Building unlock tool for FBI could create dangerous international precedent, says Apple lawyer

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in General Discussion
One of Apple's major concerns about creating a tool to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook is that doing so for the FBI would set a precedent in other countries, a lawyer for the company said on Monday.




"If Apple were willing to do this in this one -- this particular case, every other country is going to say, 'Well then you have to do it for us'," Ted Boutrous explained in a TV interview with CNBC. The network suggested that Apple might be worried about a "snowball" effect in countries like the U.K. and China.

Boutros otherwise focused on most of Apple's repeated talking points, including the view that the issue needs to be examined by the U.S. Congress, and that the FBI and Department of Justice are effectively trying to create new law. Courts shouldn't have the authority to demand that companies like Apple build new, "degraded" software, he said.



Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell is due to testify in front of a House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. A transcript of his prepared speech has already been published, in which Sewell focuses on the potential for an exploit to be commandeered beyond Farook's phone, including by other domestic law enforcement agencies, despite the FBI's assurances of a limited scope.

Earlier this month, a U.S. magistrate judge ordered apple to build a tool that would allow the FBI to bypass the passcode retry limit on Farook's iPhone 5c. That step is necessary to attempt a brute-force unlock of the device, which is currently set to auto-erase its data once the passcode limit is reached.

Apple has vowed to resist the order as far as the U.S. Supreme Court, although another lawyer for Apple -- Ted Olson -- recently indicated that Apple will probably cave if it loses there.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    Can't wait to hear Sewell speak tomorrow. Compared to the crap that Comey and others have been spewing Sewell should come across as nothing less than brilliant. 
  • Reply 2 of 26
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 324member
    If Apple is forced to create the "backdoor", I say Apple should open-source it and level the playing field.  This way Comey would have a legacy to be truly proud of.
    brakken
  • Reply 3 of 26
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Can't wait to hear Sewell speak tomorrow. Compared to the crap that Comey and others have been spewing Sewell should come across as nothing less than brilliant. 
    Wow.

    Another story saying basically the same thing.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    This is the most important point that will affect US. Let's say the backdoor affect 0.1% of US citizen from the govt. But it will affect 100% of US spy/diplomat. Not to mention US/UK citizens who live or travel to different country. So what can they use? A dumb phone or burn phone? And after 1 year of the release of the FBIos, it will be available in dark web of $100 a pop. 

    BTW, App for AI's forum is the worst I ever see. It is impossible to edit the text after typed. 
    Thanks

    Vic Lau
    chiatdknoxlatifbpanantksundaramjony0
  • Reply 5 of 26
    ceek74 said:
    If Apple is forced to create the "backdoor", I say Apple should open-source it and level the playing field.  This way Comey would have a legacy to be truly proud of.
    Currently, Apple is not being forced to create a "backdoor" but rather disable one of the security features on a specific iPhone.

    I think Sewell has finally mentioned the real fear, that is other countries could force Apple to do the same for them. Unfortunately for Apple, the cat is out of the bag. Now that they know about it, what's to keep them from requesting it now? China could prevent any sales in their country unless they have the ability to compromise a phone's security.
    ronn
  • Reply 6 of 26
    spacekid said:
    ceek74 said:
    If Apple is forced to create the "backdoor", I say Apple should open-source it and level the playing field.  This way Comey would have a legacy to be truly proud of.
    Currently, Apple is not being forced to create a "backdoor" but rather disable one of the security features on a specific iPhone.

    I think Sewell has finally mentioned the real fear, that is other countries could force Apple to do the same for them. Unfortunately for Apple, the cat is out of the bag. Now that they know about it, what's to keep them from requesting it now? China could prevent any sales in their country unless they have the ability to compromise a phone's security.
    Other countries HAVE asked for this kind of thing already, for years. Apple disables iMessage and FaceTime in countries that require such access, rather than give those governments access.
    fastasleeptdknoxlatifbpjony0
  • Reply 7 of 26
    spacekid said:

    Currently, Apple is not being forced to create a "backdoor" but rather disable one of the security features on a specific iPhone.
    That is essentially a "backdoor" since the technique can be used for other devices.
    manfred zornchianolamacguyjbdragondiegogtdknoxargonautjony0
  • Reply 8 of 26
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    Well, how many days have been this issue discussed, and know those guys see this coming, good. Anyway better late than never.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 9 of 26
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,110member
    spacekid said:
    Currently, Apple is not being forced to create a "backdoor" but rather disable one of the security features on a specific iPhone.

    Really?  Semantics.  Whether one write code to create a back door, or write code to disable a security feature, it's still a "backdoor" no matter how you spin it.
    manfred zornchiaericthehalfbeetdknoxdiplicationjony0
  • Reply 10 of 26
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,110member
    Corgiking said:
    BTW, App for AI's forum is the worst I ever see. It is impossible to edit the text after typed. 
    Thanks

    Vic Lau
    I can't even enter text at all when posting a reply to a comment on my iPhone 6+.  Anyone else having this issue?  I agree with you.  AI's forum implementation is absolute junk.

    nolamacguyanantksundaramfracjony0
  • Reply 11 of 26
    spacekid said:
    ceek74 said:
    If Apple is forced to create the "backdoor", I say Apple should open-source it and level the playing field.  This way Comey would have a legacy to be truly proud of.
    Currently, Apple is not being forced to create a "backdoor" but rather disable one of the security features on a specific iPhone.

