Apple, US prosecutors to present and cross-examine witnesses at iPhone encryption hearing

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2016
The U.S. government filed, and was subsequently granted, a request to allow prosecutors and Apple attorneys the chance to present and cross examine witnesses at next week's court hearing over unlocking an encrypted iPhone tied to last year's San Bernardino attack.


Apple chief legal officer Bruce Sewell offered testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee this month.


An Apple lawyer anonymously shared the development with reporters in a conference call on Friday, saying that while the Justice Department's request is unusual, it has agreed to supply two witnesses whose declarations have already been submitted in writing, Reuters reports. Experts who offer declarations are not usually questioned in normal proceedings, a legal expert told AppleInsider.

Apple will make security and privacy manager Erik Neuenschwander and manager of Apple's Global Privacy & Law Enforcement Compliance Team Lisa Olle available for cross-examination, the attorney said.

U.S. Federal Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym will preside over next Tuesday's hearing regarding Apple's challenge of an order to help the FBI unlock an iPhone 5c linked to Syed Rizwan Farook, one of two now-deceased terror suspects in December's San Bernardino shootings. Apple argues that the government is overreaching in its request, which would force the company to write a flawed version of iOS to break into Farook's work-issued iPhone.

Neuenschwander has gone on record as saying the government demand places undue burden on Apple, which would have to assign a special team and dedicate weeks of man hours toward the creation of the so-called "GovtOS." Further, employees who write the code could face threats from "bad actors," as they would have knowledge of a software workaround to an encryption system protecting hundreds of millions of devices worldwide.

Olle's declaration is equally important to Apple's case, as she put a timeline to events surrounding Apple's role in the San Bernardino investigation, specifically multiple data access requests and warrants for the same submitted by the FBI.

Apple complied with numerous information requests after first being contacted on the afternoon of Dec. 5, three days after the attack. Likely to be discussed at Tuesday's hearing is the series of events leading up to a warrant served on Jan. 22 for access to an iCloud account attached to Farook's work-issued iPhone, a lynchpin in Apple's case. It was learned in February that FBI agents ordered the San Bernardino County Department of Health, Farook's former employer and legal owner of the iPhone 5c, to reset the Apple ID password associated with the device on Dec. 6. Engineers, as well as CEO Tim Cook, said the decision was a misstep as it disabled iCloud's automatic backup feature.

Taking the stand for the government are FBI technicians Christopher Pluhar and Stacey Perino, who in their declarations claim investigators have exhausted all possible options in attempts to unlock Farook's phone, reports BuzzFeed News. The Justice Department is asserting the All Writs Act to compel Apple's assistance, a statute designed to grant courts authority to issue orders when no other judicial tools are available.

Pluhar's assertions and technical expertise have already come under fire. In his declaration, Pluhar said he viewed an iCloud settings screen on a device used in attempts to restore Farook's iCloud backup, noting that auto-backups for "Mail," "Photos" and "Notes" were "turned off."

Neuenschwander in an attachment to Apple's final brief said Pluhar was probably looking at the wrong screen. The settings menu for iCloud backups does not offer this level of granularity; there is no "on" and "off" option for "Mail," "Photos" and "Notes," he said.

Apple and government prosecutors are set to meet in court next Tuesday.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    I don't suppose this phase of the trial will be broadcast in any way???
  • Reply 2 of 33
    I hope not. I continue to be embarrassed by the actions of the US Government.
    latifbppalominemagman1979lostkiwijony0
  • Reply 3 of 33
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,719member
    Get the popcorn ready. These experts should school the FBI live!
    baconstangmagman1979lostkiwi
  • Reply 4 of 33
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 324member
    This is all getting pretty ridic.  You couldn't dartboard stuff like this.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 5 of 33
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    "...noting that auto-backups for "Mail," "Photos" and "Notes" were "turned off." "
    Well if the FBI saw those options, it pretty much means they had the phone unlocked since where they are, in Settings. 
    This is giving dumb a bad name.
    latifbpcreek0512
  • Reply 6 of 33
    AAPL PR stunt.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,158member
    frac said:
    "...noting that auto-backups for "Mail," "Photos" and "Notes" were "turned off." "
    Well if the FBI saw those options, it pretty much means they had the phone unlocked since where they are, in Settings. 
    This is giving dumb a bad name.
    Apple already gave them the iCloud backup of the iPhone they want to unlock. So they have restored the iCloud backup to another iPhone it seems. The FBI claim the backup is not enough since it is from weeks before the attacks. I am surprised about the FBI statement "auto-backups for "Mail," "Photos" and "Notes" were "turned off" since there is no such option. He is probably looking at the iCloud Setting page and if those are off it means he never enabled them in the first place.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 8 of 33
    I don't suppose this phase of the trial will be broadcast in any way???
    Lance Ito with Sony branded monitors.

