James Comey isn’t a fan of iPhone encryption

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James Comey
In his new book, James Comey says that law enforcement should have a backdoor into locked iPhones.
Photo: FBI

James Comey is an controversial figure. His new book shows he’s strongly opposed to Donald Trump, but he may have also helped get Trump elected President. And the former FBI director is opposed to the encryption that protects the privacy of iPhone users.

Comey’ s book, A Higher Loyalty, says Apple’s decision to encrypt the contents of iOS devices by default “drove me crazy.”

Congress criticizes FBI quest for iPhone ‘backdoor’

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Apple help
The FBI took some Congressional-strength flack today for wanting an iPhone backdoor for law enforcement.
Photo: Dave Newman/Flickr CC

Congress has called the FBI on the carpet for its attempt to require Apple to build a backdoor into the iPhone. A letter went out today from a bi-partisan group of representatives  accusing the law enforcement agency of over-stating difficulties in unlocked iPhones involved in crimes.

The ten congresspeople wrote that the FBI deliberately didn’t explore all the options to unlock the iPhone belonging to a mass shooter because they wanted an excuse to force Apple to modify iOS so it’s easy for law enforcement to access.

FBI seeks industry help unlocking iPhones and other devices

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FBI Director
FBI Director Christopher Wray says law enforcement should be able to access any phone.
Photo: FBI

The FBI wants the tech industry to help unlock thousands of smartphones and tablets involved in criminal cases each year.

FBI Director Christopher Wray did not single out any companies during his talk at a cybersecurity conference today. Still, Apple certainly sits at the top of his wish list.

Senator says FBI spent $900,000 to hack San Bernardino iPhone

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hacking
We may finally know how much the FBI shelled out for answers.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Ever since the FBI got inside the iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino terrorist shooter, there has been speculation over how much the hacking exercise cost the Feds.

A year later, we finally have an answer — and it’s a whole lot of cash, but maybe less than you thought it would be.

How Apple makes encryption easy and invisible

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iPhone SE encryption
iPhone SE set for biggest upgrade yet.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Do you know how many times a day you unlock your iPhone? Every time you do, you’re participating in Apple’s user-friendly encryption scheme.

Friday, the company hosted a security “deep dive” at which it shared some interesting numbers about its security measures and philosophy as well as user habits. To be honest, we’re less concerned with how Apple’s standards work than the fact that they do and will continue to. But that’s kind of the point behind the whole system — Apple designed its encryption system so that we don’t even have to think about it.

White House won’t back bill forcing tech companies to break encryption

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Having not one but two U.S. presidents in your fan base is pretty good going. Sadly, President Barack Obama is not allowed an iPhone as part of his official wardrobe and is stuck on BlackBerry. That hasn’t stopped him from openly lusting after the iPhone 6 in recent pics, though. He’s also admitted to spending hours each day on his iPad.Photo:
President Barack Obama is playing it cool when it comes to encryption.
Photo: Pete Souza/Wikipedia CC

The White House is refusing to publicly support new draft legislation that would give judges the right to force tech companies like Apple to help law enforcement break encrypted data.

The measure was put forward by Sens. Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, respectively the Republican chair and top Democrat of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Both Burr and Feinstein have been contacted by the FBI regarding a briefing on how the bureau was able to circumvent iPhone encryption on an older Apple device.

We talk iPhone 7s features and Tesla’s Model 3 on The CultCast

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Tesla
This Model 3 could have carried an Apple logo one day.
Photo: Tesla

This week on Cult of Mac’s: Rumors point to an iPhone 7s with a drastic redesign, facial recognition and the return of the glass front and back. Plus: Folks around the world line up for the Tesla Model 3; Apple is making a show about apps hosted by technology expert musician Will.i.am; why the new iPad Pro is not a notebook replacement for the masses; and, in a bizarre plot twist, Apple seeks FBI’s iPhone unlocking secrets.

Our thanks to Freshbooks for supporting this episode. FreshBooks is the easy-to-use invoicing software designed to help small-business owners get organized, save time invoicing and get paid faster. It also makes tax time a cinch. Get started now with a 30-day free trial.

Here’s how Steve Jobs answered a question about government snooping in 1981

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Apple-at-40-What-Steve-Jobs-Said-About-Computers-in-1981
Check out the hipster beard on Steve!
Photo: ABC

Apple turns 40 today and, while a lot has changed since the company’s early days, it seems that questions about government snooping have not.

ABC News today released footage from a vintage interview in which a very young Steve Jobs debates computers on a 1981 episode of Nightline.

In addition to trotting out his “bicycle for the mind” metaphor, Jobs also talks about how best to stop the government from snooping on your computer, a topic that seems very timely in the aftermath of Apple’s battle with the FBI.

Check out the Steve Jobs interview below.

‘Whackadoodles’ offered to help FBI crack iPhone

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iPhone 5c by uveX encryption
The FBI has cracked the San Bernardino iPhone, and we're starting to learn how it happened.
Photo: uveX/Pixabay

Details are emerging about how exactly the FBI managed to get into San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s device without the so-called “govtOS” it had been demanding from Apple.

ABC News has spoken to unnamed sources who have outlined the process through which the government finally cracked the stubborn encryption on the iPhone 5c. And while their statements mostly just confirm what we’ve heard before, the story takes some interesting turns.

Check out ABC’s report below.

Can FBI’s method open iPhone? Apple wants to wait and see

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Apple iPhone 6s
Apple would like to let a case in Brooklyn cool off for a bit.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The FBI aren’t the only people interested in postponing court proceedings this week — Apple just requested a hold in its ongoing case in Brooklyn over a criminal’s locked phone.

Magistrate Judge James Orenstein has already ruled in Apple’s favor, saying that the government could not compel the company to breach its own software. But the government is appealing that decision, and Apple would like to see if some recent developments in a similar case might render a new decision unnecessary.