Obama administration, FBI must act to restore US government's credibility in Apple's encryption deb



  • Reply 121 of 126

    To fully show the extraordinary lengths that FBI Director James Comey has gone to convince Congress to give the FBI more money AND pass laws to force Apple to decrypt the iPhone – one needs to go back much earlier.

    October 8, 2014:

    "Apple Says iOS Encryption Protects Privacy; FBI Raises Crime Fears"


    October 20, 2014:

    "FBI wants Congress to mandate backdoors in tech devices to facilitate surveillance"


    July 8, 2015:

    James Comey testifies before Congress – in his quest for more funding to ostensibly be prepared for “going dark” –by pushing for decryption. (Consequently new law was being drafted by Congress – but it was stopped once the White House decided it wasn’t a good idea.)


    “We should also continue to invest in developing tools, techniques, and capabilities designed to mitigate the increasing technical challenges associated with the Going Dark problem. In limited circumstances, this investment may help mitigate the risks posed in high priority national security or criminal cases, although it will most likely be unable to provide a timely or scalable solution in terms of addressing the full spectrum of public safety needs” – Comey

    To uncover James Comey’s agenda you need to understand who he is. He was one of the chief architects of the Patriot Act in the Bush Administration. Since being appointed as FBI director in 2013 he has gone on talk shows and lobbied relentlessly to change surveillance laws to give law enforcement unfettered access to encrypted data.

    In other words, this latest confrontation with Apple is a ruse. It is timed to get more money from Congress and is part of a political power grab by James Comey. Because as the C.I.A. and N.S.A. already know – and why former director Michael Hayden at both those agencies is pro-encryption – is that decrypting the iPhone is pointless, because terrorists have other encryption software that they can use.

    edited February 2016
  • Reply 122 of 126
    I find it amazing that the Govt is really trying it's hardest to take away our privacy. I for one don't have anything to hide. I'm not sure that they've fully though this thru. How will this precedent affect iOT? Will the Govt be able to force Amazon to introduce an update to ALEXA that makes it easy for them to listen and record when i'm home talking to my family? Will they force XBox One and PS4 do the same? For everyone that wants to be safe and protected, I too want the same. But, i'm not willing to put myself in more danger because people don't take the time to fully understand what all this means. Not only do we have the govt to worry about, it's also the hackers. Didn't Jeep have a problem with hackers being able to remotely shutdown a vehicle while it was driving? With everything getting smarter, more connected, we need more encryption, not less! Here are the facts, Apple sold a whopping 74.5 MILLION iPhones in Q1 alone of 2015. They've been selling blockbuster numbers for a long time. How many phones have been tied to terrorists? ONE. And everyone is willing to toss aside security for a false sense of protection from the government. I for one am not in favor of this new FBiOS, or anything remotely close to it.

    NOTE: Apple just had a patent ruling overturned by three judges. Is this in retaliation to what's taking place with the FBI? These judges really need to be replaced.
  • Reply 123 of 126
    Actions by the leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the past month related to the San Bernardino encryption issue demonstrate a shocking level of dishonest and callous disregard for the nation's core principles of democracy. FBI director James B. Comey should issue a formal apology or resign his post, AppleInsider's Daniel Eran Dilger argues.

    That alone is reason enough for Comey to immediately dial down the FBI's rhetoric and withdraw the demands for a back door from Apple, made without the consultation of Congress having the opportunity to fully debate the issues involved without the fervent, rushed emotionalism this public smear campaign is attempting to leverage.
    Free speech and freedom of assembly do not apply to plots to commit mass murder. The public has a legitimate right to reconstruct all the activities of the terrorist couple that led up to the atrocity. Furthermore, the phone itself belongs to San Bernardino County, meaning its taxpayers. Finally, please keep in mind that the argument you are trying to assert would have protected Richard Nixon, if it were a valid one. It didn't, because it wasn't. Daniel Ellsberg could not have published the Pentagon Papers if the public did not have a right to know. You are on a slippery slope, Apple, no matter how enamored you might be of your position and your privacy. Again, just as Richard Nixon was, this particular terrorist was a public employee, so shielding his phone from scrutiny would be the equivalent of shielding Richard Nixon from being scrutinized for his workplace behavior...
    Yes, but Nixon's situation was somewhat different to this. This situation with a govt-issued phone that was deliberately tampered with by the govt to force a private company to undermine international standards of established security protocols through a public shame campaign is a little more complex, and wholly unconstitutional.
  • Reply 124 of 126
    47gsls47gsls Posts: 2member

    The company I work for is sending our Congressional representatives the following video:  The password is opensesame.  We thought that was appropriate.

    Please feel free to pass it on to your own Congress people and others you think are of a similar mind.   

  • Reply 125 of 126
    47gsls47gsls Posts: 2member

    We are sending this to Senators, Feinstein and Boxer and Representatives Pelosi, Lofgren, Issa and others on behalf of our own employees, shareholders and users who have expressed concern about the precedent-setting implications of Dir. Comey’s strategy.            