  • Reply 9 of 33
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    Neuenschwander in an attachment to Apple's final brief said Pluhar was probably looking at the wrong screen. The settings menu for iCloud backups does not offer this level of granularity; there is no "on" and "off" option for "Mail," "Photos" and "Notes," he said.

    They are correct. You cannot pick what gets backed up.

    However, those granular settings DO exist in OS X and iOS iCloud sync settings. Which is probably what he was looking at.



  • Reply 10 of 33
    Joe111 said:
    AAPL PR stunt.
    yeah, okay Einstein. Apple orchestrated the San Bernardino shooting, told the terrorist to destroy his other electronic devices and leave only his work iPhone in pristine condition. They then told him to make sure the passcode was set, and then waited and hoped the FBI would not be able to access the data and force Apple's hand...in a public forum...to create a backdoor. Apple then struck a deal with the government to make sure they and the FBI were questioned before congress, which then led to Apple begging the FBI to take them to court...all so they can sell more iPhones. Stop me when it begins to sound ridiculous.
    fracbrakkenbaconstangjkichlinenolamacguymagman1979jony0realjustinlonganantksundaram
  • Reply 11 of 33
    jwestveer said:
    I hope not. I continue to be embarrassed by the actions of the US Government.
    The Obama administration continues to show its incompetence. And I voted for him as I believed he would champion individual rights and reverse the draconian policies enacted by the even greater incompetence of the previous Bush administration. 

    Obama did not limit the NSA, he expanded their powers while attempting to incarcerate true defenders of the constitution like Eric Snowden. 

    To make matters worse, there's no one in the upcoming election who will attempt to reign in the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. Since both the Democratic elites and Republican elites have an unusually excessive degree of fear over the possibility of a Trump presidency, he will get my vote. If the country goes down, Trump will ensure that all of the politicians and wealthy elites go down too.  

    Mutually assured destruction. Like in the Cold War. Maybe only then will a real discussion take place and the country move forward rationally. 

    The current circus surrounding the iPhone encryption promoted by Obama has hardened me against the Democratic Party. I won't be voting for Hillary who will just continue the attempt to force Apple to perform the great iPhone hack. Trump probably will too.  But he will use that hack against the congressional members of both parties. He won't hesitate. And it will force congress to pass a law which allows Apple to keep its software secure. And by a large enough margin to ensure that it's veto proof. It might even usher in bipartisanship for the first time in many years. 

    Trump gets my vote. Unless Obama does the right thing and calls off the dogs at the FBI. 
    tallest skilanantksundaram
  • Reply 12 of 33
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    jwestveer said:
    I hope not. I continue to be embarrassed by the actions of the US Government.
    To make matters worse, there's no one in the upcoming election who will attempt to reign in the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. Since both the Democratic elites and Republican elites have an unusually excessive degree of fear over the possibility of a Trump presidency, he will get my vote. If the country goes down, Trump will ensure that all of the politicians and wealthy elites go down too.  

    Mutually assured destruction. Like in the Cold War. Maybe only then will a real discussion take place and the country move forward rationally. 
    That smells like....well you work it out. 
    postmanmagman1979
  • Reply 13 of 33
    nasserae said:
    frac said:
    "...noting that auto-backups for "Mail," "Photos" and "Notes" were "turned off." "
    Well if the FBI saw those options, it pretty much means they had the phone unlocked since where they are, in Settings. 
    This is giving dumb a bad name.
    Apple already gave them the iCloud backup of the iPhone they want to unlock. So they have restored the iCloud backup to another iPhone it seems. The FBI claim the backup is not enough since it is from weeks before the attacks. I am surprised about the FBI statement "auto-backups for "Mail," "Photos" and "Notes" were "turned off" since there is no such option. He is probably looking at the iCloud Setting page and if those are off it means he never enabled them in the first place.
    Plus, the iCloud Settings page is for iCloud 'SYNC', not backup. The FBI needs to learn the proper terminology.
    postmanjkichline
  • Reply 14 of 33
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    jwestveer said:
    I hope not. I continue to be embarrassed by the actions of the US Government.
    The Obama administration continues to show its incompetence. And I voted for him as I believed he would champion individual rights and reverse the draconian policies enacted by the even greater incompetence of the previous Bush administration. 

    Obama did not limit the NSA, he expanded their powers while attempting to incarcerate true defenders of the constitution like Eric Snowden. 

