U.N. backs Apple, calls encryption fundamental to freedom

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Your iPhone will always need to be recharged everyday.
Security isn't a feature, it's a right.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

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.

FBI fails to make its encryption case to Congress

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iPhone 5c by uveX encryption
San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook's iPhone 5c may not be running "GovtOS" anytime soon.
Photo: uveX/Pixabay

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 suffers iPad Pro failure at worst possible time

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Bruce Sewell
Apple's top lawyer went back to Congress today.
Photo: House Committee on the Judiciary Hearings

Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell suffered an iPad disaster during his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee today, and it couldn’t have happened at a worse moment.

As Sewell read his introductory statement from his iPad Pro, the Apple lawyer’s tablet appeared to crash or become unusable, forcing him to resort to his backup plan: a three-ring binder with good old paper printouts.

You can relive the incident in the video below:

Here’s what Apple’s top lawyer will tell Congress tomorrow

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Tim Cook
Tim Cook and Apple aren't backing down.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s general counsel Bruce Sewell is set to appear before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow, when he’ll go toe-to-toe with FBI Director James Comey over whether the bureau should be allowed to force Apple to create a backdoor into iOS.

Tim Cook already explained Apple’s argument against the FBI’s orders, but today the company revealed what will be Sewell’s opening remarks before Congress unloads a barrage of questions — and he’s got some pretty big questions of his own for lawmakers to consider.

FBI is still trying to convince us that hacking iPhones is OK

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iPhone 6s
Will hacking the iPhone set a precedent, or won't it?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Caution: Weasel-words ahead! FBI director James Comey today defended iPhone hacking again, this time in front of a congressional panel — saying that it was absolutely a one-off case which wouldn’t set a precedent, only to acknowledge that the verdict “will be instructive for other courts” in future.

Comey also said that he thinks this question needs to be resolved by Congress — backing up an argument that Apple has made this week.

FBI: iPhone backdoor would not set dangerous precedent, we promise

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RV-AM562_NESS_GR_20140117124953
Apple's muckin' with a G here, pal!
Photo: Paramount Pictures

The director of the FBI has written an impassioned open letter to Apple, asking it to go along with the recent court order to unlock the iPhone at the center of the San Bernardino shooting investigation.

James Comey writes that the FBI, “isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message. It is about the victims and justice.”

Check out the rest of his open letter below:

FBI director: I don’t like encryption, but I’m not a maniac

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FBI director isn't too keen on Apple's security measures.
FBI director isn't too keen on Apple's security measures.
Photo: 1Password

There’s just no getting around it: FBI director James Comey isn’t a fan of encryption.

In an open letter, Comey writes that the kind of security seen on devices like the iPhone do more to hurt us than they do to help — potentially even aiding terrorist groups such as ISIS.

“I really am not a maniac (or at least my family says so),” he claims. “But my job is to try to keep people safe. In universal strong encryption, I see something that is with us already and growing every day that will inexorably affect my ability to do that job.”

FBI director ‘very concerned’ about iOS 8 privacy features

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The FBI director is none too happy about iOS 8's new security measures.
The FBI director is none too happy about iOS 8's new security measures.
Photo:

Almost everyone is happy about iOS 8’s recent privacy upgrade, which means that Apple can’t unlock your phone as part of an investigation. Almost everyone, that is, except for the FBI.

Speaking with reporters Thursday, FBI director James Comey described himself as “very concerned” by steps tech companies like Apple are taking to strengthen privacy on mobile devices.

“I am a huge believer in the rule of law, but I am also a believer that no one in this country is beyond the law,” Comey said. “What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.”