Billionaire Mark Cuban says Apple deserves a 'standing ovation' for fighting FBI on encryption

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2016
Apple did "exactly the right thing" by refusing a request from the U.S. government to create a backdoor to access a terrorist's locked iPhone, billionaire Mark Cuban wrote in response to the encryption controversy this week.




"Amen. A standing ovation," Cuban wrote on his personal blog, heaping praise upon Apple and its chief executive, Tim Cook, for refusing to comply with the FBI's order. In his view, if Apple were to comply, it would open the doors for countless situations in the future where the government could point to this case as a precedent.
"We must stand up for our rights to free speech and liberty." - Mark Cuban
"Every tool that protects our privacy and liberties against oppression, tyranny, madmen and worse can often be used to take those very precious rights from us," Cuban said. "But like we protect our 2nd Amendment Right, we must not let some of the negatives stand in the way of the positives. We must stand up for our rights to free speech and liberty."

Cuban believes American citizens should begin pushing their representatives to pass a law that limits the circumstances under which companies can be compelled to help the government break into a device. He proposed a series of four points that would justify such an instance:

  • That the incident in question be declared an Act of Terrorism, with casualties
  • That there is reason to believe the device was possessed by a participant in the incident
  • The device must have been on location for the incident
  • The terrorist who owned the device must be deceased


Cuban admitted that the subject is "not an easy topic," but he believes an open discussion should be had for America to decide how to protect its citizens while also protecting personal liberties and security.

The open letter from Cuban joins a number of other high-profile names who have sided with Apple in its opposition to the government. Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft have also expressed support for Apple.

The controversy began Tuesday, when a U.S. magistrate judge ordered Apple to comply with FBI requests to help extract data from an iPhone owned by one of the shooters involved in the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif. The device in question is an iPhone 5c that was password protected by the gunman, and is set to erase a stored decryption key after ten unsuccessful login attempts.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook responded with his own letter on Wednesday, saying that the creation of a backdoor tool to access a locked iPhone could open the flood gates for future issues, rippling well beyond the investigation into the San Bernardino shooting. The terrorist attack resulted in 16 deaths and 24 injuries.

Apple has appealed the U.S. magistrate judge's ruling, and has until Feb. 26 to respond with a filing in court.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    Can I get an amen.
    mwhitenolamacguykamiltonapplesauce007lolliverjbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 50
    Basically he applauds Apple for standing up to them and then with his "rules" pushes the door wide open against the very thing they're standing against. 

    Once you open the door you open the door not only for the US government but every government under which Apple sells phones.

    And today it's just "terrorists", but tomorrow it's terrorist and pedophiles, and the next day it's terrorist and pedophiles and drug dealers, and the day after that it's terrorist and pedophiles and drug dealers and suspected criminals, and then...
    mwhitefotoformattheunfetteredmindjahbladenolamacguySpamSandwichaaron sorensonlostkiwilollivermanfred zorn
  • Reply 3 of 50
    In this case the ends don't even come close to justifying the means. A few days worth of probably redundant and useless data. When a hydrogen bomb is hidden in NYC on a countdown timer with the kill switch hidden in an encrypted iPhone, the issue will have legs. 
    mwhitenolamacguyquadra 610badmonk
  • Reply 4 of 50
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,825member
    hmlongco said:
    Basically he applauds Apple for standing up to them and then with his "rules" pushes the door wide open against the very thing they're standing against. 

    Once you open the door you open the door not only for the US government but every government under which Apple sells phones.

    And today it's just "terrorists", but tomorrow it's terrorist and pedophiles, and the next day it's terrorist and pedophiles and drug dealers, and the day after that it's terrorist and pedophiles and drug dealers and suspected criminals, and then...
    I'm guessing that you should throw that in The Shark Tank and let someone else decide.

    Me, I think it's a giveaway to Authoritarianism, just a bit slower to make the FBI feel sad.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,595member
    hmlongco said:
    Basically he applauds Apple for standing up to them and then with his "rules" pushes the door wide open against the very thing they're standing against. 

    Once you open the door you open the door not only for the US government but every government under which Apple sells phones.

