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In a separate case, a New York judge rules that the DoJ can't force Apple to unlock an iPhone

By midian182 ยท 18 replies
Mar 1, 2016
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  1. Last week, it was reported that Apple had gained a number of allies in its battle against the US government over the San Bernardino iPhone. Many giants of the tech world, including big rivals Microsoft, are planning on filing a joint amicus brief supporting Apple in court. Yesterday, the Cupertino company got another boost when, in a similar case, a New York judge ruled that authorities can’t force Apple to unlock a suspect's iPhone.

    The ruling, by US Magistrate Judge James Orenstein, comes as part of a separate trial that has been ongoing for the last few months. It involves Queens resident Jun Feng, who pleaded guilty to drug charges and had his iPhone 5s taken by DEA agents. Apple feared that the Department of Justice would invoke the All Writs Act to break Feng’s passcode, much like it intends to do in the San Bernardino case, but the judge ruled otherwise.

    “This matter [involving the San Bernardino shooter] is therefore one of a dozen pending cases in which the government and Apple disagree as to the court’s authority to command Apple to assist the government in defeating the passcode security of devices Apple has manufactured,” Judge Orenstein wrote.

    Echoing the views of Tim Cook and the many other tech names that are standing side-by-side with Apple, Judge Orenstein warned of the dangerous precedent that would be set if the DoJ did get its way. He also warned of the privacy issues that could arise in today’s connected society.

    In a world in which so many devices, not just smartphones, will be connected to the Internet of Things, the government’s theory that a licensing agreement allows it to compel the manufacturers of such products to help it surveil the products’ users will result in a virtually limitless expansion of the government’s legal authority to surreptitiously intrude on personal privacy.

    Orenstein also rejected claims that Apple’s only concern in the case was public relations. He added that he found no limit on how far the government would go to require a person or company to violate the most deeply-rooted values.

    The US government was, as you would expect, “disappointed” with the ruling. "Apple expressly agreed to assist the government in accessing the data on this iPhone — as it had many times before in similar circumstances — and only changed course when the government's application for assistance was made public by the court," said Justice Department spokesperson Emily Pierce in a statement, quoted by USA today.

    While the San Bernardino case won’t be bound by the New York ruling, Judge Orenstein’s decision will no doubt have a huge influence on proceedings.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2016

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,640   +735

    While I agree with privacy and the government staying out of someones business, this guy who owned the iPhone is DEAD. HE IS DEAD. You can't protect someones privacy if they aren't alive. This makes no sense to me...

    That is my take on it anyway. If the guy was still alive it would be a different story. Innocent until proven guilty right? But the guy is dead so it doesn't matter now.
  3. Business Direct

    Business Direct TS Booster Posts: 44

    Nobody gives a **** about the dude that's dead it's the hundred's of millions of people that are alive that's the concern. The US government has shown itself to be untrustworthy by the Snowden revelations and giving them this much access is just insane.
  4. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    None of this has anything to do with who is dead and who is alive, or even what is on the phone. In fact, whatever is on that phone would be completely irrelevant and outdated by now anyway. All they're trying to do with this whole case is set a dangerous precedent that they can later exploit any way they please. Once Apple creates a backdoor for this one phone, it can be modified to access *any* phone's data.

    This is a similar tactic they used after 9/11 under the guise of "terrorism" in order to get access to warrantless wiretaps that they later used to spy on MILLIONS of innocent American citizens that had nothing to do with terrorism.

    They say they want to unlock just this one phone, but it's already been proven that they've requested at least a dozen other phones to be unlocked the same way. A dozen will quickly turn into hundreds, then thousands, until they'll just be unlocking any phone at any time.

    "When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else." - David Brin
    MonsterZero and Adhmuz like this.
  5. anguis

    anguis TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +12

    You can't order a company to create something that doesn't exist (a backdoor to their hardware and software to circumvent their implemented security). Simply absurd. Is the government going to lay for that whole process? Paying the employees of Apple to work on that? Pay Apple for the lack of productivity on their own assignments for those employees that are on the government project? Infringing on our privacy on our dime?
  6. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +116

    Lol they want to use the tagline, Apple phones, now you can take it with you when you die.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
    Raoul Duke likes this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,640   +735

    All very good points, and history has taught us not to trust government actions for the sake of our supposed security. However this is a request to Apple, so Apple would be unlocking the device, not the government. Yes I realize Apple is saying they don't want to do this because it opens the door, not necessary for the government but in their own organization. Of course how do they know such a capability doesn't already exist? This certainly could be abused and I realize that.

    I'm playing devils advocate here in a way. If it weren't for the potential of the government abusing the ability to unlock any iPhone we probably wouldn't be arguing about this in the first place.
  8. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +116

    I think all governments already have that potential, Cook being obstinate changes nothing.
  9. There is no evidence (and I use that word loosely) that says there is, but I'll eat my shoe if Apple doesn't know the way in......uhm, no eating the shoe, that was referenced in another thread :)
  10. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +116

    Exactly how stupid would you have to be to create software and not know how it works.
  11. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,137   +1,402

    It can be modified to access *any* phone's data? Not really... anyphone they have in their possession is not *any* phone, and that's if the code isn't erased after unlocking this one phone.

    They'll be unlocking any phone at any time? You really think that? They already are allowed access to your bank accounts and full financial history. With the proper warrants they can even come into your own house, on your property and look under your pillow. But somehow texts and phone logs are sacred?! That doesn't even remotely make sense.

    What makes sense is Apple making a stink about this so they can look like they're standing up for people's privacy. Which we know is a load of bull shine because they've specifically coded connections into Chinese government servers for the iPhones they sell in China.

    Apple does not care about your privacy. They care about selling iPhones. Note the part about "only changed course when the government's application for assistance was made public by the court."
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,873

    What Apple does for China is irrelevant. The people of America has never lived under China's rule. We have our own rules, and you know this.
  13. cartera

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 379   +120

    As I live in the UK I haven't followed this that closely and only really read what's been posted on here so excuse any ignorance here. Why can Apple not agree to take the phone from the authority's and unlock it for them then hand it back rather than providing a 'master key' to all iPhones.
    Surely everyone agrees that the may be some relevant information or evidence on the guys phone that could help stop further atrocities.
  14. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    I'm with ya but that's not the point. The point is Apple will will have to give the FBI the necessary software to crack the phone. What do you think is gonna happen when that software falls into the wrong hands? This is a government institution they're dealing with and all government institutions tarred with the same brush, worldover.
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    Protocol. Apple isn't in the crime solving business, they're more into in the extortion and slavery racket, very well disguised as a tech company instead.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  16. cartera

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 379   +120

    Lol, I could not agree more.
  17. JeromeFree

    JeromeFree TS Enthusiast Posts: 39   +7

    What is the problem finding the password of one iphone?

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,640   +735

    Indeed... I did some research and was able to find out what his password is. It's "Obama2016!"
    JeromeFree and MilwaukeeMike like this.
  19. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,137   +1,402

    my point wasn't that Apple should apply the same rules to Chinese customers as American customers, my point was that Apple does not care about their customer's privacy. Their policies in China are evidence of that. Apple is not fighting this because they care about your privacy. They are fighting it because the govt should not be allowed to force companies to work for them (in this case by making Apple write code to help open the phone).

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