Husband of San Bernardino survivor says shooter's iPhone unlikely to contain valuable information,

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2016
In an amicus brief filed with a California court on Monday, Salihin Kondoker, the husband of San Bernardino terror attack survivor Anies Kondoker, believes it unlikely that an iPhone issued to shooter Syed Rizwan Farook contains useful information.




Kondoker said his wife, who like Farook worked for the San Bernardino County Health Department, did not use her work-issued iPhone for private correspondence, suggesting the terrorist operated in the same manner.

An iPhone 5c owned by the county, but used by Farook, is at the center of a contentious court battle between the FBI and Apple. Law enforcement officials sought, and were subsequently granted, an order compelling Apple's assistance in efforts to unlock Farook's iPhone 5c, arguing there could be actionable intelligence to be gleaned from the device.

"In my opinion it is unlikely there is any valuable information on this phone," Sahilin writes. "This was a work phone. My wife also had an iPhone issued by the County and she did not use it for any personal communication. San Bernardino is one of the largest Counties in the country. 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."

While speculative hearsay at best, the letter in support of Apple's case lends weight to assertions lobbed by tech companies and privacy advocates who say the debate holds implications far beyond a single iPhone. At its worst, a decision to grant government authority to compel will lead to an insidious but absolute erosion of basic civil liberties, specifically as they apply to consumer protections against unwarranted surveillance.

"When I first learned Apple was opposing the order I was frustrated that it would be yet another roadblock. But as I read more about their case, I have come to understand their fight is for something much bigger than one phone," Sahilin said, adding that Apple should stand firm in its decision.

Kondoker's letter comes days after lawyer Stephen Larson announced intent to file a pro-government amicus brief on behalf of the San Bernardino victims and their families. Larson said the Justice Department and local prosecutors contacted him about representing the victims a week prior to Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym's court order compelling Apple's compliance in the investigation.

Today's amicus filing is the latest development in a polarizing debate that quickly gained attention from tech moguls, high-ranking government officials, rights groups and more. Most recently, the government was hit with a setback in its case when a New York federal judge denied an FBI motion to compel Apple's aid in a similar case involving a drug trafficker's iPhone.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    How could the FBI even win this case??

    If they force Apple to unlock the phone the government should be fined highly if there's nothing on the iPhone.
    I think Apple should charge $250,000,000 to unlock the phone and $250,000,000 if no relevant info is found.

    Let's see how much it's worth to them.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    cali said:
    How could the FBI even win this case??

    If they force Apple to unlock the phone the government should be fined highly if there's nothing on the iPhone.
    I think Apple should charge $250,000,000 to unlock the phone and $250,000,000 if no relevant info is found.

    Let's see how much it's worth to them.
    It's illegal for the government to receive benefit (i.e. have a contractor or someone do work for them) without compensation. Even if it's voluntary. It's Government Contracting 101.. If the FBI wins, yes, they have to pay Apple for cost.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 3 of 19
    plovellplovell Posts: 825member
    Hey, cali, it's not their money. It's OUR money. They just get to control how it's spent. Now, if you can get Director Comey to cough up, say, $10,000 of his own money, then that might be a start. But I am sure he won't bet even a dime - of his own.
    bdkennedy1002
  • Reply 4 of 19
    I sure as F won't use a work phone to do stupid or illegal stuff..not especially a government owned and monitored phone.
    baconstangredgeminipaspinnydIanMC2
  • Reply 5 of 19
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,056member
    Even a dumbest person on the planet wouldn't have any problem to understand that he/she should not use work phone to conduct personal things. FBI agents have minimum a Bachelor degree and they don't even understand this basic little shit? Damn.
    baconstangredgeminipaIanMC2
  • Reply 6 of 19
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    Exactly. It's "something much bigger than one phone". 
    redgeminipaspinnydjustadcomicsIanMC2
  • Reply 7 of 19
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 1,114member
    It's sad these families have suffered so much.
    Should the FBI prevail, their pain will be compounded by knowing that they were the pawns in a gross overreach of the government that compromised hundreds of millions of Americans' and foreign citizens' security and privacy. 
    cincymacggbrigetteredgeminipaspinnydjony0IanMC2
  • Reply 8 of 19
    jimoasejimoase Posts: 47member
    Can a judge nationalize a private business?

    A warrant is a document that says those who execute the warrant will be held blameless if they do the things specified.  

    So how is a judge going to order a private company producing a legal product to change their operation, if that business is not nationalized?

    Apple has committed no crime.


    redgeminipaIanMC2
  • Reply 9 of 19
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    cali said:
    How could the FBI even win this case??

    If they force Apple to unlock the phone the government should be fined highly if there's nothing on the iPhone.
    I think Apple should charge $250,000,000 to unlock the phone and $250,000,000 if no relevant info is found.

