As companies line up behind Apple on encryption, Google's response is lacking

When Apple CEO Tim Cook published his "message to our customers" Wednesday morning — laying out the company's opposition to a federal judge's order to aid in the unlocking of an iPhone used by one of the two San Bernardino terrorists — reaction was fairly swift. We read it over breakfast and shared it before our oatmeal grew cold. We did precisely what the more security-conscious among us have been trying to make happen for far too long.

We began the next chapter of public debate of privacy, security and encryption.

There have been countless hot takes. (Including mine, Exhibits A, B and C.)

And there have been any number of more thoughtful pieces. Our own Rene Ritchie waxed philosophic on iMore.

Make no mistake, what is being asked of Apple should horrify not just those in the U.S. but around the world. Nothing made can be unmade. Nothing used once will only ever be used once. The moment after an easy way to brute-force passcodes exists we, none of us, will be safe.

Stratechery's Ben Thompson stands out, as usual, with an excellent breakdown of exactly what the government is asking, the technical issues at hand, and he dips a toe into the greater pool of the future of privacy and security.

This solution is, frankly, unacceptable, and it's not simply an issue of privacy: it's one of security. A master key, contrary to conventional wisdom, is not guessable, but it can be stolen; worse, if it is stolen, no one would ever know. It would be a silent failure allowing whoever captured it to break into any device secured by the algorithm in question without those relying on it knowing anything was amiss. I can't stress enough what a problem this is: World War II, especially in the Pacific, turned on this sort of silent cryptographic failure.

Thompson mostly limits his analysis to the scope of Apple and the iPhone — "I just hope that this San Bernardino case doesn't become a rallying cry for (helping to) break into not only an iPhone 5C but, in the long run, all iPhones" — but the far-reaching potential of the government compelling a private company to provide access to a private individual's phone is certainly evident.

Googler Kirill Grouchnikov elegantly wrote of the parallels to what he saw in the Soviet Union:

What is going to stop other governments from demanding access to the same special system build? How many countries can a multi-national corporation withdraw their business from before it has no more places to do business in? How do you as a supporter of lawful information "extraction" decide on which laws you agree with and which step over "the line" that separates the good guys from the bad guys?There's not a single line in Tim Cook's letter that is a gratuitous exaggeration of the dangers that lie ahead. I've spent the first twenty years of my life living in the communist USSR, where it was pretty safe to assume that the state had the capabilities and the means to do mass surveillance of anybody and everybody.

As I said, this isn't just about the iPhone.

Other players quickly voiced their support for Apple's position. The EFF. WhatsApp's CEO on Facebook. The ACLU.

Sundar Pichai

Other major players, however, were silent. We heard not a public word from Google until CEO Sundar Pichai let loose a string of five tweets — not even on Google+ — somewhere around 12 hours later. Not a blog post. Not an open letter from the chief executive of one of the few companies than can rival Apple.

Five tweets.

Five tweets on a micro-blogging service that limits posts to 140 characters.

And five tweets that go no further than saying the government's order "could be a troubling precedent."

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Perhaps logistical reasons precluded a greater response. (Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg apparently was engrossed in a rousing ping pong match — on Oculus Rift — with Indonesian President Joko Widodo today.) Perhaps the lawyers did their thing — this was on Pichai's Twitter feed, after all, and not on an official Google feed. (Though I'd argue any line between the two is very thin.) We can only hope (and probably safely assume) that more is coming from Google, and its CEO, in the coming days and weeks ahead. But the initial response from Google's new CEO was lukewarm —at best — on a day in which Apple's chief executive poured a cup full of molten 7000 series aluminum on the idea that his company can be compelled to make it easier for anyone to hack into the devices it sells. Our devices.

We have to ensure that the the debate isn't lost among the flotsam and jetsam of our current throwaway culture.

We will have a long and spirited debate about encryption and privacy and security and whether criminals are entitled to any of those things. (Spoiler: They most certainly are, until convicted. That's how this works.) The debate has been going on for as long as computers have existed. It's just now really starting to spill over into the general populous. And those of us who help bridge the cap between consumer and company need to ensure that the the debate isn't lost among the flotsam and jetsam of a culture that's all-too-obsessed over whatever the next throwaway sensation is.

Apple is fighting the government's order to aid in the unlocking of a phone that very much is evidence in a legitimate criminal investigation is a matter of principle. Others are lining up behind Cook. And many of us common folk are lining up with them.

But Google. Facebook. Microsoft (which addressed copyright later today (opens in new tab)) — we expect more than tweets from them. We deserve more than tweets from them.

For the vigorous public debate over encryption, privacy and security will not be won 140 characters at a time.

