Privacy and security interests in keeping personal data away from prying eyes continues to be a source of severe concern for the FBI, which wants to be able to access any data off of any device, and considers encryption they can’t break as an “urgent public safety issue.”
FBI officials have been so desperate to vilify the idea of personal data encryption that they are using increasingly extreme rhetoric,with forensic effort Stephen Flatley recently referring to Apple Computer as “evil geniuses” for making it harder to break into their devices.
Flatley went on to complain that Apple was deliberately trying to “thwart law enforcement,” suggesting that they are “jerks” for having done so.
Beyond the FBI being mad, it’s not clear what they propose to do. They want to have absolute unfettered access to Americans’ data at a moment’s notice, but encryption makes that completely impossible.
11 thoughts on “FBI: ‘Evil Geniuses’ Making Device Encryption Better”
The notion that the FBI or local cops can’t get at your encrypted data is complete BS. They just give you a court order that says hand over the pass key or else you go to jail and you don’t get out until you hand it over. They have done this before in scattered instances. It may be bad PR, but they can do it.
That’s why rubberhose file systems are going to be revived and become common and more sophisticated.
In almost every single state where that has been attempted it has been overturned as a 5th Amendment issue (this doesn’t apply to fingerprint locking, only PIN/Password). The only state I am aware of that has ruled differently was Florida in a 2016 case State vs Stahl, however that ruling is very vulnerable to being overturned on appeal as there is a huge amount of precedent that shows that PIN/Password is protected under the 5th Amendment.
This is in addition to the fact that US intelligence agencies do not want to even bother with court orders and warrants…
Yes, I was disgusted, but not at all surprised when the 702 laws were renewed without any changes to protect US citizens. That was just a few days ago. I believe it still has to go through the Senate, and it will face some challenges there, but ultimately I think we’ll still be stuck with the current incarnation of warrentless actions for at least up to the six years that Congress renewed it for.
Since Apple is a defense contractor, this means Deepstate is complaining about its own “evil geniuses”.
When you hear a nonsensical complaint like this, you have to ask who is the audience. Deepstate knows the statement is nonsense. Foreign adversaries always know what’s going on. Only the broad American public believes this sort of crap, but most people don’t care.
So this is just pressure on Apple to quit playing pointless games.
It’s like those political ads that instruct you to “Tell Senator Smith to support HR 1234.” The advertiser doesn’t really expect anyone to call Sen Smith; the ads are meant to be heard by Sen Smith and his staff.
I suppose it won’t be long before people wise up and realize that the old ways are the best ways: old-school tradecraft in the spy business. Coded messages, dead drops, one-time pads, number stations, all that good stuff. Don’t want your electronic info snooped on or yanked off your phone or PC? Easy peasy: don’t have any. You can crack an iPhone, but how are you going to crack an encoded message after it’s been incinerated? I see the armed courier business being resurrected in the not-too-distant future if this keeps up.
The entire federal government has become radicalized.
I myself carry an encrypted mobile device, and I turn off my biometric security and revert to a pin when I travel, as my 9 digit pin cannot be compelled, but my biometrics can. In a pinch I power my phone down as it requires a pin on startup, biometrics will not work on that lock. The suggestion that these protections of my privacy are a threat is asinine.
The FBI’s comments about this come across completely disingenuous. How many unsolved cases do they have that don’t involve encryption of any kind? I think that is a pretty valid question, as I imagine the number of cases that actually involve encryption are probably minuscule. It’s nothing more than another attack on individual privacy, much like the recent renewal of the 702 laws.
I am buying more Apple stock tomorrow!!!
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