    I think Sewell has finally mentioned the real fear, that is other countries could force Apple to do the same for them. Unfortunately for Apple, the cat is out of the bag. Now that they know about it, what's to keep them from requesting it now? China could prevent any sales in their country unless they have the ability to compromise a phone's security.
    What's stopping China from doing that is fear of being uncompetitive. If the U.S. demands backdoors then China will too, almost immediately.

    And this debate will soon be about backdoors, because the iPhone is almost uncrackable already and a future model will be completely.
  • Reply 12 of 26
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,437member
    DENIED!!!!


    "Feb 29 (Reuters) - A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York denied the U.S. government's motion to compel Apple Inc. to provide access into an iPhone used in a drug case, according to court documents released on Monday.

    The government sought access to the phone in October, months before a judge in California ordered Apple to give the government access to the phone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, California attacks. (Reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by Chris Reese)"

    The San Bernardino case is still ahead.

    edited February 2016 latifbpargonaut
  • Reply 13 of 26
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,056member
    This news makes my day:

    Apple wins legal round in security feud with FBI

    "Handing Apple a key legal win in its intensifying conflict with the FBI, a federal judge in New York has rejected the government's bid to force the Silicon Valley power to unlock an iPhone in a drug trafficking case."

    edited February 2016 latifbpanantksundaramargonaut
  • Reply 14 of 26
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Yes, Judge Ornstein was actually the one who took the initiative to solicit a brief from Apple when Apple reportedly was willing to cooperate. So unsurprising but not unwelcome to actually see get placed on the record.

    He's very skeptical of the applicability of the All Writs Act to this usage. And that's not even in his case about writing new software (the phone in that ones running iOS 7 IIRC).
  • Reply 15 of 26
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member

    sflocal said:
    Corgiking said:
    BTW, App for AI's forum is the worst I ever see. It is impossible to edit the text after typed. 
    Thanks

    Vic Lau
    I can't even enter text at all when posting a reply to a comment on my iPhone 6+.  Anyone else having this issue?  I agree with you.  AI's forum implementation is absolute junk.

    Yes. Endless slight adjustments interrupted by submitting  and then re-openning for edit. Tedious and dumb.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    Big win for Apple just reported by Philip Elmer-DeWitt:

    https://epic.org/amicus/crypto/apple/Orenstein-Order-Apple-iPhone-02292016.pdf


    And here is greater detail:

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/02/apple-prevails-in-forced-iphone-unlock-case-in-new-york-court/

    This is huge, setting the precedent they needed.
    edited February 2016 tdknoxlatifbpargonautjony0
  • Reply 17 of 26
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,056member
    sflocal said:
    Corgiking said:
    BTW, App for AI's forum is the worst I ever see. It is impossible to edit the text after typed. 
    Thanks

    Vic Lau
    I can't even enter text at all when posting a reply to a comment on my iPhone 6+.  Anyone else having this issue?  I agree with you.  AI's forum implementation is absolute junk.

    you have to click Done, then type on the texts to edit...every time...a garbage app.
    jfc1138
  • Reply 18 of 26
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Big win for Apple just reported by Philip Elmer-DeWitt:

    https://epic.org/amicus/crypto/apple/Orenstein-Order-Apple-iPhone-02292016.pdf


    And here is greater detail:

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/02/apple-prevails-in-forced-iphone-unlock-case-in-new-york-court/

    This is huge, setting the precedent they needed.
    I expect that is why the FBI was so hot over the San Bernardino one: they could see this ruling, by a skeptical of the All Writs Act judge, heading their way since last summer.
    SpamSandwichargonaut
  • Reply 19 of 26
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,311member
    Look at what happened when iCLoud was hacked and Nude Celebrity pictures were leaked out!!! People were bagging on Apple for that. Those same people are now calling Apple Terrorists supporters. How can you have it both ways? Lets say the U.S. Government forced American company's including Apple to have a Back Door into the Encryption. What does that exactly do? So the Government and once again spy on the general population looking for anything?!?! Fraud will be out of control. You make have nude pictures on your phone, Banking Data, Apple Pay, etc, but hey. Who cares right? Any Terrorists that cared about security, would then even trust Apple? They can buy any cheap Android phone and install any number of 3rd party Encryption software with NO BACK DOOR'S and not a single thing the U.S. Government could even do about that. All these 3rd party ones not made in the U.S. So the Terrorists and anyone else that want to put some effort into security will be safe, most everyone else, NOPE! The iPhone would be screwed because it's a closed system.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    5150iii5150iii Posts: 96member
    sflocal said:
    Corgiking said:
    BTW, App for AI's forum is the worst I ever see. It is impossible to edit the text after typed. 
    Thanks

    Vic Lau
    I can't even enter text at all when posting a reply to a comment on my iPhone 6+.  Anyone else having this issue?  I agree with you.  AI's forum implementation is absolute junk.

    If I need to edit a misspelling or re-write something I have to hit done and begin where I left off. Not sure why this is but it is frustrating. Happened 3 times in this short post. 
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