197 Comments
  • I think there will be something bigger later....maybe. Fingers crossed. Lots of us are with Apple on this one.
  • I think so, too. At least I certainly hope so.
  • I think there's quite a number waiting for a more in-depth statement from Google. I mean, this isn't a small thing. This is a big deal that could affect the security of millions of devices around the world and the info stored on them. It's not just iOS. It affects every device out there.
  • If there isn't more from Google it will just reinforce how most already feel about Google's stance of security and privacy (or lack thereof). Here's to hoping they have something larger in their arsenal than a few tweets. ~TheRealFixxxer
  • There has to be. Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • And I've just decided that my future phones won't be Nexus; they will be iPhones.
  • I'm behind Apple 100%. Hopefully Google and others back them up...
  • I agree with Apple 100% on this issue
  • Yes, hopefully the tweets were just a filler until something more appropriate can be formed.
  • Nice stance from Apple even though they are doing this because if they let this happen then it will be difficult to sell iPhones in other countries.
  • That's not why... Geez, this isn't about phone sales. Do you live under a rock?
  • For us the users that's correct. For a corporation like Apple it's always about the phone sales. Posted via the Android Central App
  • + 1,000,000,000,000 It's bout da dolla dolla bills y'all The tip is not included! So tip your Uber driver.
  • By the by, I thought it was included. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I guarantee you that a company that touts a product because of security is doing this for many reasons, including sales. Don't be so naive in thinking a multi million dollar company cares about you. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's a lot of Americans who would happily trade liberty for what they believe is security. Maybe they're trying to walk a fine line with those folks.
  • Not as many as you think... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly, it is strange that in life nothing was secure except what exists in our heads. When encryption and hard drive wipes popped up with the advent of PCs. It was a big deal for law enforcement, but not to big because most people didn't take the time or have the knowledge to secure their data. Now, with the age of portable PCs that double as wallets, cameras, and safes for personal info. We have been given full disk encryption by force from companies who develop these products. Everyone's happy until a nuke goes off in their back yard triggered by an iphone or their kid gets snatched and law enforcements only lead is a unlockable smartphone. On the other hand at least my credit card info is safe and those pictures I took of my wife or are they? The phone may be encrypted but the apps have access to all my info constantly. Hackers don't care about personal info on a stollen iPhone, I agree, this article is junk. Companies need to put more focus on securing our data on the internet and in their databases where the real threat to our personal info lies. This ploy by apple and Google is just a way to present a false sense of security to encourage product sales and improve reputation. Posted via the Android Central App on the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Thanks for addressing this Phil. Google shouldn't be Posted via the Android Central App
  • "debate about encryption and privacy and security and whether criminals are entitled to any of those things. (Spoiler: They most certainly are, until convicted. That's how this works.) " Actually I disagree and that's not exactly how it works.
    If someone is being investigated or accused of a crime - such as terrorism - a Court can and should issue an order that allows the authorities to access encrypted information. And tech companies must collaborate. What Apple did in this case was, in my opinion (and in this I do have a qualified opinion), obstruction of Justice. What the authorities can't and shouldn't be able to do is to have the tools to do that generically. Such tools should remain in the hands of the companies producing the software (Microsoft, Apple, Google) and only be used BY those companies on the devices of people being investigated when confronted with a court order. I'm all for privacy and data protection, however, National Security is something that must prevail over the individual or corporate interest. So long as the authorities aren't abusing their powers, companies have no right (lawful or moral) to obstruct judicial investigations. (post scriptum - I'm European and European laws on privacy are even tougher than American ones. However, in face of a Court order, no European company would be allowed to do what Apple did).
  • My point was more about due process. But you're right. By definition if you're being investigated (and I'm assuming the proper hoops have been jumped through for a warrant — but let's not really kid ourselves there these days) then the government is going to impose on those rights. That's the process, and that's how it theoretically should work. But the ability to search my neighbor's house shouldn't inherently make my own home less secure, right? (There's some serious gray area in all this.)
  • There battering RAM to get into the neighbors house will also work on your door with the proper warrant. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Serious question. Not saying I disagree with your views. Legally based on Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, my understanding is that if this data in a secure cloud service being run by Apple, as long as a judge determines that the effort required by Apple to provide this data is reasonable based on the severity of the case, and their ability to pay for the effort, Apple would be required to provide this information (and much of this data could well be on iCloud). So this is a bit of a different scenario, but if Apple is able to do this at a reasonable cost, and doesn't give the FBI the decryption key, but instead gives them whatever content was on the phone, could the FBI figure out the encryption algorithm based on having both the encrypted version and the decrypted version of the same thing? If not (and again, I don't know the answer here so this is hypothetical), what's the harm compared to the risk given that Apple already keeps whatever their encryption algorithm is, and many other secrets safely inside their campus? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I am sure that Apple had to, and did, turn over anything that is in the cloud. What about the local content? I think that is what they are after. I do not want anyone having a master key to anything. I do not want it to exist. As Cook said, if it is made, it cannot be unmade, and it is foolish to think that it would only be a one use thing.
  • A couple of points. First, it sounds like you not only want more thoughtful communication from Google, MSFT, etc., but also want that communication to be in support of Apple. Wanting industry leaders to chime in is reasonable (though a case for silence certainly could be made given the criminal/investigative nature of the request). But I think your call should have been a little more objective; that is, a call for industry leaders to weigh in vs. a call for them to rally behind Apple. Second, I think some separate encryption-related issues are being conflated in the public discussion of the topic. There is device-level encryption, which secures your data, and messaging-level encryption, which secures your communication. Both are relevant to the discussion, but the court request to Apple involves a warrant that pertains to accessing data on a specific device owned by specific individual who was a confirmed terrorist. It has nothing to do with creating a backdoor for iMessage (or any other messaging-related service). I think it's important to note this as any backdoor for device-level encryption applies only after the government has legally seized the asset. A backdoor for messaging services suggests that the government could eavesdrop on real-time communications. Again, warrants would still be involved, but it would be akin to wiretapping phone calls. This is a totally different animal than what essentially amounts to asking for a way to crack a safe without destroying the contents inside.
  • What part of CRIMINALS figuring out the "back door" don't you get? No one's worried about a police investigation obtaining information....yet!
  • DJCBS is right on. A suspect's right to privacy can be extinguished by a warrant. I'm sure Apple has the best lawyers money can buy, but they may not win on appeal here. I also suggest the emphasis being placed on this one case is overstated because (1) if this key can be made once, and thereby imperil the security of many, then it can be made anytime, and the threat is never far off; and (2) the Chinese or the Russians don't need to wait for a precedent in the US to force Apple or any other tech company to break encryption in the way the FBI is trying to now. I'm all for rights of privacy but we need to be realistic about absolute they can ever be.