    And today it's just "terrorists", but tomorrow it's terrorist and pedophiles, and the next day it's terrorist and pedophiles and drug dealers, and the day after that it's terrorist and pedophiles and drug dealers and suspected criminals, and then...
    Precisely! It would have been better for him to keep his mouth shut! But you left out the key .... And the next day it's tyrannies trying to oppress their people.
    edited February 2016 badmonkjbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 50
    hmlongco said:
    Basically he applauds Apple for standing up to them and then with his "rules" pushes the door wide open against the very thing they're standing against. 

    Once you open the door you open the door not only for the US government but every government under which Apple sells phones.

    And today it's just "terrorists", but tomorrow it's terrorist and pedophiles, and the next day it's terrorist and pedophiles and drug dealers, and the day after that it's terrorist and pedophiles and drug dealers and suspected criminals, and then...
    No.. you fail to understand. The courts in this case are MAKING law by using a catch all law called All Writs Act. This law is basically something that can be applied when courts find themselves facing something that has no law that applies.

    The PROBLEM with this is its far, far to generic.. Which is why so many are up in arms. What Mark Cuban is saying is we cannot allow the All Writs Act be used. We must require very narrow, specifically written laws from congress to be written to ensure their is accountability and limits.

    The courts should not be making law, thats congresses job.. or is supposed to be! Otherwise we'll leave the "doors open" for future precedence in court.
    edited February 2016 bcodemassconn72manfred zorndysamoriabadmonkjbdragon
  • Reply 7 of 50
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 287member
    Can I get an amen.
    I think Mark is wrong on this situation.
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 8 of 50
    I suspect that Apple, on a case-by-case basis, could access the information in that phone. The FBI's request for a backdoor represents them using this case as an excuse to force Apple to give them access to any iPhone, whenever they want.
    6Sgoldfishbadmonkjbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 50

    I don't think he quite understands Apple's reasons for appealing the order. The DOJ is compelling Apple to create software that doesn't exist. Slavery was abolished in the US some time ago. Apple was pushed into an untenable situation to which they responded in the only way possible.

    The DOJ graciously offered to pay for that software development. No one outside Apple knows what it cost them to develop iOS. Billions, certainly, Tens of billions? Who knows. Who cares? Write a blank check and stick it to the taxpayer, for a product that even the DOJ insists will be used once and only once, to obtain intelligence they don't even know exists.

    This is political theater. The FBI wants everyone's personal information and by God they're going to get it. The government can be trusted with it. Right?


    That the incident in question be declared an Act of Terrorism, with casualties

    That's also specious. What can be considered an "Act of Terrorism" is open to interpretation and abuse. Who decides whether someone's actions are considered an Act of Terrorism or mere Workplace Violence? Was it the weapons used? Were there Koran verses invoked, or was it a Cross that was held high? Was it the dress, language, or appearance of the criminals? The manner of execution, whether it's being pushed off a building, burning alive in a cage, or beheading? Will it be the MPAA who decides on how much blood defines an R rating or mere PG?

    No matter what, the casualties are still dead. Re-think that, Mark Cuban.





    Distant Relationtheunfetteredmindlostkiwilolliver
  • Reply 10 of 50
    Well, it is strange ~ 'open 'a door for this info the FBI wants for THIS case only - hummmmm ONCE that BELL has been rung it CANNOT be UNRUNG................ IF Apple can 'unlock' THIS phone THEN give the FBI the info ? but then again, do it once <> It will NEVER stop 'needing' to be done again, again, again
    lolliverdysamoriajbdragon
  • Reply 11 of 50
    In the matter of the FBI compelling Apple to de-securitize phones, everyone who owns a gun might become a mass shooter and there are frequently more victims of mass shootings than victims of terrorism. So perhaps the FBI should have day-to-day access to all gun owners phones. Just a suggestion. My fear is that FBI has picked an extreme case they think they can win but in fact it is the foot in the door. However, if we can get the gun lobby fired up, so to speak, there will be a far better chance of protecting privacy. My second thought is that if the FBI prevails, everyone will need an uncrackable password, which is going to waste an inordinate amount of time. Perhaps the solution will be to use a user selected combination from: pass code, fingerprint, iris print, picture codes, and a spoken command for speech pattern recognition. Users pick the combination of codes and their sequence. Let's see if NSA or FBI can crack that.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 324member
    What Cuban fails to realize is that constituents don't have any power over their representatives anymore.
    Distant Relationlostkiwilollivermassconn72magman1979dysamoria
  • Reply 13 of 50
    The FBI, NSA does not need any details on my personal info. Encryption is there to keep privileged elite OUT. Kudos to Tim Cook and the whole Apple team for not caving in!!
    Distant Relationlollivermassconn72magman1979
  • Reply 14 of 50
    Unfortunately I believe this will prove to be a carnival sideshow for the masses in which Tim Cook and Apple appear to have fought the good fight while the Evil Empire forces them to obey. They've allowed this charade to become far too absurd for any other conclusion to be reached. It's an example of the "Big Lie" hypothesis in action. The FBI is asking for completely unnecessary power and because of that they've escalated a simple situation with large amounts of existing case law into a complex situation with no existing case law and they will prevail simply because of that.

