Woz backs Apple in FBI's 'lame' iPhone encryption case

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in iPhone
During a late-night television appearance on Monday, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak expressed his support for Apple in the company's ongoing fight with the FBI, saying the bureau "picked a lame case."




"I side with Apple on this one," Woz told Conan O'Brien during the show. He explained his stance by noting that he helped found the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and said that the FBI "picked the lamest case you ever could."

"The two phones owned by the people that aren't even convicted terrorists, didn't even have one link to a terrorist organization, Verizon turned over all the phone records, all the SMS messages," Woz said. "So they want to take this other phone, that the two didn't destroy, that was a work phone, it's so lame and worthless to expect something's on it."



Woz ended that portion of the interview by citing the fear of international precedent -- that is, by acquiescing to a U.S. government demand, Apple would be giving carte blanche to other governments to make similar requests.

"What if China says, 'we want you to give us a backdoor so we can get into any phone, even your government officials?'"

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,697member
    This is a point that is often overlooked -- the FBI has staked everything on this case, because they just don't want to do the old-fashioned work or develop their own hack (it can be done, ask any jailbreak team), and they have picked a terrible case to try and make this work for them. The whole thing is *blatantly* unconstitutional, so they're not going to find that many friendly judges, and it really needed to be something like a Bond villain with nuke codes, not a pair of disgruntled radicalized wannabes who decided to overthrow America by shooting up their office's Christmas party. It does serve as an excellent reminder (particularly after that Congressional hearing) that we need to register and vote out the looney-tunes members of Congress (this is probably more important than picking a possible President). I was actually impressed with some of the Congresspeople from both parties at the hearing, but childish idiots like David Jolly and Cyrus Vance have got to go.
    icoco3manfred zornbaconstangjony0tdknox
  • Reply 2 of 9
    rs9rs9 Posts: 68member
    No one is asking the big questions  How did the NSA/FBI fail to see they where terrorist. How was it he was able to get legal status for his fiancee/wife (a green card no less) when those going through normal and legal channels can take 5 to 10 years to get a green card. Who does this guy know in our government that made it so easy to get a green card for his wife?  Why is no one talking about this?
    jony0buzdots
  • Reply 3 of 9
    redefilerredefiler Posts: 323member
    rs9 said:
    No one is asking the big questions  How did the NSA/FBI fail to see they where terrorist. How was it he was able to get legal status for his fiancee/wife (a green card no less) when those going through normal and legal channels can take 5 to 10 years to get a green card. Who does this guy know in our government that made it so easy to get a green card for his wife?  Why is no one talking about this?
    The big question is given your point, along with various deliberate breaches of public trust regarding privacy laws, and the egregious leaks of personal data that is both their duty and oath to safeguard, why do we allow government the powers they have, much less the additional ones that they now want?
    jony0buzdotstdknox
  • Reply 4 of 9
    tenlytenly Posts: 709member
    In all the threads I've read about this phone and the FBI, people claim that there is nothing useful on this phone anyways because it is a work phone and because the FBI was able to get most of the data through iCloud backups as well as from his mobile provider.

    I fully support Apple and I don't think that the FBI has the right to force Apple to create a backdoor - however, if I were the FBI, there's one area in particular on this phone that I would want to have a look at and I have yet to see anybody mention it.  The feature is turned off on my phone - but I'm pretty sure it's on by default - and that is the "Frequent Locations" feature which you can find under "Privacy-->Location Services-->Frequent Locations"  - Check it out on your phone and see how your phone tracks all of the locations that you visit - including the date and time you arrived, departed and how long you stayed.  I believe that Apple states that this information is used by Siri and other services on the phone to become smarter while helping you - for example she is usually able to tell where you live and where you work simply by looking at where you spend your time and Siri can tell you how long it will take you to get home or to work from where you are  now and automatically displays relevant information on your notification screen which changes based on where you are, what time it is and what your personal travel habits are.  I think Apple also stated that this information is ONLY stored on your phone and never sent to Apple - so I'm not 100% sure - but I don't think it is part of the dataset that gets backed up to iCloud.

    So - *if* all that is true - then the information that *might* exist on this phone and *might* be useful would be all of the locations the guy visited - and since the device was his work phone, it's plausible that he was required to have it with him at all times in case work needed to get in touch with him about something.