  • You cannot give a "golden key" to anyone outside of the company. You can give them bulk data, but once that code is out, it is destined for the wrong hands. It is inevitable. Google, Apple and MS and all the rest know this and will fight to protect you. This is admiral. The government can get information, they do not have the right to have unfettered access to anyone's information. Apple can pull the data and give them reports, but they should not give the government the technology to do that. It would be unwise, to quote Gandalf. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Right on the money DJCBS
  • That's all fine and dandy, but the problem here (if you remember back to the Snowden revelations) is that Apple CAN'T access the encrypted information. They don't have a key for it. They can't access the data on that phone. They are being asked to create a new version of iOS for that phone only, which allows the Feds to brute force the passcode. In other words, build a backdoor that allows the Feds a chance at getting in. This is something that scares the crap outta me, and should scare every person worldwide. This goes FAR beyond the concept of "here's our warrant, give us the info on that phone."
  • “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” -Ben Franklin
  • So much this!
  • Quotes made by those in a time when they couldn't even fathom the future we now live solves nothing. While there is plenty of truth there, much salt must be taken with that as well. Life as we live it is so far from black and white. Real answers to real problems need to be found. Give the gov full access? Hell no. There is/can be another way. Find it. Stop hiding behind quotes and fear mongering. More solutions, less posturing and puffing of chests. Posted via Android Central App
  • But the second amendment is written in stone right?
  • I don't think anyone is questioning the validity of the court's order; I think Cook, and others, are suggesting the court hasn't a) considered the implications of the order or b) hasn't understood the technology in question (or both, I suppose). Asking for the key, figuratively speaking, to an OS isn't the same as asking for the key to a building. The OS running on a particular iPhone 6 is the same as the OS running on all iPhone 6's. Therefore, unlocking one iPhone 6 is the same as unlocking all of them. To make a crude analogy, what the court is suggesting here is that because they need to search one building they need the keys to ALL buildings, or more accurately, the locks to all doors must be removed. I'm not convinced that's a reasonable request.
  • Another important wrinkle in this case is that the iPhone 5c is owned by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health and NOT by Syed Rizwan Farook (who is dead in any case). So, in this case at least, Apple would be aiding in the recovery of data where the owner of the phone, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, has no objection to its recovery. I am not sure if that distinction changes the larger concerns, but it is worth considering.
  • Yes, but you live in a country that is comfortable with cameras everywhere and always being under surveillance. Apple has given them what they can. Apple CANNOT get the encrypted stuff. The government want's them to build a backdoor for future updates. In America, we value our privacy and freedom.
  • I'm behind the FBI here. If it keeps our country safe and is not an overreach of power, then it's fine by me. A judge ordered Apple to do it, so they should. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah that's right. Sooner or later your Snapchats, Foursquare preferences, SoundCloud likes, Google Play download activity, your Keep notes, your Evernotes, even your progress in GTA Vice City will all be government property "to keep Americans safe," even without a national crisis, or a scene as massive as Grand Central blowing up, like Quantico. Is that what you REALLY want? This Android with the AC App is On Fleek.
  • I have nothing to hide from the FBI on my phone, and all of those things don't matter much. It'd just be a waste of storage for the NSA to store all of that information in their databases As long as you're not doing anything illegal, I don't see the problem with the government keeping tabs on our lives. After all, we do that to each other, and even to our pets. This isn't to say I don't agree with Apple. I agree that the government shouldn't be able to hack into any ol' encrypted storage willy-nilly and such. But in high profile cases like this, Apple should definitely give the federal government all the information pertaining to the case How this turns out is definitely going to be interesting. This is an undiscussed issue and whatever the results are will definitely set up the future for encrypted information in legal cases. Posted via my smexy Nexus 6
  • Umm, the NSA already has all that data. They just don't know its you. It is the NSA's job to out the puzzle together. Give them a budget so they can do it on their own. They can have my data. I don't care about it, but I don't speak for everyone, so the right isn't with the government, it should be with the individual. The government, in this case, wants Apple to walk them through on how to pull information from an iPhone. They are not asking Apple to pull the information and five them a report. In this case the government is wrong. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Although I agree with them about 10% of the time this is one of the times that I agree with the ACLU was off one of there websites. The "nothing to hide" argument mistakenly suggests that privacy is something only criminals desire. In fact, we choose to do many things in private – sing in the shower, make love, confide in family and friends – even though they are not wrong or illegal. Who would not be embarrassed if all of their most intimate details were exposed? Fences and curtains are ways to ensure a measure of privacy, not indicators of criminal behavior. Privacy is a fundamental part of a dignified life. The "nothing to hide" argument also has things backwards when it suggests that we are all worthy of suspicion until proven otherwise. Our system of justice treats us all as innocent until proven guilty. That applies in everyday life – when the government wants to spy on our daily activities and private conversations – as much as it applies in court. The state bears the burden of showing there is a good reason for suspicion, not the other way around. The refrain "nothing to hide" should not be a license for sweeping government surveillance. Even if you think you have nothing to hide, you may indeed have something to fear. You might fear for yourself. As Kafka so chillingly illustrates in "The Trial," the prospect of unwarranted government pursuit is terrifying. Or you might fear for our society. Living under the constant gaze of government surveillance can produce long-lasting social harm: if citizens are just a little more fearful, a little less likely to freely associate, a little less likely to dissent – the aggregate chilling effect can close what was once an open society. Government surveillance can also have a direct harm on others – think of human rights workers or journalists who must work with people who fear government scrutiny, not because of wrongdoing but for political reasons. Imagine a liberal group arguing that in the wake of the recent IRS scandal, it has nothing to fear because the IRS is interested only in conservative groups. This argument would be myopic, missing the wider risks of government overreaching. (Need proof? The IRS has now admitted that it scrutinized liberal groups, too.) Perhaps you remain unconvinced. You are sure that you have nothing to hide and you never will. You think my concerns about chilled speech and democratic accountability are overblown, and you think privacy concerns are exaggerated and unlikely to affect you or our society in any case. But – and this is the biggest hole in the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" argument – how can you know for sure? In fact, you have no idea if you have something to fear or not, because you do not know what the government does with the data it collects. If the government keeps secret what it is collecting about you or why, you cannot correct potential errors. And if you know anything about our justice system, you know that errors are common. Transparency is partly about making sure the government's actions – its outputs – can be evaluated; but transparency is also about making sure the government's information – its inputs – is accurate. When the government operates in secret, it is hard to know anything with confidence. There is, however, one thing you can say with 100% confidence: we need to know more. We need to know more about what information the government is collecting about millions of innocent Americans. We need to know more about the secret legal interpretations that the government is relying on to monitor our communications. And we need to know more about what the government does with the trillions of bits of electronic data it is amassing in its files. We need these answers because, even if we have nothing to hide, that does not mean we want to live in a society where nothing is private. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This, all day long, and thank you!! "Those who trust a government which does not trust them, are the happiest and most beloved of slaves".