    Let's see how much it's worth to them.
    ..and who would pay for that in the end? 
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Work phone!!! Finally
  • Reply 11 of 19

    The FBI should be encouraging federal, state, and local governments to purchase an MDM solution to manage their mobile devices.  Properly configured MDM solutions, like JAMF Software's Casper Suite, allow the owning institution to unlock a device over the air.  We do this all the time for K12 students where I work. This functionality is not Apple ID dependent.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    AwesomeJ said:

    The FBI should be encouraging federal, state, and local governments to purchase an MDM solution to manage their mobile devices.  Properly configured MDM solutions, like JAMF Software's Casper Suite, allow the owning institution to unlock a device over the air.  We do this all the time for K12 students where I work. This functionality is not Apple ID dependent.
    Indeed. The County actually had paid for an MDM solution, they just never got around to using it. Ideally for institutionally owned devices like this one, you'd combine an MDM with Apple's Device Enrolment program to make MDM mandatory and non-removable.
    ggbrigettegrumpycatIanMC2
  • Reply 13 of 19
    The ultimate question here is whether Americans will be allowed to use and own devices capable of storing data out of the government's reach. I say we should be allowed.

    If Apple announces the new iPhone 7 is secure and unbreakable even by Apple, then I'll upgrade my 5. Not that I intend to have need, but I don't intend to have need of my firearms either.
    spinnydIanMC2
  • Reply 14 of 19
    if they spoke to everyone they could, got their opinion and they all supported the notion of how unlikely it would be that the phone had relevant information...I could get behind it and believe that maybe there isn't but speaking to one guy who has an opinion supporting Apple doesn't change anything me. Also, if what he's saying is true about the county controlling the iCloud account, can the county then cooperate and load the last backup on to a different device or can't the country go to Apple and say "hey, this is our device, here's all the proof of ownership, please help us access what is rightfully and legally our data" The fact that he's saying the device is owned by the county removes any argument of personal and private data because this phone is personally and privately owned.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    gunner1954gunner1954 Posts: 142member
    "I have come to understand their fight is for something much bigger than one phone," Sahilin said, adding that Apple should stand firm in its decision. 




    If our Gov't can force Apple to create software to attack the security of iOS, what is to stop the Gov't from REQUIRING automakers to install remotely-activated, in-cabin audio/video, 'engine-kill' switch, self-deflating tires, or any number of other 'devices' that can be used against criminals and suspected criminals which can then be abused by law enforcement and hackers?
  • Reply 16 of 19
    gunner1954gunner1954 Posts: 142member
    if they spoke to everyone they could, got their opinion and they all supported the notion of how unlikely it would be that the phone had relevant information...I could get behind it and believe that maybe there isn't but speaking to one guy who has an opinion supporting Apple doesn't change anything me. Also, if what he's saying is true about the county controlling the iCloud account, can the county then cooperate and load the last backup on to a different device or can't the country go to Apple and say "hey, this is our device, here's all the proof of ownership, please help us access what is rightfully and legally our data" The fact that he's saying the device is owned by the county removes any argument of personal and private data because this phone is personally and privately owned.
    They already went through all this. Apple handed over all the data that Apple had from its iCloud backup system as per the original request. However, after the FBI ordered the County to change the passcode (which they shouldn't have done) it locked out the Gov't from getting access to any additional data (photos, videos and whatever that didn't get pushed to iCloud) that might have been on the phone because the County did not have the 'Personal Passcode' (the 4-digit code) to unlock the phone. Now the Gov't (FBI) is trying to force Apple to write NEW code to circumvent/bypass the passcode security protections that keep nefarious criminals and gov't officials out of everyone's iPhone. This is like asking a the manufacturer of a doorlock to not just bypass the combination of that lock, but to devise a method to blow-down the door if he can't bypass the lock.  
  • Reply 17 of 19
    The terrorists destroyed their computers and personal cellular phones.  If there was anything of value on the company-issued iPhone, they would have destroyed that too.
    justadcomicsIanMC2
  • Reply 18 of 19
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    fallenjt said:
    Even a dumbest person on the planet wouldn't have any problem to understand that he/she should not use work phone to conduct personal things. FBI agents have minimum a Bachelor degree and they don't even understand this basic little shit? Damn.
    Regardless of should Apple unlock (or not) this phone... some people are really that stupid to use work phone for dodgy things. They might think that it will be less suspicious, being a work phone.Hiding in Plain Sight, sort of? 

    I'd put these in the same category with people who get fired for posting something stupid (job related) on FB after giving their employers access to their FB page. And realistically - people who believe that their God wants them to go out and shoot innocent people because shady character who was an admin in very un-Islamic government of late Saddam Hussein told them so, can't be too smart.
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