Apple posts letter from San Bernardino survivor's husband as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, more offer

Posted:
in General Discussion
As part of Apple's legal battle with the FBI, the company on Thursday posted to its website a letter in support written by Salihin Kondoker, husband of San Bernardino shooting survivor Anies Kondoker. Separately, more big tech companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft offered support in a joint amicus brief.




A report on Monday first outlined Kondoker's document in support of Apple's position on the ongoing encryption debate. The letter to the court is now up for perusal (PDF link) on Apple's website.

Like San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, Kondoker's wife Anies was also assigned an iPhone 5c by the San Bernardino County Health Department. In the letter, Salihin said Anies never used her work-issued iPhone for private correspondence, suggesting Farook did much the same manner.

"San Bernardino is one of the largest Counties in the country," Salihin writes. "They can track the phone on GPS in case they needed to determine where people were. Second, both the iCloud account and carrier account were controlled by the county so they could track any communications. This was common knowledge among my wife and other employees. Why then would someone store vital contacts related to an attack on a phone they knew the county had access to? They destroyed their personal phones after the attack. And I believe they did that for a reason."

Farook's iPhone 5c was recovered by law enforcement agents and now sits at the center of a contentious court battle between the FBI and Apple. Backed by the Department of Justice, the FBI sought and was subsequently granted an order compelling Apple's assistance to unlock the subject device.



Tech companies, security experts and rights advocacy groups have also taken Apple's side, as evidenced in multiple amicus briefs entered into record earlier today. Adding to the list of public entreaties in favor of Apple's stance is a joint filing made on behalf of Amazon, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nest, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Yahoo.

The 15 tech giants say that while they feel no sympathy for the perpetrators of last year's terror attack, the companies cannot stand idly by as the government asserts a sweeping judicial instrument -- the All Writs Act -- to "commandeer" Apple engineers in efforts to break its own encryption protocol, reports Re/code.

"The government is not just asking companies to do what they do in the normal course of business," the filing reads. "The government is asking companies to change how they do business."

For its part, the FBI argues that there could be actionable information to be gleaned from Farook's iPhone, adding that its motion to compel Apple's assistance is limited to a single device and won't create precedent for future data requests. Law enforcement groups and other interested parties, including the families of six victims, have filed documents in support of the government.

Apple lawyers are due to face off against Justice Department attorneys over the court order to compel in a hearing scheduled for March 22.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    irelandireland Posts: 17,743member
    What a superb letter. The FBI are shameful to use this incident for their gain. You can even see from the emails uncovered by the Washington Post a while back that the federal branch were awaiting an attack of this kind to try to gain more power over our communications. Utter disgust. No wonder when 95% of the people at that hearing seemed to be challenging the FBI. Even if you forget about all the facts of the whole situation instinct alone tells all. Just look at the kinds of things Cook and Sewell have been saying and how they've handle themselves and compare it to how the FBI have been carrying. They've even been lying already. And those are the lies we know about.
    edited March 2016 anantksundaramfotoformatjony0urahara
  • Reply 2 of 11
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    Why did Amazon sign this while at the same time dropping encryption on the latest version of Fire OS? 
  • Reply 3 of 11
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,127member
    I wonder how this shooting is different from the mass murders by none Muslim Americans of which there were 300 last year, where the shooter was egged on by online loser groups in chat rooms before they went out killing?

    josha
  • Reply 4 of 11
    rcfarcfa Posts: 946member
    I don't understand why nobody pursues the line of reasoning that a temporary weakness in technology (analog phone lines) does not create a right to access by law enforcement for all eternity.

    Let's face it: before there were analog phones, there were no wiretaps, and law enforcement just had to rely on detective work.
    With the arrival of analog lines, law enforcement got a temporary windfall benefit of being able to intercept communications, which before they weren't able or allowed (protection of postal communication) to have.

    Encryption merely reinstates the old status quo, all the while law enforcement gets new tools from video surveillance, drones, communications meta data analysis, etc.

    So law enforcement gained significant capacity, and the one tool citizens gained to somehow level the playing field with the government is encryption, and the government tries to castrate that, too, because it's agents are too lazy or too incapable to do actual detective work?
    radarthekatjony0
  • Reply 5 of 11
    BG01VBG01V Posts: 2member
    What hypocrisy that Amazon, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nest, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Yahoo all sided with Apple in this case.  All of the above companies are spying on YOU each and every time to go online.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,176member
    BG01V said:
    What hypocrisy that Amazon, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nest, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Yahoo all sided with Apple in this case.  All of the above companies are spying on YOU each and every time to go online.
    This is not necessarily hypocrisy. These are private companies with lots of competition, and if someone chooses to use them or their services (because they're free or whatever the reason), then that's a conscious choice they're making. There's also the choice to NOT use them or their services. 