    Our system relies on two major tenets; one, that the government is restrained from invading the privacy of the people, and must treat them as innocent until proven guilty, and two, that the people distrust the government's intentions, and keep firm control of it's authority and power. You're free to trust the government, but you are very, very unwise to do so. Unlocked Marshmallow Nexus 6 on Verizon. I'm a happy guy.
  • Excellently put.
  • Well, TacoKingYo, aren't you the submissive little subject, so accommodating to totalitarian rule! Perhaps all that is needed for you to see things differently is for the government to engage in some policy or practice to which you fervently disagree and for the government to consider such opposition as a threat. This is precisely what happens in authoritarian governments all around the world and throughout history. The founding fathers of America had some experience with this and hence saw fit to limit the power of government and protect individual liberty including right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects (which today would include the information stored on our phones). The question is whether we can be secure in our phones if Apple and other companies provide back-doors to the government.
  • Whether or not you have something to hide is irrelevant. If a cop comes to your door and wants to come in, do you let him because "you have nothing to hide"? That is suicide!!
  • While I get the point you're referring too, I think you've missed a bigger point. Apple is being asked to build master key to every iOS device, that is not the same thing. As an example... Can you imagine having a key to every house in the country? What good that do? Posted via the Android Central App
  • They basically do have a master key to everyone's home. By that I mean if they have a warrant they can kick in your door. Google Nexus 6P
  • No. They found a door they can't open with their battering ram. So they want the door makers to make weaker doors.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No. Master key doesn't need force to brake anything. They would visit your house and scanned it properly without you knowing. Then they would make a decision whether then can charge you with anything. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Will they investigate your home if you don't give them a reason to? Google Nexus 6P
  • You mean the good actual police work? I think NSA and other agencies or companies already proved, it isn't needed. They also don't want to. All they need is a program constantly scanning for things and collecting without you knowing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Perhaps. Plenty of news stories of police going to the wrong house and arresting the wrong people. Nevermind they destroyed those people's lives.
  • As someone on Reddit said, "The press just doesn't get it. I've heard all day the press framing this story as “national security vs personal privacy”. Undermining encryption weakens national security. It’s national security at the expense of national security!" Posted via the Android Central App on my Frost Nexus 6P
  • I agree with you. I have nothing discriminating or shameful to hide from anyone. The feds won't look into you unless they have a reason to. Google Nexus 6P
  • They have no interest in you until they do. Posted via the Android Central App
  • just cuz you know you'll never commit a "crime" can you say for sure you'll never be accused of a crime?
  • Also, you've never ripped a movie, song, or sped while driving? Said **** in public? Everyone's some kind of criminal, it's just a matter of which kind we care about. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I honestly don't do any of those things. I obey the law and I pay for my media content like an honest person. Maybe that's why I side myself with the authorities. Google Nexus 6P
  • You're missing the issue. It's not about being a good boy. It's about that fine line of protecting everyone's civil liberties.
  • So you don't mind doing away with due process or the 5th Amendment then? It's the nose of the camel under the tent. I only hope you're not representative of the upcoming generations.
  • Ummm... they look at EVERYBODY! I suppose you think the North Korea is just "protecting their people" by monitoring and controlling EVERYONE, Including the innocent? And I also suppose you thought the ntzi's were doing the same by monitoring EVERYONE'S mail etc. And putting ANYONE they saw fit into concentration camps... this is where the slide into a totalitarian government starts for everyone, fear vs. Privacy. Do you think the Jews of Germany were worried when they were being snooped on?-no. They were innocent of illegal activities. The North Koreans- they didn't have any idea what submitting would mean for their children, children's children etc...? And look where their trusted governments took them ( & are continuing to in NK)? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, because the government has proven how trustworthy they are, and how honest they are about what spying they do on American soil. They only look into people that they are worried about... If that's the case and you truly believe that, I have a great offer for you for beachfront property in Arizona, or perhaps you'd be interested in sending me some money to pay the taxes on a lottery ticket that I can't afford to cash because of the taxes. Posted via the Android Central App
  • “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” -Ben Franklin he has it right
  • I don't think Ben would make that same statement today. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why don't you go dig him up and ask him then?
  • Why not? Many things he said apply more today than anytime in history
  • See this is the problem, we all want to be safe but at what cost? As much as we want to believe in people in the government using their better angels. Time and again they have proved otherwise. In the end if ordered by the court they will comply. That said though Cook is right to fight this. I'd like to think it's for some egalitarian reason. When really it's so he can maintain trust with his customers. Either way this is a fight that has to happen. The outcome is what worries me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Safety is an illusion. Mother/human nature tells us that. You either live in fear, or you live. I'd rather live. I might be scared at times, but it makes me smarter and we learn from failures. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly. I fear the government much more that any terrorist.
  • Now they must face consumers security over fighting terrorist.
  • Thats exactly how I felt about Google's response. But remember this is from a company whose business model is more or less what Apple is against here. Sundar had to choose his words carefully. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol. Google and Apple use information the same way. Apple uses it in-house with their own advertising arm. Google sells general information, excluding names and IP addresses. They both make money off information. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm sure Google will respond in longer form later - this is the sort of important topic and statement that I'm sure they want to get right. If course, the longer they take, the more meaningful and profound I expect any statement to be.
  • Sorry, normally I can't stand handing anything over to the government, but in this instance, any legal brief I read on the matter pretty much states they will have to hand over the data at some point. They aren't forcing a suspect to incriminate themselves by giving up a password to the phone. They are looking for information for a specific timeframe, the 18 minutes between the massacre and when their trail got picked up by the authorities. The dead scumbag's phone might very well reveal communication with foreign jihadis. At some point, all the security zealots have to realize that their precious security is harboring criminals from justice.
