manfred zorn


manfred zorn
Last Active
  • Justice Department asserts it could demand source code, signing key from Apple

    The assumption that you could just hand over the entire source code to an iPhone and makes sense of it in a reasonable time is ludicrous. This is the same government that cannot roll out a health care website, but would be trying to understand and repurpose an entire operating system. And I'm sure there will be plenty of Apple engineers to jump ship to a government salary to help explain it to them.
  • Take a stand against the Obama/FBI anti-encryption charm offensive

    The government has not used the All Writs Act to force manufacturers of paper shredders to develop an un-shredder. Maybe because it's not such a widespread problem. Or manufacturers of matches to recreate burnt documents from the ashes. Or gun manufacturers to develop tools to undo the damage to the other iPhone and computer hard drive destroyed by the San Bernadino attackers by putting a bullet in them.

    There are limits, even if we can put a man on the moon.

  • Apple counsel Bruce Sewell calls DOJ filing 'cheap shot' that seeks to 'vilify'

    Emericus said:
    ... the FBI wants to avoid supporting the idea that it's okay and legal for any tech company to design devices that thwart all attempts at entry by law enforcement or anyone else. While such devices and the networks they operate on will naturally keep my own legal emails and bank account numbers secure, they will certainly also become the haven for all manner of illegal behavior. And if allowed to be used freely in private and public, as iPhones are now, such devices over time could render many forms of law enforcement perpetually ineffective (perhaps they already are).....

    The same would apply to manufacturers of paper shredders. They could make many forms of law enforcement access ineffective. So is fire or the manufacturers of matches, gas lighters, etc. It is not illegal to own and use a paper shredder or matches. Encryption on a phone is like a paper shredder where with the right key you can "unshred" the paper.

    Given that export of encryption software is no longer export-controlled, companies outside the US can and have developed their own versions. The current top algorithms AES and RSA have originally been developed outside the US. What that means is that crippling encryption on iPhones in the US would just cripple Americans. Foreign terrorists could easily load their own encryption software on the phone and thus "shred" communication from prying eyes or LEO.

    This really amounts to a tradeoff between privacy for all or privacy only for those you are cunning and able to use other means of hiding their intentions.

  • Government says Apple arguments in encryption case a 'diversion,' presents point-by-point rebuttal

    Dave S said:

    After all, if this was a locked diary and the gov't asked the locksmith to pick the lock, does anyone really think the locksmith could defend by stating that the lock is proprietary and he does not want to pick it for fear that the info could be used to pick locks on other diaries he sold.  Sounds ridiculous eh?  Well, that is how ridiculous Apple's argument seems to this lawyer!  If it can be done, it should be.

    Unfortunately it is not as simple as you make it out to be: The diary in your example is a box with shredded paper in it. The lock has a counter that will destroy the contents of the box after 10 invalid attempts. What the courts asked Apple to do is: a) develop a software update that will disable the destroy mechanism; b) disable a timer that blocks the lock from accepting new entries after a failed attempt for a certain amount of time; and c) enable the lock to accept input not from the keys of the lock, but from another remote input source. Then the FBI will try all combinations to put the shredded papers back together. As opposed to the lock smith, there are no tools to open the lock, Apple needs to develop those. Even with those, the contents of the box are still shredded, and depending on the size of the key, it could take decades to put the pieces together. After Apple develops those tools, whenever anybody loses their phone, somebody else could use those tools to open their box.
  • Government says Apple arguments in encryption case a 'diversion,' presents point-by-point rebuttal

    The fact is, the case isn't about who can shout loudest or come up with the most damning insult.  It's about whether the government has a right to force a private citizen, in this case a corporation, to act against its will in service of a government investigation to which the private citizen is not a direct party.

    Some have suggested that this is no different than the government asking the manufacturer of a safe to help crack the safe.  Lets say the smartphone as safe argument has merit.  To crack a safe, you call a safe cracker, perhaps with some technical details provided by the safe manufacturer.  Apple, the iPhone manufacturer, has already provided the technical details of how passwords are protected. The FBI has no authority, in my view, to demand that Apple weaken those protections. No more than they have the authority to tell safe manufacturers to redesign their safes so that they can be cracked; ones they build in the future or ones they've already built and sold.  It's up to the FBI's safecracker, or one they hire who voluntarily takes that employment, to crack the safe/iPhone.
    It's like blaming a shredder manufacturer for developing a paper shredder that even they cannot reassemble the document from the pieces. Or a match manufacturer for being unable to reassemble the paper from the burnt ashes.