Apple's intensifying privacy & encryption stance worsening FBI struggles with lawbreakers ...

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Because of Apple's and other companies' stances on end-to-end encryption, the U.S. government's trouble in intercepting online communications is only accelerating, according to an executive assistant director with the FBI.

iMessage


The "going dark" problem "infects law enforcement and the intelligence community more and more so every day," Amy Hess told the Wall Street Journal. As companies like Apple, Facebook, and others have instituted end-to-end encryption in messaging, government agencies -- particularly the FBI -- have complained that terrorists and other criminals have been able to conduct business outside of surveillance.

Hess once testified in front of Congress on the matter in 2016, a year that saw Apple fight the FBI and the Department of Justice over demands for a backdoor into the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. Apple, normally compliant with police and NSA requests, argued that it couldn't be compelled to write new code, and that doing so would fundamentally weaken the security of iOS. The DoJ's case ultimately fizzled when it turned to a third-party service that successfully cracked Farook's iPhone 5c.

Partly because of the Farook incident, critics have been skeptical of the "going dark" threat, suggesting that there are often alternatives to intercepting services like iMessage and WhatsApp. Apple and like-minded parties have contended that encryption is essential not just for general privacy, but keeping people safe from hackers and mass surveillance, particularly in countries where leaders may imprison or murder dissenters.

The Journal noted that last week, Apple and a collection of trade groups, NGOs, and other tech companies submitted comments opposing an Australian law passed in December which demands businesses help the government access encrypted messages. The view is that the law is too vague, and could be used to demand weakened encryption not just in Australia but eventually in any country within the "Five Eyes" network -- Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. Those countries regularly collaborate on intelligence matters, and the network recently claimed that "privacy is not an absolute," with the further assertion that it would aim to access encrypted data through legislation.

The U.K.'s GCHQ intelligence agency even recently proposed adding government agents as silent participants in group chats, something opponents have said could be even worse than weakened encryption, since it could be very quickly turned to mass surveillance or exploitation by hackers.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    The "going dark" problem "infects law enforcement and the intelligence community more and more so every day," Amy Hess told the Wall Street Journal.
    Tough cookies.  As the Supreme Court has ruled a number of times, the fact that a minority abuse the system does not justify curtailing the rights of the majority.  I'll go even further: even if the majority were abusing their rights, it would not justify curtailing or violating mine
    genovelleAppleExposedjbdragonolsracerhomie3krreagan2rob53lolliversphericwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Ah, the “But terrorists!” boogeyman, despite being the victim of a terrorist attack being so, so small compared to other causes of death. The terrorist has replaced the child molestor in these narratives.
    AppleExposedjbdragonracerhomie3lolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 20
    The other issue is that they foolishly make a stink about encryption. Most criminal are not tech geniuses. At the same time many are not stupid. If you go on record saying iPhone prevent them from hacking criminals, more criminals will turn on encryption. 
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Criminals "going dark" is nothing new. Jack the Ripper was never caught. Which iPhone did he use?
    AppleExposedjbdragonkestralolsracerhomie3StrangeDaysradarthekatlolliverlostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,913member
    Criminals "going dark" is nothing new. Jack the Ripper was never caught. Which iPhone did he use?
    He used a Moto. The iPhone was not available yet. 
    edited February 27 berndogolslolliverkuduspheric
  • Reply 6 of 20
    The NSA will figure it out...if they haven't already done so.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,391unconfirmed, member
    An excuse to take our privacy. Sound familiar? It's a typical U.S. tactic.

    BTW How were crimes solved before the iPhone? /s
    jbdragonkestralolsStrangeDayslolliverlostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,154member
    Ah, the “But terrorists!” boogeyman, despite being the victim of a terrorist attack being so, so small compared to other causes of death. The terrorist has replaced the child molestor in these narratives.
    You're more than 9 times more likely to be killed by the police than a Terrorist.
    kestralolsAppleExposedmontrosemacsStrangeDaysrob53lolliver
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Criminals "going dark" is nothing new. Jack the Ripper was never caught. Which iPhone did he use?
    He used a BLACKberry to go dark.
    gatorguyols
  • Reply 10 of 20
    In before they use the "Think of the children" excuse.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 20
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,420member
    The "going dark" problem "infects law enforcement and the intelligence community more and more so every day," Amy Hess told the Wall Street Journal.
    Tough cookies.  As the Supreme Court has ruled a number of times, the fact that a minority abuse the system does not justify curtailing the rights of the majority.  I'll go even further: even if the majority were abusing their rights, it would not justify curtailing or violating mine
    Sounds like Spock.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,642member
    As we all know this is just a bunch of hand waving, even if they could listen, read and watch what the target was doing, only the stupid criminals are being caught this way. 