  • But if Apple gives in and gives the US government the software to do this, then the government of every other country in the world (Russia, China, etc.) will then demand the same software. And what if someone important in our government gets their iPhone lost or stolen and it ends up in the hands of one of these other governments? Oops, there goes a bunch of our national secrets and the security of the US is now compromised a WHOLE lot more than it was by some dude and his buddies in San Bernardino.
  • This request is for one iPhone in particular, not all. The phone is property of the San Bernardino County Department of Health, not the scumbag. They are ok with Apple giving up the data, then they should. Also, security experts believe Apple can do this in no time, they might already have the capability. Give the phone to Apple, let them come up with the way to get the data, give the data to the feds, then destroy the software method, and destroy the phone. Case closed, problem solved. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No, not case closed, problem solved. If they do this for one local police precinct, next thing you know, thousands of precincts around the world will be asking for the same, so Apple wouldn't be able to destroy the tool. They wouldn't have the capacity to fulfill all of the requests, so then courts would demand that they just give to tool over to the government to handle it.
  • So you are saying that as long as terrorists use these forms of communcation, they win, correct? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Doesn't seem as though they won. They were caught, and this tool isn't needed to prove they did it in court. And terrorist attacks are prevented all the time without this tool. And most of all, it's not that this tool couldn't help find a terrorist or two. It could, and that's all well and good. The problem is, if you read my original reply, it has the potential to cause a lot more harm than good to our country.
  • Anything is possible. Yes in this instance, they were caught, shot, killed. However, what we don't know is if there were any co-conspirators overseas and if any further attacks are possible to happen with other homegrown radicals. So if data on that phone could stop another attack, and deaths, the digital security of Americans trumps their physical safety? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not to mention, there are about 70 documented cases since 2008 where Apple gave up phone data to the feds. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes, Apple has given out data to the feds before, but they have never had to create a backdoor and break their encryption to do it, which is why it's different this time.
  • Many top security experts have already spoken out and are certain Apple has a way in, all the companies do. They do it so that they themselves have a way in. It's not unheard of. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, I can't argue this forever and I need some sleep, but I encourage you to read and at least consider the full letter from Apple as it directly addresses some of your points.
  • I've read the letter from Apple. I read between the lines from Tim Cook. "We're going to tell the shareholders and customers that we're going to fight. And then at some opportune time, we will cave." Whether that tipping point ever sees public light is up for discussion. Posted via the Android Central App
  • But if this tool is created and given out to various governments around the world and the phone of someone important in our government is stolen and ends up in the hands of a government that isn't so fond of us and has this tool, then our physical safety could be in jeopardy! Not to mention, if this gets out there and iPhones can no longer be trusted for digital security, terrorists will just move on to another secure form of communication and then we've gained nothing! Backdoors are never the answer to security! They may help in some way or another in the very short term, but in the long term they will always be bad. I work as an engineer at an internet security company, so it's not as if I've never considered this topic before and don't care about people's physical security as you say. Also, I live in California so I if anyone should be the one scared if there are other terrorists that weren't caught here. Sometimes you have to take a longer, wider view of things.
  • I'm from California as well, so I understand. I however, take the doom and gloom approach because at some point it will happen.
    The problem here is that Apple doesn't have to create a backdoor. Take the physical phone themselves, hack it, give the data and data alone to the government. This is an amenable option. That way the hardware and software used never leaves Cupertino. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's a problem with that. Apple CAN'T hack the phone. Full stop. Say it with me...APPLE CANNOT HACK THAT PHONE. It's encrypted, and Apple doesn't hold the keys. They have to build a new version of iOS that allows the Feds a chance at brute forcing the passcode. Meaning, design a backdoor. That's is the issue, not Apple handing over data (which they can't get).
  • Thank you. This is the root of the problem. What the government wants does not excist. They are trying to force apple to create the tools necessary to break into thus one iphone. But once something us made it can not be unmade. There no guarantee that it will stay in the government possession, it being abused or it getting out into the wild for anyone to use... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Apple SAYS they can't back door this phone. So, we should trust them, correct? Yeah, right....
  • I think what Guitar_Jesus is saying is that Apple could take the phone and, with the aid of their specialized iOS, brute force it themselves (which I am sure they are capable of doing at least as well as the Feds). Then they could give the Feds the data without giving them the tools to get the data. Apple would retain the backdoor and use it only when there was a legal warrant. Whether this would be an amenable solution is the question.
  • All f'n day, son!
  • Them having the right to the information isn't in question, creating the method to retrieve it is. Because once this precedent is set, what's to stop it from being ordered by judges again and again? And the more often a tool like this is used, the more likely it is to be copied or stolen by someone who will use it nefariously. Imagine someone using this on the iPhones of our operatives abroad. Say someone used it on an ambassador's phone in order to get details for an embassy attack? On a general's phone to get the names and numbers of his deployed troops? Is getting the whole picture for those 18 minutes worth compromising not only personal security of Americans and corporate security for some of the largest companies in the US, but national security itself? These terrorists are dead. And maybe someone helped them, but if they haven't found it at this point, then the help has likely already left the state if not the country. We've reached the point of diminishing returns here. Posted via the Android Central App
  • How? They don't have a key!
  • I don't think Sundar's response was inadequate. It was a tweet for God's sake. I'm sure, in time you will get a proper document stating Google's response and support. Relax, it is coming. Google's protection of anonymity is their core business. Sure criticise a tweet, but support is support. Wether a nudge or a push. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I honestly don't care, If it is for national security, then so be it.
    What happens if the information on the phone lead to stopping another attack on innocent lives that is being planned? Should people die just cause your worried that someone sees the amount of porn, cheating or other inappropriate things your doing/looking at on your phone?
  • Except its undermining national security Posted via the Android Central App on my Frost Nexus 6P
  • If Apple gave into their demands, wouldn't the criminals/terrorists just use something different? Then whose data is the government collecting? The average law abiding citizen. It's exactly like all the hoops one has to jump through to own a firearm legally but the gang banger just buys one off the street with no serial number. All the time and money to keep the law abiding citizens in check while the criminals still keep on keeping. "He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” - Benjamin Franklin ~TheRealFixxxer
  • God help us! You are the generation that will destroy the foundations of this country!
  • I agree with David 100%. The people whining about privacy have alot of skeletons in the closet they're trying to hide. Posted with my Note 4
  • I think this issue is bigger than the USA and FBI. It concerns everyone, everywhere on the planet that uses a smartphone, or any device really. One precedent, set by one US court judge, will have an affect on the privacy of many people across the globe. I think Apple is right when they say they will not provide a hack to FBI. The FBI doesn't, and shouldn't, have any control over data of other people in any other country. Apple should rightfully provide the data from the phone in case there is a warrant, but providing the key, or releasing a backdoor in the software, will escalate as an issue internationally, and very soon.
