Apple engineers may quit if forced by FBI to unlock iPhones

By Scorpus ยท 92 replies
Mar 17, 2016
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  1. If Apple ends up losing their impending court battle with the FBI, and are compelled to help unlock the 'San Bernardino iPhone' through the creation of a custom software update, the engineers set to work on this task may throw up some roadblocks.

    According to The New York Times, which talked to "more than a half-dozen current and former Apple employees", engineers tasked with breaking in to the iPhone may refuse to complete the work, while others may quit their jobs entirely. For some, quitting the company is a better option than helping defeat the security measures they designed in the first place.

    This may present some issues for the FBI. While a court order can force Apple to help break into the iPhone, there is nothing stopping Apple employees from quitting rather than helping the FBI. If enough engineers decide to leave, it may take a very long time for others to force their way inside the device.

    Apple is already on the offensive against the FBI in regards to the San Bernardino iPhone. The company has stated that circumventing the security measures they implemented is completely against their values, and they will fight to prevent the FBI from forcing their way in and creating dangerous precedents in the process.

    In the event that the courts decide against Apple, the company believes it would take a team of around six to ten engineers between two and four weeks to develop the update needed to break the iPhone. If any of these engineers decide to resist or quit, that timeframe would extend.

    It's looking likely that this case will drag on for years, so engineers at Apple can continue to work as normal for a while yet. But when the time comes, it's not going to be a straightforward task to comply with the FBI's demands.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 818   +371

    Every time I see this topic come up, I shake my head in awe thinking about how many people want to protect these terrorists that committed this horrible crime. If I knew how to, I would have done it even before anyone had to ask.
    PeterPan8888 and TopSliceofBread like this.
  3. Armanian

    Armanian TS Enthusiast Posts: 43   +19

    Stronger encryption was created because of the fallout from the NSA & the whole privacy issue created when Edward Snowden broke away on the "spying" that countries have been doing. America is reaping what it sowed!!

    Now that we know the government is spying on ordinary citizens through the use of a wide net we can begin to work our ways around it & stronger encryption is just 1 way of doing so.

    Sure go ahead unlock that iPhone but sure as hell don't expect them to NOT unlock all those others they want access too, heck even incorporate that software bypass into the NSA's own code.
    gingerbill, gibbstar, Reehahs and 3 others like this.
  4. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

    Creating a back door in any software puts it at risk of being accessed by less reputable programmers who may take advantage of full access to your phone and its contents.

    Killing people to prove a point is a terrible and sad thing to do.

    2 wrongs dont make a right.
    gingerbill, gibbstar, waqasr and 3 others like this.
  5. FF222

    FF222 TS Booster Posts: 93   +33

    That's called a bluff in poker.
  6. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,813   +473

    Well fortunately you don't...
  7. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 818   +371

    So, you are against seeing whats in these killers phones.. Ok. What about their house? Their mail? What about their travel history?
  8. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 818   +371

    Do you feel you are worth looking at?
  9. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,813   +473

    If I also have to compromise every mobile device on the planet so that any chinese, russian, you name it hacker can access my bank accounts, my email, my life to do so, then YES I am against unlocking the phone and so should you.
    gingerbill, waqasr, Burty117 and 2 others like this.
  10. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 818   +371

    You are over valuating yourself. You are a nobody. No one cares about your crappy life, your family videos, or your photos of underage teens. You would not be looked at even if you tried. This goes for 99.999% of people. You all have to get over yourselves. However, go kill people, then you can know that your encryption was worth it.
  11. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,813   +473

    Yeah because innocent people don't get hacked... this is 5 seconds of searching... the authorities are not exactly trustworthy here. This is why surveillance should be court approved not carte blanche.
    gingerbill, Reehahs, waqasr and 2 others like this.
  12. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 818   +371

    The definaition of "spying" is so loose, one could claim I am spying on you by replying to your comment. Repeat: You simply are not that important.
    TopSliceofBread likes this.
  13. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,813   +473

    Kudos to the Apple Engineers tho. It's a pretty tough place to be in right now but the authorities have shown the damage that compromised encryption can do.
    gingerbill, Reehahs, waqasr and 3 others like this.
  14. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 818   +371

    By the way, you never did answer:
    If you had your way, would their mail be off limits? Their house? Their firearm purchases off limits? Their car off limits? or just their phone?
  15. tommyPendleton_

    tommyPendleton_ TS Rookie

    I think it would be best to show the people in the FBI who are spearheading this effort what could and probably would happen if theyre one day forced to do this, first hand. By that I mean go ahead and access/hack the agent(s) info/data, and say "see this can and will happen to you and countless others without your consent, only difference being, the people doing it then wont give you the courtesy of showing you just to prove a point. Theyll most likely post it and make it public, or sell it to who ever pays the most"

    That would probably make them reevaluate what theyre asking.
  16. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 818   +371

    I am not sure if you are dodging the question or simply not getting the reply notice. If you already answered, please disregard this duplicate:
    If you had your way, would their mail be off limits to searches? What about their car? their house? their firearms?
  17. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 303   +108

    It seems to me that this is the most elaborate advertising campaign Apple has ever done.
  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,747   +3,712

    I don't care if they unlock the damned phone. The guy is dead now anyway. I do care about the risk of security to everyone else, in making it happen.
    Darth Shiv, wastedkill and Burty117 like this.
  19. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 818   +371

    Do you also object their privacy being violated when it comes to authority checking their home, their mail, their associates, their firearm purchase history, their passports, their travel history, etc etc?
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,747   +3,712

    Why do you keep asking that BS question? Search and seizure does not effect everyone else. If a search and seizure of someone's address also unlocks my door, then yes I would object.
  21. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,112   +1,286

    Well, there's a pretty good reason for that. They are essentially asking Apple for a master key to all Apple devices. Giving the FBI something that can break through the security on one IDevice means that they can do it on all others as well. Do you really think that one person is worth millions of people's security?

    Given that American's have been getting shafted by their government vastly overstepping their bounds when it comes to privacy, you can't tell me your sitting there without a clue as to how people could be against this. God, I hope your not one of those trained dogs that jump each time someone mentions terrorists. According to the government, they are all over. Reminds me of the cold war, where anyone branded a communist was immediately bad. Kinda funny how that works because America uses many communist systems.
  22. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,671   +1,961

    Sounds like a great news for Elon Mask who is on the look-out for ex-Apples.
    wastedkill likes this.
  23. Armanian

    Armanian TS Enthusiast Posts: 43   +19

    Not to mention the fact of unlocking 1 phone in America also unlocks every phone in the WORLD. So in doing so gives America access to data of the world over not just their own country, again overstepping their boundaries. Imagine if Russia or China did the same thing, just how up in arms would the government be then?
  24. I really hope fbi gets this through! so we can get rid of that brand and the others can do as they please :) without asking apple and getting sued for stuff apple stole.
  25. Jamlad

    Jamlad TS Booster Posts: 113   +93

    Rippleman, you are correct. 99% of the population are uninteresting and don't particularly need to concern themselves with espionage. However, do you know what happens when the spies (the executive) get access to the secrets of the politicians (the legislature)?

    Or when the lawbook is so all encompassing that *everybody* has technically committed a crime at some point. Which is all well and good, until the executive want something from *you*. Joe Blogs.

    You are handing absolute power to a single group and then you tell us it won't corrupt them absolutely. The ratio of despots to benevolents is exceedingly high. I can only think of Prince Carlos of Spain who returned power after Franco died.

    Did you never encounter Franklin's quote on safety and liberty and receiving neither?

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