    The smart criminal do not get caught this way, one they do not communicate incriminating information via electronic or methods which can be used against them. The criminal justice system is still trying to figure what emoji mean in various context let along when criminal use codes to cover their tracks. If you read about the Al Chapo case the government spent a lot of time explaining all of his code name and short hand we used to do business. It took our government 30 yrs to bring him to trail and he was not necessarily one of the smart ones. 

    Look how long it took our Government with all its high tech to find and kill Ben Laden, why is only use low tech communications, everything is sneaker mail and word of mouth.

    What the government is complaining about is the fact they stupid criminal are not as easy to catch and the government actually has to do work to catch a criminal.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    “The U.K.'s GCHQ intelligence agency even recently proposed adding government agents as silent participants in group chats“.

    This has to be one of the stupidest proposals ever!

    I consider myself a fairly moral guy, but talk about temptation for abuse....

    Excuse me while I go buy some stock of company xyz, I just got some incredibly sensitive information directly from the company board, that the company is being sold.  Also, another companies clinical trials is going fantastic.  Time to go all in...

    Who new that a minimum wage government job could be so lucrative?  


    lolliver
  • Reply 14 of 20
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 160member
    86hawkeye said:
    The NSA will figure it out...if they haven't already done so.
    Isn't reverse engineering a copyright infringement according the Millennium Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
  • Reply 15 of 20
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,074member
    jimh2 said:
    86hawkeye said:
    The NSA will figure it out...if they haven't already done so.
    Isn't reverse engineering a copyright infringement according the Millennium Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
    Of course it is but all government agencies, foreign and domestic, get a “get out of jail” card to do whatever they think meets their needs. 
  • Reply 16 of 20
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,642member
    jimh2 said:
    86hawkeye said:
    The NSA will figure it out...if they haven't already done so.
    Isn't reverse engineering a copyright infringement according the Millennium Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
    Actually there is a law on the books which says it is illegal to decrypted encrypted communications, but as we know the government can do as they like, you can not arrest them nor can you sue them for breaking their own laws. 
    edited February 27 lolliver
  • Reply 17 of 20
    normmnormm Posts: 570member
    It's pointless to make everyone insecure for the illusion of stopping bad guys.  The smart bad guys will just use their own encryption apps.  The only way to stop them involves the same human intelligence techniques it's always taken, such as gaining physical access to their surroundings and/or devices, infiltrating groups, etc.  This whole "going dark" trope is bullshit.

    zebralolliverjeffythequick
  • Reply 18 of 20
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    Ah, the “But terrorists!” boogeyman, despite being the victim of a terrorist attack being so, so small compared to other causes of death. The terrorist has replaced the child molestor in these narratives.
    Yeah, though who knows how far they might go with 'false flags' to try and pressure the public into backing them.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    The "going dark" problem "infects law enforcement and the intelligence community more and more so every day," Amy Hess told the Wall Street Journal.
    Tough cookies.  As the Supreme Court has ruled a number of times, the fact that a minority abuse the system does not justify curtailing the rights of the majority.  I'll go even further: even if the majority were abusing their rights, it would not justify curtailing or violating mine
    How does one abuse their Creator given rights that the Constitution prohibits the Government from infringing?

    Oh yeah... by reinterpreting written words to mean the opposite of intent.

    That’s why, as one of the youngest countries on te planet, the US has the oldest written Constitution.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,779member
    maestro64 said:
    Look how long it took our Government with all its high tech to find and kill Ben Laden, why is only use low tech communications, everything is sneaker mail and word of mouth.
    You’re mixing issues. Bin Laden was a political thing: Pakistan had known for many years where he was (and presumably, so did US intelligence), but it was never politically opportune to “deliver” him to the US. 

    It wasn’t until he was no longer relevant to the public (except as a trophy to the US) and his rendition no longer a danger to Pakistani internal politics that the deal was made to allow the US to take him out. 
    edited February 28 watto_cobra
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