  • Apple doesn't have a key!
  • I think Google is taking a wait and see position. To me this is the better way, the smarter way. Why take chances on alienating either side until the time is right? This is still very early on and there's much further to go yet. This is definitely a matter that can't be dealt with in absolutes, there is going to have to be concessions from either side on this. The safety of the countries are going to have to take priority over individual rights here ultimately. That's not to say that both sides needs can't be met up to a point. To just hand over a skeleton key to anyone in authority is just as silly as locking every protection agency on the planet out from potential terrorists in the age of WMDs. There is going to have to be some sort of compromise met. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What is everyone doing with their devices that is so incriminating? Hell....even porn is legal if the viewers and the players are legal. I'm confused here. We all value privacy but how private is our world now anyway? We are all constantly on the internet and if you have ever looked at social media nobody seems to care much about their privacy..... Non stop pictures, tweets and posts of their daily routine. I think everyone sees themselves as being much more important in the big picture than they really are. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's their choice. It's irrelevant
  • Call me paranoid but our Government wants all access and control of our everyday lives. I've even wonder if this was a false flag since the Government's favorite motto is, "Don't let a good crisis go to waste".
  • Remember, if the executive has access to all that you do (including minor breaches of law that normally go unnoticed) then the executive has power to subjectively enforce the law (it can't arrest all of us). If the executive can pick which laws to enforce it takes the power of the legislature away. If it can pick which people to prosecute then it takes the power of the judiciary. that's why this important (in a nutshell).
  • You win the Internetz today sir. This is exactly what is at stake. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Very nicely put... Posted via the Android Central App
  • And that's exactly what Obama has done. pick and choose.
  • Que the Senate hearing. With the goons in Washington DC it should be entertaining to say the least. I apologize for all the messages. Have had a few and this issue is why I am back in school. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Great article Phil. It's amazing and disgusting how our government loves to use scare tactics in order to get us to give up our privacy. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes. 911 is a GREAT Example of people crapping all over themselves to give it up
  • Maybe there's something on the device in question that could prevent another 9/11. Posted with my Note 4
  • Data security and privacy is not a concern for Apple, it is only a feature they are selling. When China demanded that Apple hand over source code to iOS so that they can check it for backdoors, Apple did so. Russia also gave a similar demand and there's nothing to indicate that Apple did not comply. So that's two foreign powers that probably have already found exploits to accessing a locked iPhone. The issue about being compelled by the government to do something they don't want to do is one thing. But the sincerity with which Apple holds the data security issue is in doubt. Maybe the government should just ask for the source code as well and find their own exploit.
  • I have to agree apple will give the source code to both communist countries that could hurt the United States. But deny the USA. Posted via the Android Central App
  • http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/reuters-gets-it-wrong-on-apple-en... . Looking at source code has nothing to to with the persons phone
  • Anybody that says "I have nothing to hide so it doesn't matter" is missing the point. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This. This a thousand times. Posted via the Android Central App
  • If you have facebook installed in any phone (iPhone, Android) it doesnt matter what kind of encryption your phone has because it will send all the data to third-party. It is easy for Apple to make encryption for the phone since its so outdated
  • I am wholeheartedly with Apple. I feel let down by Google's weak response. Apple devices are looking really attractive to me at this point, but I hope Google will say or do something to change my mind. We know from Snowden that those 'secret courts' are a joke and side with government 100% of the time.
  • At the end of the day.... If the manufacturer can get past your security... The the phone isn't secure and so can many other people. Apple are doing the right thing here Posted via the Android Central App
  • For Apple - security & privacy is fundamental to the product. Many government organisations (most have 3 letters) issue iPhones to staff for that specific reason. Also - a key reason device encryption was introduced was the massive unregulated covert government spying projects run by the NSA and others. Remember that this request came from the police; not the security services. So any compromise on this issue will affect millions of ordinary people in the years ahead. Not just one terrorist killer. Therefore, this case has worldwide personal privacy implications. I hope Apple simply refuse. Privacy is fundamental to freedom. Or do governments effectively OWN US? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't normally agree with Apple.... But I'm behind them 1000% on this one Posted via the Android Central App
  • Just use the Hillary Clinton approach..it works Posted via the Android Central App
  • F#-k a Apple... But yeah there right. This is nothing new, everybody already knows that it would be a bad thing. Oh but Apple sent out a letter.. It's real now. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Huh?
  • This is just Cook's way of not revealing publicly the biggest blow to the whole encryption debate, THERE ALREADY IS A BACKDOOR. For what the FBI is asking for, there has to be a way to force an update to the iphone since there is no way to access the phone's function without the pass code. Apple didn't respond by saying that there is no way to do this, they refused to do it on some bs grounds about privacy and security. If it was not possible then they could have just come back and said it is technically impossible and that would be the end of any debates and further action, but they didn't. So it is possible and THE BACKDOOR ALREADY EXISTS. What's really behind the decision not to do this. Simply, they don't want to lose market share. Apple wants to operate in countries like China, Iran, Cuba, Russian, etc. without having to deal with the moral implications of helping these government catch political dissidents. Once they do this, you know China is going to come knocking at their doors for backdoor access to political dissidents' devices with government orders. Apple will have to either: 1- Give in and face their angry customers that will leave. or 2- Be force to leave the lucrative market for non-compliance of legal orders. Cook can talk all he wants but it comes down to money folks. He's just trying to get public support so he's not forced to reveal the fact the A BACKDOOR ALREADY EXISTS and not to lose market share over this.
  • [citation needed]
  • Please do not forget that there are victims of these terrorist attacks, and they have a right justice. By blocking legally issued warrants you are also hindering the gathering of evidence, protecting terrorists and preventing justice. Posted via Android Central App
  • Evidence which may or may not exist. This is giving them the ability to break into your house because you may have or know something. This goes beyond probable cause. Right now they gave a strong box that they can't break into. It is that way by design. Encryption is there to protect data. Not just to protect good data. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nobody is trying to prevent justice. That's not even close to what this is about. This is a precedent setting case. The FBI knows this and is using it as such (plenty of articles that detail this out on the web). Apple knows this and is trying to get the courts to tread cautiously. This is how the system works in the U.S. Or rather, the way it should work. This in NO WAY means the victims will not see justice.
  • Yep. Theses people were on the CIA's radar when he traveled back to the Mid East. This is just another manufactured crisis.
  • They're not blocking anything. Apple cannot give what they cannot get.
