UN freedom of expression expert to file brief supporting Apple in encryption row

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Adding to a growing list of amicus briefs filed in favor of Apple's pro-encryption stance in a high-profile legal battle with the FBI, United Nations free speech watchdog David Kaye reportedly plans to lodge a similar document supporting the company's arguments.




The friend of the court brief, a copy of which was obtained by BuzzFeed News on Wednesday, argues "secure communications are fundamental to the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age, permitting the maintenance of opinions without interference and securing the right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas."

As UN special rapporteur, Kaye monitors a wide variety of rights issues -- individual rights, media protections, rights for vulnerable communities, activists, political dissenters and more -- on a global scale and is in a unique position to offer color on the worldwide implications of the Apple-FBI encryption battle.

Apple in February was ordered by a federal magistrate judge to comply with FBI requests to assist in the unlocking of an iPhone 5c used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of two shooters responsible for December's San Bernardino terror attack. Cooperation requires Apple create and sign a purposely flawed operating system to suppresses the iPhone's passcode counter and time-sensitive entry limiter to allow a brute-force attack.

In resisting the court order, Apple sparked a nationwide debate over balancing personal liberties with national security.

Citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the U.S. ratified in 1992, Kaye makes the case that the DOJ case rests on shaky ground. In particular, it is unclear that the government's motion to compel is "necessary...for the protection of national security or of public order," a requirement stipulated under Article 19 of the ICCPR.

The government in its case to compel Apple is leveraging the All Writs Act of 1789, a statute granting federal courts sweeping authority to issue orders if no other judicial instruments are available. If the Justice Department is successful, it could set precedent for future cases involving digital evidence.

Article 19 allows for certain restrictions that are deemed necessary and proportionate, but Kaye is concerned an FBI win on the basis of AWA could have implications on the security, and thereby right to free expression, of an untold number of users.

"This is fundamentally a problem with technology, where compromising security for one and only one time and purpose seems exceedingly difficult if not impossible," Kaye writes.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,942member
    There's no such thing as one and only one time when talking about computer devices. We have to think about millions and a million times (or more). When will the FBI finally realize this?
    lostkiwibadmonk
  • Reply 2 of 15
    The FBI is like a two year old child. They care only about what THEY want, and care nothing at all about anyone else.
    jfc1138latifbpjahbladelostkiwibadmonk
  • Reply 3 of 15
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 554member
    The FBI is like a two year old child. They care only about what THEY want, and care nothing at all about anyone else.
    This sum everything up pretty well.
    brakkenjahbladelostkiwibadmonk
  • Reply 4 of 15
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,748member
    When the UN gets to lecturing the US on free speech and privacy, I think it's fair to say that we have, as a country and its values, hit a new low. 
    edited March 2016 brakkenentropyssingularityjahbladelostkiwi
  • Reply 5 of 15
    Urei1620Urei1620 Posts: 88member
    When the UN gets to lecturing the US on free speech and privacy, I think it's fair to say that we have, as a country and its values, hit a new low. 
    Obama was a Constitutional Law "professor'...bwahahaha...bull!
  • Reply 6 of 15
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 554member
    Urei1620 said:
    When the UN gets to lecturing the US on free speech and privacy, I think it's fair to say that we have, as a country and its values, hit a new low. 
    Obama was a Constitutional Law "professor'...bwahahaha...bull!
    He's incompetent, and not a leader. That's for sure. His balls is like a miniature compared to Tim Cook.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Urei1620Urei1620 Posts: 88member
    The FBI is like a two year old child. They care only about what THEY want, and care nothing at all about anyone else.
    Obama's FBI is one of the worst in recent history. It is probably the most incompetently run FBI. The FBI dropped the ball on a lead of Syed Farook prior to the 12/2 attack that could have prevented it. Then, they asked the San Bernardino County to reset the password of Farook's work phone. After Apple could not help the FBI retrieve the remaining phone data, they get a court order behind Apple's back to force Apple to write a compromised OS. I am glad this entire thing is backfiring on the FBI. What goes around, comes around. Everyday, there is more support for Apple. Even U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has come out in opposition of any backdoor to encryption.

    http://venturebeat.com/2016/03/02/u-s-secretary-of-defense-on-apple-encryption-im-not-a-believer-in-backdoors/

    Comey is on his own. Poor douche.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 15

    OT, but the iPhone 5C turned out to be the dark horse in the iPhone line-up. I have a yellow one and every single relative of mine that I had given it to (I have a trickle-down policy with iPhones) was loth to return it, even for a later model.

