Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Apple Still Resisting FBI's Pressure to Crack Terrorist iPhone

Great article by the Washington Post explaining the continued pressure being applied from the FBI towards Apple to crack one of the San Bernardino terrorists iPhone. Tim Cook is still upholding the privacy of Apple users by not allowing a back door into their smartphones. They have a cryptographically strong design of their iPhones not to be able to hand this information over to the government. The incapability for Apple to hand over encrypted data to the FBI, and the inability for them to crack the iPhone, has pushed the government to request Apple to do the following:
  • Remove a feature that wipes a device after putting in 10 wrong passwords. If the FBI were able to have this feature removed the government would use rainbow tables in order to bruteforce the password on the device. Apple's response to this request was that they're unable to perform the following request since the user that setup the device is the only one that can remove it. Hence the lack of backdoors.
  • In another effort to create a pseudo backdoor the FBI requested Apple create a tool that allows Apple to bypass the wipe feature. This is just a backdoor with a different name and it shows how desperate the FBI is at attempting to have a backdoor put into place. They know very well Apple isn't budging and it's surprising to think the FBI would even consider this a viable solution to their backdoor issue. 
This being said, there is most likely evidence on this phone that could have the potential to assist with the case, but is it worth risking everyone's privacy over it. The major issue here stills stands on the privacy of all other users. Is it worth the risk, and loss of privacy, to have the government be able to access any system when they seem fit? If we think back, this became an issue for technology vendors after the revelation of mass surveillance against users was made public. If it wasn't for a complete untrust of the government, what they've done in the past and how they're acting now, maybe this wouldn't be an issue with Apple. Privacy has not only become a human right, it's become a selling point for a few vendors. Apple, for one, is making a stand against opening the pandora's box of "backdoor encryption" and it's one I hope they continue.

Slow golf clap, Tim Cook, slow golf clap. 


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