  • Lol Apple took their time for a response. Expect Google's response within a week? Give them a break. It's just marketing for Apple even though this issue exists. http://fortune.com/2015/12/17/blackberry-encryption-apple/ Posted via the Android Central App
  • And you don't think that entire article wasn't marketing for Chen? I mean government contracts practically keep BBerry afloat.
  • Took their time? What?
  • I just love Renee Ritchie comment! That is just so true, in a lord of the rings way, but true nonetheless...
  • All you guys saying that that Apple should take the phone, unlock it, and give it to the FBI, do you really think the FBI would do that? Do you know all the vetting that goes into getting approved for all sorts of forensics? They're not just gonna give a private company evidence with no oversight without Apple jumping through tons of red tape.
  • Exactly. All evidence has a trackable chain of possession. Once a third party outside that chain has access to it, any evidence becomes questionable and even inadmissible in court. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't know what the issue is, the suspects are both dead, why is it a problem to unlock their phone? No one is saying all iphones have to be unlocked Posted via the Android Central App
  • Because the FBI wants Apple to provide them with the software to unlock it. Once the have the software who's to say what they'll use it for.
  • Not just provide them. It does exist and they are FORCING Apple to create it. Once something like this is created it becomes impossible to contain. It WILL LEAK OUT and make all iPhones unsecure.... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, here in the police state (Australia), we used to have guns, hardly ever were they used in criminal activity back then. Slowly, in the name of fight against terrorism, fights against outlaw bikie gangs etc etc, the population got disarmed. Now the bad guys waltz into service stations and other shops brazenly with guns and rob them on a daily basis... That puts that in your best interest / security argument into a different light now huh. I don't think any authority should have carte Blanche master keys, they have leaks as demonstrated many times, what if this master code was sold to Isis or the lunatic from Korea? What use would they put it? How safe would you feel then?
    What about security personnel on foreign soil? If captured and their phone taken? What implications are there? This is a Pandora's Box, best left unopened..
  • They outlawed guns, so how do the bad guys get them? That's a loaded question. I'm in the U.S., and I hear all the time about how we should outlaw guns as if that would just make gun violence stop. There's a lot more to it than that and I don't really think people realize that.
  • I've never been an Apple fan but really impressed by their stance here. If Google don't step up with a commitment of their own, backing them 100% then I'll definitely reconsider my use of Android - it's that important an issue.
  • Sundar Pichai already tweeted regarding this 9 hours ago.
  • Tweeted... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Could be it's his personal stance so he used his personal Twitter account.
  • Absolutely. If Google is caving in and giving, for any reason, the government a backdoor to my private conversations, photos and information, I don't see how I can continue supporting them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, I'd hate to give up my Note 5.
  • Wow! All this trouble and controversy over ONE phone. Can't Apple just take that particular phone, decrypt it, then give it back to the feds? Google Nexus 6P
  • No, they can't. It's encrypted, and they don't have keys for it.
  • Exactly what I've been trying to tell people.
  • Come on Billy, read a little.
  • I did read it. Apple said they don't want to give a master key to the feds. Instead they do it themselves and not give the feds access this this key. That's IF they can come up with one. Google Nexus 6P
  • 呵呵 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Initially I thought the gvt was just asking Apple to decrypt the data, but it appears they cant do it (can they?). Then it turned out they're just asking for the access key (that special firmware). Changes everything. Im not a privacy freak, I use common sense and even though I know Im tracked by all sorts of companies, I dont think im the best candidate for them. I do however care more about security, and Apple's stance in this respect is completely on point. I may be naive, but wouldnt it be possible for Apple to create that alternative firmware, get the data themselves and keep the WHOLE PROCESS inhouse, give out the raw data and then dispose of that tool? I know that it violates the very principle of even THEM being able to access our data, but they enjoy a certain level of trustworthiness and could help to get customers to believe with certainty that such tools are only used for evident cases like that. If we acknowledge that the said phone IS evidence in a criminal case. And silencing the 'yeah, but it's starts here, where does it stop?'
  • The biggest problem with that is the FBI will most likely refuse to just hand over evidence to a private company. 3rd party forensics has to go through several channels in order to be approved to handle evidence. Only certain outsourced parties are approved for DNA testing.
  • yep yep, didnt think of that.
  • Somehow I think Apple is capable of navigating those channels in order to be approved to handle the process of brute-forcing the passwords on iPhones. If Apple kept the specialized iOS and brute-forcing process in-house and delivered only the unlocked iPhone to the government (FBI, police, etc.) when there is a legal court warrant (i.e., upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized, as specified in the 4th amendment), it might satisfy some people's concern about a government carte blanche to snoop and monitor its citizens. This would not satisfy many privacy advocates, but I expect it is where we are headed.
  • No, it wouldn't be possible for Apple to create the firmware and do it themselves. All the firmware would do is allow the Feds a shot at brute forcing the passcode. If it's a longer alphanumeric, they'll never get in even if Apple caves in. If it's a simple code, they get in quickly. That's the problem. I don't want that kinda power in the govts hands.
  • See, I didnt know that was the technicality behind it. I had a simpler vision in my head.
  • I doubt it. There's likely some sort of chain of authority that the defense would have a field day with if Apple handled all the data.
  • I just don't understand what is more important! Safety of people or their privacy! Apple can unlock a single device... As them being the "coding gurus" that everyone says to look up to! I'd risk my privacy for the safety of people! Who knows what they have planned next! What if their next target is Apple and them trying to get publicity out of this by telling people they are secure, don't unlock the device could get into deep crap... Just do everything at Apple iteslf and only give the data! It wouldn't take a scientist to figure that out... Instead they are just telling people to buy their phones as its really secure and they'll not even open the phone even if you are a terrorist! I do hate Apple and their regimes... But I would say the same if any other platforms were to do this as well!
  • Read my comment above. The FBI is not gonna give Apple evidence to unlock and hand it over without major oversight.
  • That's the issue....Apple CAN'T unlock an encrypted device. The Feds want a new version of iOS that allows them to try and brute force the passcode.
  • Ok, first of all, this isn't going to make you ANY safer. Let's just get that out of the way. At least in the U.S., crime rates have fallen. The possibility of being the victim of terror is ... is not even statistically significant AND YET!!!, our government is wasting BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars fighting this BOOGEYMAN. Second, Apple's coding prowess is not in question here. Go and look at what the FBI is wanting. And then try, just try really hard, to imagine what would happen if that got out in the open. Just try. Your obvious hate for Apple is clouding your BETTER judgement. This is a PRECEDENT setting issue. You should do yourself a favor and try and understand the ramifications of it.
  • You brought up a good point about how ironic it would be if Apple was a target hidden in the said device. Posted with my Note 4
  • The sheer ignorance of the general populace in supporting Apple's blatant obstruction of justice is utterly asinine.
  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha.... wait you are serious?......wow ..... Posted via the Android Central App
  • There has to be a reasonable amount of time given for Apple to comply. They are also well within their right to fight this. No obstruction Mr. Trump.