    To make matters worse, there's no one in the upcoming election who will attempt to reign in the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. Since both the Democratic elites and Republican elites have an unusually excessive degree of fear over the possibility of a Trump presidency, he will get my vote. If the country goes down, Trump will ensure that all of the politicians and wealthy elites go down too.  

    Mutually assured destruction. Like in the Cold War. Maybe only then will a real discussion take place and the country move forward rationally. 

    The current circus surrounding the iPhone encryption promoted by Obama has hardened me against the Democratic Party. I won't be voting for Hillary who will just continue the attempt to force Apple to perform the great iPhone hack. Trump probably will too.  But he will use that hack against the congressional members of both parties. He won't hesitate. And it will force congress to pass a law which allows Apple to keep its software secure. And by a large enough margin to ensure that it's veto proof. It might even usher in bipartisanship for the first time in many years. 

    Trump gets my vote. Unless Obama does the right thing and calls off the dogs at the FBI. 
    YOu make so little fucking sense it hurts; have you lost your mind? 
    postmanwvdirkbaconstangmagman1979lostkiwicreek0512jackansi
  • Reply 15 of 33
    postmanpostman Posts: 35member
    jwestveer said:
    I hope not. I continue to be embarrassed by the actions of the US Government.
    The Obama administration continues to show its incompetence. And I voted for him as I believed he would champion individual rights and reverse the draconian policies enacted by the even greater incompetence of the previous Bush administration. 

    Obama did not limit the NSA, he expanded their powers while attempting to incarcerate true defenders of the constitution like Eric Snowden. 

    To make matters worse, there's no one in the upcoming election who will attempt to reign in the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. Since both the Democratic elites and Republican elites have an unusually excessive degree of fear over the possibility of a Trump presidency, he will get my vote. If the country goes down, Trump will ensure that all of the politicians and wealthy elites go down too.  

    Mutually assured destruction. Like in the Cold War. Maybe only then will a real discussion take place and the country move forward rationally. 

    The current circus surrounding the iPhone encryption promoted by Obama has hardened me against the Democratic Party. I won't be voting for Hillary who will just continue the attempt to force Apple to perform the great iPhone hack. Trump probably will too.  But he will use that hack against the congressional members of both parties. He won't hesitate. And it will force congress to pass a law which allows Apple to keep its software secure. And by a large enough margin to ensure that it's veto proof. It might even usher in bipartisanship for the first time in many years. 

    Trump gets my vote. Unless Obama does the right thing and calls off the dogs at the FBI. 
    It's impressive to see a nihilist feed off of his own ignorance and hate.

    Not that this apparently matters to you, but this article and the comments about it are about an up-coming court hearing between Apple, the FBI and DoJ next week. Not the next election 8 months away. 

    Please don't go away mad. Just go away.
    wvdirkbaconstangmagman1979jony0creek0512jackansi
  • Reply 16 of 33
    Only in America can heavily armed lunatics mow droves of people, and the government's response is to go after our phones instead of our guns. Nuts.
    rob53baconstangpalominestompymagman1979lostkiwijony0creek0512anantksundaramcnocbui
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Trabrook said:
    Only in America can heavily armed lunatics mow droves of people, and the government's response is to go after our phones instead of our guns. Nuts.
    Yup.  If you graph out gun deaths in the US by the week, I doubt you'd see those 14 as even a blip.  Just lost in the noise.
    jkichlinemagman1979lostkiwijony0cnocbui
  • Reply 18 of 33
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Trabrook said:
    Only in America can heavily armed lunatics mow droves of people, and the government's response is to go after our phones instead of our guns. Nuts.
    What’s truly insane is your conclusion.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member
    Trump gets your vote? Thanks for ruining the country.

    You have to realize that this is playing out as a standard court case and the American judicial system is so far holding. The promise of calling experts to testify is a good sign.

    Look, we charge our government with keeping us safe and they are trying to do that which is why they are making a fuss. But they also tend to be shortsighted and only want to solve the problems they are facing in bringing us that safety. Apple is right to challenge this. The hope is that out of it, laws and precedence will be set that betters our safety while maintain privacy and not burdening free enterprise to do it.

    For the record, I am siding with Apple on this because I believe they are taking the correct stance. But I believe there is a way to do this that would provide the government what is required with compensation to Apple and a way to protect and secure the operating system.
    jackansi
  • Reply 20 of 33
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member
    foggyhill said:
    You make so little fucking sense it hurts; have you lost your mind?  
    He's voting for Trump so I'm going to go ahead and say, "Yeah".
    jackansi
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