    This is essentially no different than the case of a locked file cabinet in the home of a suspected criminal. Using existing law a judge issues a writ ordering a locksmith to open the cabinet, after which officers of the court remove and examine its contents for evidence that might bear on the case.

    This isn't rocket science. The court may order Apple (the locksmith) to open this specific filing cabinet. t can't order Apple to make a generic skeleton key for the FBI that can open any filing cabinet. It would be foolish to think a court may not order a locked room, filing cabinet, car, etc. opened through use of a search warrant. It isn't unconstitutional, it's written directly into the 4th amendment.

    The real question is, "can it be done". Apple is no more capable than anyone else when it comes to breaking strong encryption. The court may not order Apple to cease using strong encryption because it cannot produce a key. That's an entirely different situation. The proposal Cuban makes assumes some sort of capability to perform the operation of breaking into the phone under the conditions described (and I won't bother critiquing those conditions), but it can't be done under any conditions if strong encryption is used.

    The courts may order Apple to break into an iPhone, but they can't make the order possible any more than they can order Pi to be equal to 3. The real question is, can they make strong encryption illegal? Practically they cannot, the demon is loose in the world. If Apple is tol to use weak encryption, anyone who cares about privacy and liberty will not buy Apple products.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,924member
    I wish the current POTUS had the cajones to put an end to this. 
    Distant Relationlostkiwidysamoria
  • Reply 16 of 50
    this is the second amendment equivalent to coming to take our guns away.
    Distant Relationlostkiwi
  • Reply 17 of 50
    The FBI want Apple to provide a 'back door'... whilst their own appear to be barely secure.

    Only yesterday a 15-year-old boy was arrested in Glasgow, Scotland over alleged computer hacking, with reports suggesting the target was the FBI network in the United States. The schoolboy was arrested on Tuesday under the Computer Misuse Act, which covers hacking and unauthorised access to computer material. The "Daily Record" newspaper reported that he was questioned by Police Scotland as FBI agents watched on!

    Via the BBC News 'tech' page... http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-35603675

  • Reply 18 of 50
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    Sure free speech and liberty are great but this case is about the right of privacy. I'd rather there be no backdoor, nobody, not even Apple should have the key to my device. Mark Cuban is about as clueless as Ballmer, just not as animated.
    edited February 2016 lostkiwilolliverdysamoria
  • Reply 19 of 50
    I suspect that Apple, on a case-by-case basis, could access the information in that phone. The FBI's request for a backdoor represents them using this case as an excuse to force Apple to give them access to any iPhone, whenever they want.
    I wouldn't be so sure Apple could do it. I expect the NSA could but doesn't want that capability to be publicly acknowledged. Better to use taxpayer money to "transfer the technology" to Apple.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    hmlongco said:
    Basically he applauds Apple for standing up to them and then with his "rules" pushes the door wide open against the very thing they're standing against. 

    Once you open the door you open the door not only for the US government but every government under which Apple sells phones.

    And today it's just "terrorists", but tomorrow it's terrorist and pedophiles, and the next day it's terrorist and pedophiles and drug dealers, and the day after that it's terrorist and pedophiles and drug dealers and suspected criminals, and then...
    Absolutely right. The Costitution already protects us against such incursions against our liberties. Cuban provides bullet points that contradict his alleged support. The guy is thickheaded. Whomever is appointed to the Supreme Court may be the deathblow to our already withering protections.
    edited February 2016 lolliverbuzdotsdysamoria
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