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Apple loses customers over decision to block FBI

By Technician
Feb 24, 2016
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  1. The loss of government agencies as a customer has begun for Apple.
    AZ Central Website Article

    Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery: "If Apple wants to become the official smartphone provider to (the Islamic State) and cartels, there will be a consequence."

    A federal magistrate ruled last week that Apple must disable a feature that will unlock attacker Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone. Farook, along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, had pledged loyalty to the Islamic State terrorist group. They killed 14 and wounded more than 20 people in December 2015 before dying a few hours later in a shootout with police.

    The Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that it no longer would provide Apple iPhones to employees because the technology company has refused to unlock an encrypted iPhone used by the gunman in the San Bernardino, California, mass shooting.

    The decision follows attempts by federal investigators to work with Apple in uncovering potential incriminating evidence in data on encrypted phones used by those tied to the December 2015 mass shooting.

    "This office, as a law enforcement agency, can no longer in good conscience issue iPhones as the smartphone of choice," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. "Apple, as an American corporation, has a responsibility to be a good corporate citizen. ... I believe Apple has an obligation to cooperate with legal process."

    The office has deployed 564 smartphones. Of that number, 366 are iPhones. Apple products no longer will be an option for replacements or upgrades for existing employees.


    The argument over the iPhone believed to be used by Farook has created a nationwide debate over privacy rights.
    [​IMG]
    Apple is resisting the ruling and is continuing to fight the order. Federal law enforcement officials have asked for the company to install an encryption key that would unlock Farook's iPhone 5C so investigators could obtain data, which could provide leads to others involved in the attack or in terrorist activities.

    The company argues it is protecting consumers' privacy by not providing the software required.

    The argument over the iPhone believed to be used by Farook has created a nationwide debate over privacy rights.

    For Montgomery, Apple's resistance is a defiant corporate publicity stunt that ignores 4th Amendment protections and thwarts investigations.

    "This office, right now, in several prosecutions, has been hampered by the inability to download information from smartphones due to encryption and password protections afforded by the iOS system," Montgomery said.

    Montgomery said prosecutors have continually sought valid search warrants to unlock encrypted devices in an effort to obtain critical information for cases.

    "If Apple wants to become the official smartphone provider to (the Islamic State) and cartels, there will be a consequence," he said.

    I am sure that this will have a lot of other government agencies following suit as well, so the backlash is only just beginning for Apple.~Technician
     

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