2016 sent Apple for a wild ride full of fantastic new products, crazy controversies and tons of extra drama with its rivals.
Tim Cook and his colleagues probably can’t wait to jump into 2017. But before we start looking toward Apple’s future, let’s take a quick look back at all the stories that made 2016 a year Apple fans will never forget.
New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance wants the Trump administration to help create federal legislation requiring Apple and Google to remove default encryption from their smartphones.
The recommendation comes from the DA office’s second report on Smartphone Encryption and Public Safety, presented by Vance at the opening of the Manhattan DA’s new cyberlab. New York County is currently sitting on 423 iPhones it can’t break into, even with a warrant, so the DA’s office is pushing for change.
The FBI and Apple could be on a collision course for another legal showdown over a dead terrorist’s locked iPhone.
Apple refused to comply with the FBI’s demands to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone eight months ago. That led to a very public legal battle over privacy and security. Now the FBI needs help again after obtaining the iPhone of a terrorist that stabbed 10 people in a Minnesota mall.
U.S. lawmakers are said to be giving up on their push for new encryption laws that would require companies like Apple to create software backdoors that allow the government to access our devices.
It’s thought the lack of White House support and Apple’s high-profile battle with the Justice Department, which was unable to force the company into providing an iPhone unlock, are some of the reasons why supporters are losing hope.
Renowned practical cryptography expert Jon Callas is returning to Apple to help the iPhone-maker stay ahead of hackers and the FBI in its on going battle with security.
Callas co-founded well known secure communications companies such as Silent Circle, Blackphone, and PGP Corp. This will be his third stint at Apple where he is expected to ramp up security features across Apple’s wide ranging product line up.
The feds may not have paid quite as much money as we previously thought to unlock the iPhone at the center of the San Bernardino shooting case — with a new report claiming that it was less than the $1.3 million+ sum widely reported in the media last week.
The FBI has informed Apple of a vulnerability affecting older iPhones and Macs. It’s the first time such information has been shared with Apple by the feds under a White House “Vulnerability Equities Process” intended to disclose security weaknesses when they are discovered.
The Vulnerability Equities Process is designed to act as a balance between the desire of law enforcement and U.S. intelligence services to be able to hack into devices and the public interest in warning companies of weaknesses in their systems that may be exploited by criminals.
Chinese authorities have demanded Apple give the country complete access to its source code within the last two years, but Apple says it has refused to comply with the government’s demands.
Apple’s top lawyer, Bruce Sewell, defended the company’s position before U.S. lawmakers at a congressional hearing today, after the iPhone-maker was accused by law enforcement officials of refusing to help the U.S. government while at the same time freely giving information to China for business reasons.