    I do not have such a choice with my government: short of relinquishing my citizenship and moving somewhere else (and assuming they'll accept me), I have no choice in the matter. The government has vast powers over the life of a citizen that private companies simply do not. It has the power to police, power to tax, power to incarcerate people, power to legislate and regulate various aspects of our lives (from birth to death to school to marriage to travel to my house to my car to my health care to my financial dealings... I could go on) and so forth. The power that a Google (or an Apple) has over me is simply not the same, not even in the same league. 

    This is a specious argument that you're making. 
    edited March 2016 staticx57fotoformatjoshajony0urahara
  • Reply 7 of 11
    michael_cmichael_c Posts: 164member
    ireland said:
    What a superb letter. The FBI are shameful to use this incident for their gain. You can even see from the emails uncovered by the Washington Post a while back that the federal branch were awaiting an attack of this kind to try to gain more power over our communications. Utter disgust. No wonder when 95% of the people at that hearing seemed to be challenging the FBI. Even if you forget about all the facts of the whole situation instinct alone tells all. Just look at the kinds of things Cook and Sewell have been saying and how they've handle themselves and compare it to how the FBI have been carrying. They've even been lying already. And those are the lies we know about.
    The FBI case against Apple is all smoke and mirrors. I have little doubt the FBI is using the iPhone to get what Comey has been pushing for well before the killings in San Bernardino. I question why the FBI would have reset the iPhone unless it was to force this showdown - it’s possible it was merely a mistake (as Comey says), but I suspect the decision was strategic. After all, this isn’t their first rodeo with iPhones. I looked for any articles about emails uncovered by Washington Post and had no luck - do you have a link?
  • Reply 8 of 11
    rabbynrabbyn Posts: 2member
    michael_c said:
    ireland said:
    What a superb letter. The FBI are shameful to use this incident for their gain. You can even see from the emails uncovered by the Washington Post a while back that the federal branch were awaiting an attack of this kind to try to gain more power over our communications. Utter disgust. No wonder when 95% of the people at that hearing seemed to be challenging the FBI. Even if you forget about all the facts of the whole situation instinct alone tells all. Just look at the kinds of things Cook and Sewell have been saying and how they've handle themselves and compare it to how the FBI have been carrying. They've even been lying already. And those are the lies we know about.
    The FBI case against Apple is all smoke and mirrors. I have little doubt the FBI is using the iPhone to get what Comey has been pushing for well before the killings in San Bernardino. I question why the FBI would have reset the iPhone unless it was to force this showdown - it’s possible it was merely a mistake (as Comey says), but I suspect the decision was strategic. After all, this isn’t their first rodeo with iPhones. I looked for any articles about emails uncovered by Washington Post and had no luck - do you have a link?
    => FBI secret email uncovered by Washington Post from twitter@snowden :sunglasses: 
    https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/703647311453396995


    edited March 2016
  • Reply 9 of 11
    gunner1954gunner1954 Posts: 142member
    ireland said:
    What a superb letter. The FBI are shameful to use this incident for their gain. You can even see from the emails uncovered by the Washington Post a while back that the federal branch were awaiting an attack of this kind to try to gain more power over our communications. Utter disgust. No wonder when 95% of the people at that hearing seemed to be challenging the FBI. Even if you forget about all the facts of the whole situation instinct alone tells all. Just look at the kinds of things Cook and Sewell have been saying and how they've handle themselves and compare it to how the FBI have been carrying. They've even been lying already. And those are the lies we know about.
    I find it interesting that in every case related mention from the FBI that they will leave 'no stone unturned' and 'everything in out power' but never, 'everything LEGALLY in our power' or 'use every LEGAL course of action to…(fill in the blank). Aren't all our Law Enforcement Agencies supposed to follow the law, not skirt it, to do their job. IF not, then we have already become a police state where any LEO can get an All Writs Order from any sympathetic judge to do whatever they so please.
    urahara
  • Reply 10 of 11
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member
    That guy's letter calls for stricter gun control. What a moron. Riiiight, because criminals & murderers actually follow the law to begin with. Every murderer starts his day by reviewing the legality of gun laws in his state and then says, "Oh damn, I guess I can't kill anybody today because I'm not legally allowed to be carrying this gun that I bought on the black market." NO. The solution to gun violence is to have a randomly-armed populace, so there are always armed citizens ready to prevent an attack. It's called common sense. And it's what works.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member
    scotty321 said:
    That guy's letter calls for stricter gun control. What a moron. Riiiight, because criminals & murderers actually follow the law to begin with. Every murderer starts his day by reviewing the legality of gun laws in his state and then says, "Oh damn, I guess I can't kill anybody today because I'm not legally allowed to be carrying this gun that I bought on the black market." NO. The solution to gun violence is to have a randomly-armed populace, so there are always armed citizens ready to prevent an attack. It's called common sense. And it's what works.
    Jeffrey A. Tucker brilliantly discusses this in his excellent article, "Gun Wimps For Gun Rights": https://tucker.liberty.me/gun-wimps-for-gun-rights/
    edited March 2016
Sign In or Register to comment.