  • You're obviously young. Run along to school, young child.
  • My view is government should have access "ONLY" only to the phone if someone who is convicted of a horrible action. They should not have an option to check the phone of anyone they want. Like yes they should have access to the iPhone of the San Bernardino Terrorists, but that's where it should stop. Until the next unfortunate event. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Problem is do we really believe the FBI and the federal government will stop there. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They won't. This is a precedent setting case. Apple needs to stand firm and we in the tech community need to give them all the support they need to fight this.
  • Really it just boils down to. Apple can't do it. They are not smart enough to hack there own phone. Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • OMG! You have just proved ... that you are not funny. At all.
  • I do not like Apple but for once I am with them Posted from my Moto X 2nd gen and my nexus 9 both on Android Marshmallow
  • I'm glad to see that most people aren't making this political, even during these divisive times. I think we can all agree that left and right politicians would love this access and the majority of Americans don't want either to have it. I'm on the side of no way. Once Pandora's box is open you can't close it.
  • I'm going to toss you an up simply because I know there'll be a few dolts that still think one side is somehow less likely to trample our rights (U.S.) than the other side.
  • [Serious question; not being sarcastic]
    Phil, what kind of response would you have like to see from Google?
  • Something on the platform we don't show everyone pictures of lunch or The Dress on. An official blog post or YouTube video would probably suffice. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly this. Something more formal. And less weak sounding.
  • This was pathetic. Twitter? Really? And what's with all the 'could'? Just weak.
  • To all my liberal friends who I battle almost every Sunday, I hope the same passion is showed the next time the Second Amendment is under attack. https://reason.com/blog/2016/02/17/the-encryption-fight-we-knew-was-coming Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • This is a difficult topic because it's not as black and white as people are making it out to be. Investigators, defense attorneys, and prosecutors need to be able to thoroughly investigate a suspect not only to prove guilt or innocence, but also to see if there is further danger to others (think accomplishes with future plans). So, it's a complex issue. If we lie down some sort of blanket proclamation that all phones are sacred, and law enforcement can't break into them, you've just handed the ultimate back door to criminals with half a brain everywhere. They can store everything on a password protected smart phone, talk to conspirators on it, and go where they please with impunity. I'm not usually one for alarmist rhetoric, but that's freaking scary. On the other hand, we don't want to be handing over keys to our digital kingdoms to just anyone because that's scary too. Simply put: law enforcement and the courts NEED access to the data on our devices in cases like this one. That access is absolutely vital to how our legal system functions. The method with which it's accessed is something that needs to be tightly controlled, and as secure as possible. Is that perfect? Nope. But we need to be more creative in finding an answer to this problem then simply telling federal investigators to GTFO. That's exactly why we need an open discussion, just like Pichai is asking for. Apple seems to be using this case as more of a publicity stunt then a real effort to do right by both society and Apple's individual users.
  • > So, it's a complex issue. If we lie down some sort of blanket proclamation that all phones are sacred, and law enforcement can't break into them, you've just handed the ultimate back door to criminals with half a brain everywhere. They can store everything on a password protected smart phone, talk to conspirators on it, and go where they please with impunity. I don't believe anyone of any actual import is saying this at all. > Simply put: law enforcement and the courts NEED access to the data on our devices in cases like this one. Not necessarily. This is but ONE piece of evidence. There's much more. If the case hinges solely on what the FBI believe MAY be on the phone, then their case is in serious trouble. > Apple seems to be using this case as more of a publicity stunt then a real effort to do right by both society and Apple's individual users. No, they're not, really. Sadly most people have never heard of this case. Sadly, most people have not even heard the debate about encryption (they simply don't watch the presidential debates - not that there's any decent debating happening there). So, going public like this is actually helpful. Urging people to try and understand this case and the debate in general is a good thing. In doing so, Apple too is encouraging an open discussion.
  • I didn't say it wasn't helpful to have the debate, but ONE piece of evidence is a very big deal. If you had any idea how many child molesters get put away because of evidence found on their computers, you might get what I'm talking about (I have family in law enforcement, and the things I've heard would turn your stomach). I've heard this case before, and I've heard the debate. I'm familiar with most aspects of it, but I still would argue that Apple is striking the wrong tone, and that the evidence on that phone may (or may not) be critical to successful prosecution and further investigation of the case at hand. In other words, did they have buddies, and are said buddies planning on shooting more people? The answer might be no, but there is more than enough probable cause to investigate. Going back to the "ONE" piece of evidence argument: just think about what a stupid glove did for OJ Simpson. To be clear, I'm not arguing that we should just willy-nilly let the government break any and all encryption. What I'm saying is that we need to get creative about solving the problem, and find something (maybe that will affect cases going forward via some new technological solution) that will allow our law enforcement and our courts to do their jobs. Put bluntly, we can't have un-openable safes that can hide critical evidence available to every member of the public, and we can't have a magical key that exposes everyone's data to whoever has said key. That's why it's complex. I don't know the answer, but I DO know that law enforcement officials need to be able to access that data when they have just cause to do so.
  • The family members of the victims want Apple to help the feds. It's only when it happens to you or someone you know then you'll understand. Right now it's a matter of "It's not my problem. It doesn't concern me." Google Nexus 6P
  • Does anyone have any advice on what would be the best way to get in contact with Google? I think this issue is important enough that I want to weigh in directly with them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Anyone behind Apple on this issue has some bad sinister secrets they're trying to hide. If authorities obtain a search warrant can they not rifle through your house and through your underwear drawer? How is this different? If my son or daughter was the victim of some heinous crime and there could be clues or evidence on their device I would sure want investigators to be able to get into it. Posted via Android Central App
  • I've never been a fan of Apple and enjoy the ios vs Android fight with friends and coworkers more than I should. I'm fully behind Apple here and honestly disappointed with Googles "response".
  • This issue speaks to which we fear most, terrorism or tyranny.
  • I think people need to be realistic about privacy. It seems easy to stand behind Apple until the day the info on the device may provide the clue to finding your loved ones. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There is another possible implication to this case that some find troubling (at least those who fear government overreach). It is described in this New Yorker article: http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/a-dangerous-all-writ-preceden... It is essentially that the government is not merely compelling Apple to hand-over something it has, but, because of its unique expertise (in iPhone technology), to invent something that does not exist. Some of the questions raised:
    1. Would the government also be able to compel a former engineer who has left the company to work on such a project?
    2. How might the Apple precedent be applied to other technologies in future decades?
    3. Could the government require someone with distinct cultural or linguistic knowledge in a community to use that expertise to devise ways for it to infiltrate that community?