    I hope Apple brings the colours back. Make it fun!!

  • Reply 9 of 15
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 676member
    matrix077 said:
    Urei1620 said:
    Obama was a Constitutional Law "professor'...bwahahaha...bull!
    He's incompetent, and not a leader. That's for sure. His balls is like a miniature compared to Tim Cook.
    I believe Cook has a lot more freedom to assert a non-sanctioned position than Obama, or any other president since JFK.
    Obama got in based on making a change, and making a difference. The Powers That Be have ensured that only changes that they chose have come to pass.
    I really do believe it is not the presidency that is at fault, but the system that has allowed conflict of interest to become the standard.
    Those with the cash pay the piper, and at the moment, we the consumers are paying Apple, but the finance industry and its minions are paying the politicians.
    See how the duly elected no longer represent citizens?
    baconstangjahbladelostkiwi
  • Reply 10 of 15
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 676member

    Urei1620 said:
    The FBI is like a two year old child. They care only about what THEY want, and care nothing at all about anyone else.
    Obama's FBI is one of the worst in recent history. It is probably the most incompetently run FBI. The FBI dropped the ball on a lead of Syed Farook prior to the 12/2 attack that could have prevented it. Then, they asked the San Bernardino County to reset the password of Farook's work phone. After Apple could not help the FBI retrieve the remaining phone data, they get a court order behind Apple's back to force Apple to write a compromised OS. I am glad this entire thing is backfiring on the FBI. What goes around, comes around. Everyday, there is more support for Apple. Even U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has come out in opposition of any backdoor to encryption.

    http://venturebeat.com/2016/03/02/u-s-secretary-of-defense-on-apple-encryption-im-not-a-believer-in-backdoors/

    Comey is on his own. Poor douche.
    9/11 wasn't a farce at all??
    singularity
  • Reply 11 of 15
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,374member
    When the UN gets to lecturing the US on free speech and privacy, I think it's fair to say that we have, as a country and its values, hit a new low. 
    Quite so.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 12 of 15
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 514member
    The article puts forth...
    "In resisting the court order, Apple sparked a nationwide debate over balancing personal liberties with national security."

    That's a twisted way of looking at the real question.
    How about the debate over balancing personal security with LEO expediency?
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 13 of 15
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Urei1620 said:
    The FBI is like a two year old child. They care only about what THEY want, and care nothing at all about anyone else.
    Obama's FBI is one of the worst in recent history. It is probably the most incompetently run FBI. The FBI dropped the ball on a lead of Syed Farook prior to the 12/2 attack that could have prevented it. Then, they asked the San Bernardino County to reset the password of Farook's work phone. After Apple could not help the FBI retrieve the remaining phone data, they get a court order behind Apple's back to force Apple to write a compromised OS. I am glad this entire thing is backfiring on the FBI. What goes around, comes around. Everyday, there is more support for Apple. Even U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has come out in opposition of any backdoor to encryption.

    http://venturebeat.com/2016/03/02/u-s-secretary-of-defense-on-apple-encryption-im-not-a-believer-in-backdoors/

    Comey is on his own. Poor douche.
    Comey was nominated by the GOP douche... Bush And is independent from the Gov since Watergate (after the nomination obviously)
    Obama's admin is responsible for the DOJ, who are equally idiots; all parties are idiots on this.
    jahbladeanantksundaramlostkiwi
  • Reply 14 of 15
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    matrix077 said:
    Urei1620 said:
    Obama was a Constitutional Law "professor'...bwahahaha...bull!
    He's incompetent, and not a leader. That's for sure. His balls is like a miniature compared to Tim Cook.
    at least he's not a fraud pumpkin like Trump, dumb enough to launch a mortgage agency in late 2006 and shitting on anyone who doesn't stroke his large ego; you know a guy';s net worth depends on his mood.. So says a court deposition by dumbass when suing a guy who said he was only worth 100M (considerig that with inflation that's a lot less than what his father gave him, that makes him a loser). Oh, and trump treatened Apple with even worse than the current admin has regarding this and it's commercial practices, such a fracking good capitalist.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 15 of 15
    "This is fundamentally a problem with technology, where compromising security for one and only one time and purpose seems exceedingly difficult if not impossible," Kaye writes.
    This is not fundamentally about technology. It is just the tool.  It has made encryption easier/more obtainable, but encryption has been around longer than modern computers.  No, this is fundamentally about trust, and who you put it in.  I really hope apple wins this, as I don't trust our government organizations at all.  People are corrupt and are going to do what they want unless there is a safeguard.
    palomine
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