It reportedly took the FBI two months to bypass the security built in an iPhone 11. This demonstrates how difficult iPhone hacking is for even one of the world’s premier law-enforcement agencies.
Steve Bannon, the ex-Breitbart chairman and former chief strategist for Donald Trump, warns that the president will “drop the hammer” on Apple if it doesn’t work with authorities.
Bannon is referring to the current standoff regarding whether Apple should unlock iPhones used by the shooter who killed three people at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in December.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Department of Justice has pulled another surprise on Apple this week by making a last minute request to turn the company’s court appearance on March 22nd with the FBI into an evidentiary hearing.
Apple lawyers told reporters this morning that they were caught-off guard by the last minute request which should have been submitted weeks ago.
Apple’s own engineers may be the company’s last line of defense if it loses its case against the FBI and receives final orders to create “GovtOS,” a less secure version of the iPhone’s mobile operating system.
In fact, some reports say that even if legal proceedings go in the government’s favor, and Apple is compelled to create the software authorities are requesting, certain employees may simply quit to avoid having to make what CEO Tim Cook has called “the software equivalent of cancer.”
Barring unemployment, some encryption engineers may have a variety of other options to stick it to the man.
Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell said the FBI threw “all decorum to the winds” in its latest federal court filing, but in the company’s official response today it has vowed it does not “intend to response in kind.”
The iPhone-maker says in its latest filing that the FBI’s claim that it exhausted all viable investigative alternatives is false because it improperly reset the iCloud password before consulting Apple. The company also admits that it didn’t take a public stance on privacy and encryption until the release of iOS 8.
Commentary on the encryption battle between Apple and the U.S. government might have received its strangest metaphor yet.
Stewart Baker, who used to serve as a counsel for the National Security Agency, appeared on a panel at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin this week. During the discussion, he said that Apple’s current, outspoken position in favor of privacy is a recent development and compared it to the sort of PR-driven whitewashing that Hollywood studios have used to promote actresses as “innocent” and “pure.”
“Who remembers Tim Cook before he was a virgin?” Baker said, paraphrasing composer Oscar Levant’s barb at ’60s everygirl Doris Day.
It got a little less polite from there.
President Barack Obama was in Austin, Texas, for the opening day of the South by Southwest Interactive festival, and talk turned inevitably to the current tension between law enforcement and tech companies on subjects like security and citizen privacy.
The president couldn’t comment on the specific case that has Apple and the FBI fighting over whether the government can compel a private company to provide access to a locked device (in this case, an iPhone 5c belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook). But he did provide some insight into the government’s view of the ongoing legal battle.
You can check out the whole conversation in the video below; the session starts about 39 minutes in.
Apple’s battle with the FBI, over whether it should create a backdoor to allow for the hacking of iPhones, is one of the biggest stories in tech right now.
Over the weekend, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, took to the pages of the Washington Post for an impassioned op-ed about how hard Apple works to stay ahead of criminals and terrorists who want to infiltrate its systems — and why the FBI and Justice Department’s proposed solution to the problem is so “disappointing.”
The FBI is unlikely to give up trying to pry its way into iPhones even if it loses the current standoff with Apple over encryption, says security expert Bruce Schneier.
Schneier, who is one of the leading experts on modern cryptography, says it is “clear that the San Bernardino case was preselected as a legal precedent case” by the bureau — despite the fact that FBI Director James Comey has claimed this is not the case (only to later contradict himself.)
Government officials seem to be in some kind of race to see which of them can be the most indignant and/or outraged at Apple’s refusal to create security-bypassing software for its devices. And we’re pretty sure Rep. David Jolly has just won.
Jolly, who represents Florida’s 13th District, submitted a bill Wednesday that would make it illegal for any federal office to own or lease Apple products until Cupertino gives in to the FBI’s demands. And he did so because state-sponsored blacklisting of organizations that legally disagree with the government is exactly how free countries work.
Companies and organizations have filed over a dozen amicus briefs supporting Apple in its showdown with the FBI over phone encryption. Filers include law professors, rights organizations, and some of the biggest companies in the world.
This outpouring of support is just the latest in a series of apparent victories for Apple in its fight to keep its devices secure.
The United Nations is standing behind Apple in the company’s fight against the FBI over whether the federal government can compel the iPhone-maker to create a backdoor into iOS.
In a letter written in support of Apple’s case, U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye says that if the feds are successful, it would infringe on citizens’ right to freedom of expression.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief today supporting Apple in its clash with the government.
The organization argues that the FBI’s demands that the iPhone maker create software that will allow investigators to bypass built-in security features represent an overreach of authority that will leave hundreds of millions of users vulnerable to cyberattacks. It becomes the latest organization to join the debate that has put security and privacy at odds.
In a Congressional hearing today that included both Apple’s chief attorney and government officials, FBI head James Comey didn’t win many people over to his side.
The meeting allowed both sides to make their arguments for and against Apple creating a less secure version of the iPhone’s operating system that would allow officials to get by the password lock on a dead terrorist’s phone. And things seemed to go squarely in the company’s favor, although it was not without its caveats.
Apple’s top lawyer is set to appear before the House Judiciary Committee today to discuss balancing Americans’ security and privacy, in light of the company’s ongoing battle with the FBI, which has demanded the company unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone.
Apple gave us a glimpse of general counsel Bruce Sewell’s opening remarks yesterday. Apple’s lawyer will ask congressional representatives some tough questions on privacy, but we won’t know what the committee thinks until the hearing gets underway later this morning. A livestream of the event will be available on YouTube when the hearing starts at 10 a.m. Pacific.
You can watch it below: