them not able to aid the police,” Miller told John Catsimatidis in an interview on Catsimatidis’s The Cats Roundtable radio show.

Miller is referring to Apple’s continued involvement in the legal case involving San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone, which the FBI wants Apple to help it unlock — although Apple has argued that creating an iOS backdoor would compromise user security and privacy.

Miller is far from the first person in law enforcement to speak out about Apple’s strong encryption and refusal to create an iPhone backdoor. Last month, Manhattan D.A. Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. made clear that he was not on the side of tech companies acting like “sherrifs” in a world with “no rules.”

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has also spoken out about the “corporate irresponsibility” of having smartphones with strong encryption.

Amidst the concern, however, Apple has continued to be vocal about its stance on user privacy. Most recently, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, took to the pages of the Washington Post over the weekend to argue that the FBI and Justice Department’s proposal is “disappointing.”

Unfortunately for Apple, I don’t think we’re going to see the end of encryption-related fear-mongering any time soon!

Source: NY Daily News

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  • Matthew Arnold Stern

    iOS will become a gift to felons if a backdoor is installed. Then, they can use it to steal your financial information, track your movements, threaten your family, blackmail you with incriminating photos and data they planted…

  • Mario Gaucher

    so now instead of doing their jobs like they did in the old days, they want to go the easy route and sneak their ways into our life? no thanks. If it’s more easy for the good guys… it will also be more easy for the bad ones.

  • digitaldumdum

    “NYPD chief: iOS is a gift to ‘kidnappers, robbers and murderers’”

    Miller said, “I still don’t know what made [Apple] change their minds and decide to actually design a system that made them not able to aid the police.” And he’s exactly right, he •doesn’t• know.

    If Chief Miller wishes to actually do something about crime in his city, and in many others around the country, he could educate himself on the reasons for kidnapping, robbery and murder, and address those issues. What he would find is that, among other things, deep economic inequality, lack of blue-collar jobs, domestic issues made worse by crammed courts and attorneys who ill-serve or ignore low-income clients with very real marital and child-custody situations, easy access to addictive drugs, and certainly the proliferation of illegal guns… all these result in the kinds of crimes the Chief cites. What he doesn’t realize, and what most of here know, is that Apple’s devices and policies are neither the problem, nor the solution. Kidnapping, robbery and murder have most likely always been a part of human behavior. In any case, they certainly predate the iPhone. If the Chief doesn’t have enough legitimate avenues to combat crime, he shouldn’t make a scapegoat of Apple, nor criticize it for pledging to keep safe the private data of ‘the rest of us.’

    Just one man’s opinion.

  • kavok

    How the hell did any crimes get solved before 2007? Seriously I think they have forgotten how to do an investigation. They rely too much on getting data from smartphones now.

  • TJ

    Paper shredders and match makers, you are a gift to Bad Guys everywhere. All paper shredder companies need to build a machine to recombine shredded material and the match makers, you just need to invent a machine that breaks the laws of thermodynamics and can rebuild burnt paper vapor into evidence. NOW. Don’t laugh brain surgeons, we’ll need you to extract thoughts from people’s brains NEXT.

  • DigitalBeach

    More BS fear mongering to strip away our rights

  • imajoebob

    And the NYPD Stop & Frisk Policy was an unconstitutional gift to fascists, racists, and jack-booted thugs. And you support it.

    Consider the source…

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      They can get the call logs from the cell service providers, which is useful. They can also get GPS locations, which is also useful. Some criminals are not going to write down their future behavior on an iPhone. I can see if now, a rapist, murderer or rapist sits down at Starbucks for a cup of Java and launches his Things To Do list and writes down to have some evidence of the specific crimes they are GOING to commit.

      1. Get breakfast
      2. Do laundry
      3. Rape a girl at local school
      4. Dump body at 2438 Old Gravely Road
      5. Lunch
      6. Go to XYZ high school and rape another girl
      7. Dump body at specific location.
      8. Crack open a 12 pack of Bud
      9. Watch TV and pass out
      10. Dinner with the ex.

  • Robert Lewis

    Funny, they say the same thing about the bill of rights.

  • http://ipnotik.net/ Ipnotik

    Unbelievable. Those words are just unbelievable. Completely non-sense. He should think to do his job better since New York City crimes are rising.

  • Mark Neufeld

    So are locks of any type. Better outlaw those, too.

  • Nicnacnic

    Fires. Fires also are friends to kidnappers and murderers. We should ban fires.

  • kevinkee

    Did he just say that the most secured lock are a gift for criminals? Should we then be banned from locking our houses, safety boxes or phones if we are the only who can open them?

  • Undivided

    Yea, every one is smarter then the police chief, and the FBI. The police chief really needs to educate himself because its so simple for digitaldumdum to reduce crime. The police chief is dead on correct. Apple wishes to talk about precedents set but the FBI if a backdoor is created yet fails to talk about the precedent apple is setting by giving the terrorists a platform in which to hide. Intelligent people understand privacy is not at stake here. People who like to drink apples kool aid will believe their privacy is at stake and fear the almighty government.

  • David Kaplan

    It’s so ridiculous…. we are all safer because of encryption. People not in the tech world are clueless on this topic. What does a cop know about the inner workings of silicon valley

  • DrMuggg

    Always thought; “being a cop is a proof that you are stupid” is a myth.
    Starting to beleive it. Do they EVER connect the brain before opening
    their mouth?

    I bet chief Miller would like all HIS communictions to be safe.
    If you open up that can of worms that broken encryption is EVRERYBODYS
    phones will be wide open. That include staff at every law enforcement agency,
    not just in the USA, but in the entire world.