    We invite and encourage other information technology companies who may share our concerns to add their names to our own or use our letter as a template for your own.   

    The petition asks that Congress, not an Executive Branch agency, lead the debate to define the appropriate 21st century balance between society's legitimate interests in effective law enforcement and National security, and individual citizens' and companies’ interests in preserving their Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties and privacy from over-zealous intrusion by unelected government employees.  

    To The Honorable _______________ and the Congress of the United States of America:

    The purpose of this letter is to ask you to assume the leadership required to engage as a member of the American people’s Congress to examine, debate, and ultimately define appropriate 21st century legislative policy balancing the American citizenry’s Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties and privacy rights, and the legitimate interests of our 21st century society in effective law enforcement and National Security.  

    We believe it is your sworn Constitutional duty to make era-defining legislative policy, and that this should not be the purview of unelected Executive Branch functionaries.   We believe that Director Comey’s approach to solving a problem his agency created by attempting to compel Apple to destroy the functional value of its own products that hundreds of millions of American citizens depend on is dangerously misguided because it ignores far larger issues affecting every American citizen and American society’s economic, social, and political freedoms.

    In the recent House Judiciary Committee hearing Representative Trey Gowdy, who once served as federal prosecutor,  “We’re going to create evidence-free zones?” Am I missing something?”   The answer to both questions has been an unambiguous “Yes” since September 25, 1789 when the Founding era Congress passed the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect citizens from abuses of government authority.  One of those fundamental projections establishes and guarantees the sanctity of a specific evidence-free zone:  the mind of every American Citizen.  No American executive, legislative, or judicial authority can compel any American citizen to unwillingly disclose what is in their mind if that citizen believes doing so might result in the loss of their own liberties or Freedom.  Legitimate fear by innocent citizens of being wrongly incriminated by over-zealous prosecutors in a crime is not unreasonable or something any American should fear.  Yet, our history and reality teaches us that we have good reason to fear this. 

    Another fact that may be startling to many Legislators, but will not be to many law enforcement and National security professionals is how close the American information technology industry is to delivering next-generation products and services designed to dramatically expand the cognitive and intellectual capacity and capability of individual human beings.  I.e., to virtually extend a person’s mind into cyberspace.   This is no longer science fiction.  A growing number of extremely competent companies, from the very largest to hundreds of smaller companies and startups, are investing Billions of dollars in this endeavor today.   This practical reality has immense practical, social. Economic, political, and other implications that need to be addressed in the debate and resulting legislative policies balancing citizens’ rights and their government’s capacity and capability to fulfill its’ legitimate obligations in the 21st century and beyond.

    This overdue debate should not be about pitting National security and law enforcement against privacy and civil liberties.   It should be focused on examining alternative legislative approaches and solutions that actually enhance intelligence community and law enforcement capabilities while simultaneously strengthening citizen civil liberties and privacy protections.

    Director Comey’s recent testimony before the House Judiciary committee indicates that the precedential implications of compelling an American commercial enterprise to manufacture a technical solution to a problem he acknowledged his own agency created are precisely what he intends the FBI to pursue.

    Dir. Comey’s desire to do everything possible to discover what, if any, information might be on the iPhone used a terrorist is appropriate, legitimate, and correct.   However, choosing to limit his agency’s, Apple’s, and the American people’s option to bending the 1789 All Writs Act to compel Apple to manufacture malware that can be reused to access any current-generation iPhone fails to consider more practical, efficient, and less dangerous alternative mechanisms for achieving his stated objective.

    Gen. Michael V. Haden, former Director of both the CIA and NSA, has publically stated that compelling Apple to produce mechanism to defeat the security measures imbedded in its own operating system will certainly and inevitably result in targeting, discovery, and exploitation by criminal enterprises and foreign and domestic intelligence agencies.

    Alternative solutions are still possible, but lasting resolutions designed to address and satisfy the legitimate requirements of a free citizenry and their Government must first be addressed in 21st century legislative policy; not executive agency attempts to set precedent they view solely through the narrow lens of prosecutorial prerogative.

    The technical mechanisms to auditably assure satisfactory outcomes for executive branch law enforcement agencies, industry and citizens already exist.  What is missing are pragmatic public policy alternatives to 18th century Writs, and the leadership by daring members of the people’s Congress to implement and oversee 21st century legislative policies.

    We are asking that you do your duty, and engage in your capacity as a member of Congress to represent the constituents who elected you to represent them in an era-defining examination and construction of 21st century legislative policy defining the balance between current and future generations of the American people’s constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties and rights, their larger society’ legitimate interests in effective law enforcement and National security necessary to preserve their optimism, innovation, creative genius, and democracy.   



    Mitch Ahlenius                                                                                     Geoffrey Shaw 

    Chief Executive Officer                                                                        Chairman

    Feed, Inc.                                                                                  Feed, Inc.



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