Manhattan district attorney grabs attention saying iPhone will become 'device of choice' for terrori

in iPhone edited April 2015
In a weekend conversation on radio station WNYM/970 AM, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. called the iPhone "the terrorists' communication device of choice," owing to the default disk encryption present in iOS 8.

"Apple has created a phone that is dark, that cannot be accessed by law enforcement even when a court has authorized us to look at its contents," Vance said during The Cats Roundtable, according to the New York Post. "That's going to be the terrorists' communication device of choice."

Vance further argued that because the issue hasn't raised widespread attention, it's up to police to pressure politicians into undoing the encryption efforts of both Apple and Google. Google has yet to implement default full-disk encryption in Android, likely because of reported issues for the performance of the Nexus 6 with full-disk protection on.

Developed in the aftermath of leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden -- revealing mass surveillance programs, often with the collusion of tech companies -- and general concerns about smartphone theft and hacking, iOS 8's encryption is so tough that Apple claims even it can't help a law enforcement agency crack a device.

This has resulted in complaints from a number of politicians and law enforcement offcials, including US Attorney General Eric Holder, and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Some have argued that companies like Apple and Google must implement back doors for police and spy agencies, and that dire consequences could arise without surveillance being an at-hand tool.


  • Reply 1 of 158
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,134member
    Manhattan DA is a jackass.
  • Reply 2 of 158
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,997member

    Right.  Because they couldn't just use another brand of phone or a custom app that uses different encryption if Apple allowed this.

  • Reply 3 of 158

     "I've come to the conclusion that it's [security] the greatest evil there is. Suppose your great grandmother, and all those like her, had worried about security? They'd never have gone across the land in flimsy covered wagons. Our country has been greatest when it has been most insecure. This sick longing for security is a dangerous thing..."


    Given that that was just released, it seems appropriate. So, Mister District Attorney, stop the fearmongering, you greedy hack.

  • Reply 4 of 158
    HAHA, this is classic.

    Government: "Let us spy on your customers' calls"
    Apple: "No"
    Government: "You are supporting terrorism"

    Oldest scare tactic in the book.
  • Reply 5 of 158
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,120member
    The CIA, FBI and now the Manhattan DA endorses iOS and the iPhone.
  • Reply 6 of 158
    tleviertlevier Posts: 104member
    Or they could opt for a FedEX letter package to exchange manifestos and instructions - and use burner flip phones without GPS for their "day-of" operations.
  • Reply 7 of 158
    b9botb9bot Posts: 238member

    This has nothing to do with terrorism. This is a user privacy issue. 

  • Reply 8 of 158

    Maybe we should route all phone calls, emails and texts with plain text files through NSA servers. We will also add meta tags to all our correspondence for easy sorting of "business", "personal", "sex", "selfie", "embarrassing", "potential blackmail" and "terrorism". Perhaps that will make these idiots happy.

  • Reply 9 of 158
    Uh, nope. This guy is talking out of his ass.

    For fringe libertarian privacy freaks, criminals, pirates, and drug pushers, or anyone who seeks to actively thwart the NSA, they'll use Blackphone:
  • Reply 10 of 158
    I'm sorry, but why should I or Apple care whether the terrorists use iPhones or not? This is not my responsibility. The terrorists would be smart to use phones with the best encryption and privacy settings. The government will have to figure out a better way to deal with it. Sorry Apple closed the door for mass data capture. It was for all our own good.
  • Reply 11 of 158
    drowdrow Posts: 121member
    given the choice of making a DA's life more difficult or making everyone else's lives less free, i think the DA can suck it.
  • Reply 12 of 158

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

    Uh, nope. This guy is talking out of his ass.

    For fringe libertarian privacy freaks, criminals, pirates, and drug pushers, or anyone who seeks to actively thwart the NSA, they'll use Blackphone:


    I don't think they'd use any smartphone at all. Long before we had smartphones organized criminals or terrorists had no troubles communicating. Either behind closed doors or by using simple pre-arranged terms when talking on any phone (which they assumed would be recorded).


    I think they'd use burner phones they picked up at 7-11 for simple communication, and anything that was truly sensitive would simply be passed along in person.

  • Reply 13 of 158
    Telling your citizens that they are terrorists because they want to keep the prying eyes of the government (or identity thieves) out of their lives, is hypocritical; and seemingly, telling us to trust the government to the point of being unconstitutional. Where are our protections against unlawful search and seizure, and politicians like this a**hole?
  • Reply 14 of 158
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    It's all Obama's fault. Now that they can't waterboard to get the password, they need Apple to give them the password.

  • Reply 15 of 158
    I think they'd use burner phones they picked up at 7-11 for simple communication, and anything that was truly sensitive would simply be passed along in person.

    Yes, I'd read that too. Disposable burner phones are used by terrorist. And high value targets don't even use cell phones, but hand-delivered messages via trusted couriers.

    Blackphone is for off-the-grid paranoid types with something to hide, but still want to enjoy having a smartphone for other reasons. They aren't terrorists.
  • Reply 16 of 158

    So you gov't hacks can't easily break in on us private citizens. That just makes me want to buy one even more. Just another example of the effect being the opposite of the one intended.

  • Reply 17 of 158
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,185member

    What an idiot. Also, for personal security turn off your iPhone's Touch ID for the phone unlocking function.

  • Reply 18 of 158
    There is a huge difference between what this DA is asking for and what hackers and the NSA (or the KGB used to) do everyday.

    Invasion of user privacy takes four forms:

    A. Direct or passive remote monitoring or intercept of user information and data — much like hackers do. Or, the NSA.

    B. Active, targeted observation — e.g., wire taps (which are legal when authorized by a court), surveillance drones, wireless transmitters.

    C. Active reading of phone or computer data via external electronic devices — the so-called mobile forensic devices police sometimes use to read smartphone data.

    D. Physical access — whether by stolen password or court-ordered forensic examination.

    What the DA is asking for is court-ordered access to examine the contents of a phone. This is no different than a court ordering you to turn over documents or computer files during a criminal investigation or for access to your telephone calls via a wire tap during an investigation.

    It is not the wholesale invasion of privacy via the NSA or hackers that is happening everyday. It is targeted.

    Your negative hue and cry is much akin to the concept of "throwing the baby out with the bath water."

    What most of you seem to support is that, if the Tsarnaev brothers had communicated only on iPhones, and that was the key physical evidence of their conspiracy, they should go free. Is that really what you want?

    Do you also want to do away with wiretaps as well? Or other court-ordered surveillance? And, if so, at what cost will you decide enough is enough?
  • Reply 19 of 158
    The Godwin's Law for the 21st Century: Blah blah blah TERRORISM! blah blah blah.

    I propose that video cameras be placed in doctors offices and residential fences be kept shorter than an average FBI agent's eye level so that poor prescription handwriting and trampoline safety are easier to monitor.
  • Reply 20 of 158
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    Buildings falling or our houses being blown to smithereens by X terrorist is not a good enough reason to give up freedom. You only live once. Life free, then die.
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