Apple Posts FAQ on FBI Hacking Request

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Apple's open letter on device securityApple published a new open letter on Monday detailing questions and answers related to its very public stance in its fight to avoid creating a hackable version of the iPhone operating system for the FBI. The short version is that creating a hackable iOS is a bad idea and sets a very dangerous precedent.

Last week the FBI obtained a court order telling Apple to create a version of iOS bypassing the built in security measures that keep hackers from using brute force attacks to find iPhone passcodes. The order came as part of the investigation into the December 2, 2015, incident where Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik opened fire on their coworkers at a San Bernardino County Department of Public Health party. 14 people were killed and 22 seriously injured in the attack.

Apple had been working with the FBI to recover as much data as possible from Mr. Farook's work-issued iPhone, but after the government killed the possibility of finding any potential new information from a backup by changing the associated iCloud passcode, they turned to the courts to force Apple to create a way to automate breaking into the device.

Apple's open letter says it's technically possible to do what the FBI wants, but it's a bad idea and dangerous. The company also clarifies that it has recovered data from in some situations for law enforcement prior to to iOS 8 and its stronger encryption, but it hasn't ever unlocked devices.

The letter is a clear and concise detailing of Apple's position on the FBI's order and worth a read.

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Apple isn't going to give up and just hand over the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, to the FBI. This is going to be an ugly fight, and it's our privacy and data security that's in the balance.

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Another reason I haven’t seen discussed previously for declining the demand order is the risk it poses to users of ApplePay.

If you store your credit card info in your phone, and suddenly a back door into phones is then created, it negates the entire notion that it is in any way secure. Apple has invested heavy resources into developing and rolling out ApplePay. Knowing that the FBI could ultimately prevail has given me reason to pause and now stopped using ApplePay and deleted all cc info from my phone. Because once the FBI has access, so do the Chinese, North Korean, and Russian governments. It’s just that simple. The FBI was hacked by a 12 year old on Friday.

But they want into our phones.


If nothing else, I think the debate this is generating is great for the world. In this always online world, online privacy should be a right!!

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