    But - the fact that there might be some useful information on the phone doesn't change anything regarding the FBI's right to compel Apple to develop something new and insecure.  Regardless of what is stored on the phone - they should NOT be able to order Apple to help decrypt it or unlock it.

    I only post about this feature to remind people to check it on their own phones and to consider whether the extra smart capabilities that it enables are helpful enough in their lives to warrant leaving the feature enabled on their personal devices for a friend, a spouse, a thief or the FBI to potentially find - and also for those who did not know about the feature, I recommend that they take a look at their phones to see if it is enabled and to be aware of the level of detail their phone is collecting about where they spend their time!
  • Reply 5 of 9
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member
    rs9 said:
    No one is asking the big questions  How did the NSA/FBI fail to see they where terrorist. How was it he was able to get legal status for his fiancee/wife (a green card no less) when those going through normal and legal channels can take 5 to 10 years to get a green card. Who does this guy know in our government that made it so easy to get a green card for his wife?  Why is no one talking about this?
    Don't forget our INS consciously chose not to look at public postings made on social media, including Malik's pro-ISIS remarks she posted to Facebook before coming to the U.S. Or that the government-issued iPhone in question did not have remote management software installed, which would have rendered this whole situation about encryption moot.
    edited March 2016 baconstangjony0tdknox
  • Reply 6 of 9
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,791member
    cpsro said:

    Or that the government-issued iPhone in question did not have remote management software installed, which would have rendered this whole situation about encryption moot.
    I believe we read that it did have remote management software on it but that the encryption is tied to the lock screen passcode. Even with the remote management, without the passcode they could not get the data off the phone. From an iCloud backup they can retrieve the data because that is protected by the Apple ID/password which the IT department did have control over.
    jony0
  • Reply 7 of 9
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member
    volcan said:
    I believe we read that it did have remote management software on it but that the encryption is tied to the lock screen passcode. Even with the remote management, without the passcode they could not get the data off the phone. From an iCloud backup they can retrieve the data because that is protected by the Apple ID/password which the IT department did have control over.
    Please provide a relevant link. I've not read that (about remote management software having been installed or being incapable of unlocking the device or changing the AppleID account information) anywhere else. What I have read in many reports is that the FBI directed county employees to change the AppleID/iCloud password during the first 24 hours after the iPhone was recovered, and this prevented the iPhone from backing up to iCloud again, because the iPhone is almost certainly still programmed with the password it used to backup to iCloud in October. Once an iCloud password has been changed, an iPhone apparently won't automatically backup again--even if the password is reverted to the old one--until someone accepts the "change" on the device itself, which requires unlocking... or remote management software capable of accepting the change.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 8 of 9
    nealc5nealc5 Posts: 22member
    I read that San Bernardino did NOT use mobile device management software on this phone.  If they had, they would be able to change the password on the phone remotely.  After all, they OWN the phone, not the user.  Ask anyone with an iPhone from a Fortune 100 company.  Nobody wants to do anything unsavory on their phone, because the company can see it.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    chasm said:
    This is a point that is often overlooked -- the FBI has staked everything on this case, because they just don't want to do the old-fashioned work or develop their own hack (it can be done, ask any jailbreak team), and they have picked a terrible case to try and make this work for them. The whole thing is *blatantly* unconstitutional, so they're not going to find that many friendly judges, and it really needed to be something like a Bond villain with nuke codes, not a pair of disgruntled radicalized wannabes who decided to overthrow America by shooting up their office's Christmas party. It does serve as an excellent reminder (particularly after that Congressional hearing) that we need to register and vote out the looney-tunes members of Congress (this is probably more important than picking a possible President). I was actually impressed with some of the Congresspeople from both parties at the hearing, but childish idiots like David Jolly and Cyrus Vance have got to go.
    One is almost certain big parts of this tune would change if it directly involved you. And how exactly do you know that the entire investgiation hasn't involved any "old fashioned work"? Seems like that's there as well; just the most public of that work centers around a phone. 

    You people lack a certain empathy for your fellow countrymen, irregardless of these circumstances. I thought the motto of the US was "out of many, one" not "feast or famine." I just don't see why you all aren't directly criticizing the families who are siding with the FBI. They should know of your displeasure, and be lectured about how useless it is for the phone issue to be even a part of the investigation.
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