[cryptome] FBI v Apple Warrant; Questions of Security of the State and Privacy of the Individual

  • From: douglas rankine <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2016 10:06:42 +0000

For what I think are some good points on the relationship between security and privacy, and the fact that they are part of one and the same thing rather than opposed to one another...
see url: http://www.metzdowd.com/pipermail/cryptography/2016-February/028202.html
The FBI/Apple search warrant
see url: https://cryptome.org/2016/02/apple-018.pdf

According to the FBI/Apple warrant, the FBI cannot break in to the password secured, end to end encrypted Iphone which belonged to Farook, with the aim of getting access to all the information and data contained therein including metadata, global positioning timing of calls, contacts etc.

The reason that they are asking for this help, according to the warrant, is because the phone has an auto-erase function, which, after 10 unsuccessful tries erases all data from the phone. Because Apple has the copyright to the software and it is their invention, they are demanding Apple provide them will all necessary assistance to overcome this problem as they wish to find out more information regarding Farooks contacts and phone calls and what he used the phone for before and during the shootings. The actual owners of the phone were a public health authority and they have given their consent for access.

Here is a question I have posed before....never did get an answer... As I understand it, any information can be retrieved from a digital storage device,going right back to the time it was first used, unless it is physically destroyed, even if it has been erased by the best of forensic cleansing.

If the answer to the above question is true...then what is all the fuss about? Can't the NSA/FBI/CIA whiz kids get access to any digital material via the various skills, techniques and resources which are at their command? Or is this action merely a smoke screen to hide their capabilities, or has it something to do with gaining intelligence which is of an evidential nature which can be used in any future court proceedings or in the prosecution of other individuals who may have been involved in the plot?

This case also raises security and privacy issues in the longer term, which refer to the relationship between the owners of phones, be they publicly funded and owned bodies or private corporations, the users of phones and their relation with the state. Should they be allowed to use Apple iphones with "unbreakable" end-to-end encryption. There is just no getting away from this question, to me it isn't a simple one of back doors/no back doors...as it is being posed today. It is about degrees of access, as it always was, who, when, what and for what purpose?

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