Tim Cook Email Explains Why Apple Won't Help Hack Shooter's iPhone

Discussion in 'Surface Forum Site News' started by dgstorm, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

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    We posted this at some of our sister sites (www.iphoneforums.net, www.ipadforums.net), and even though it isn't Microsoft related news, we felt it was big enough global tech news to share here.

    Apple CEO, Tim Cook acknowledged the latest drama surrounding the Apple's refusal to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone. Cook sent out an email to Apple employees explaining the tough position they are facing. He shared that “it does not feel right” to refuse to help the FBI hack the iPhone used by the terrorist in the mass shootings; however, he explained that complying with the demand would threaten data security for millions, and would also threaten “everyone’s civil liberties.”

    Cook reassured employees in the email, "“We have no tolerance or sympathy for terrorists. When they commit unspeakable acts like the tragic attacks in San Bernardino, we work to help the authorities pursue justice for the victims.” Then he reiterated the alternative, that hacking the iPhone would risk the “security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people.”

    He elaborated by sharing that “Apple is a uniquely American company. It does not feel right to be on the opposite side of the government in a case centering on the freedoms and liberties that government is meant to protect.” But he said, “this case is about much more than a single phone or a single investigation, so when we received the government’s order we knew we had to speak out.”

    The difficulty in this case stems from the fact that in order for Apple to comply with the FBI's request, Apple would have to code an entirely new version of iOS that would act as a "master key" to all other versions of iOS on Apple devices. Besides the fact that this would obviously be a major ethical breach for Apple, and besides the fact that it would basically invalidate Apple's reputation as a secure ecosystem, there is another problem if Apple were to capitulate. Apple also explained how unsafe it would be for Apple to have and hold on to this “master key” once it is created. Cook explained that even if Apple did its best to protect the technology, Apple “would be relentlessly attacked by hackers and cybercriminals.”

    Basically, if Apple created this hacked skeleton key for all iOS devices, it would be like creating an ultra-powerful cyber super-weapon which could be exploited to undermine security for future generations of Apple device users. If that weapon ever fell into the wrong hands, the result could be catastrophic. Apple shared that “The only way to guarantee such a powerful tool isn’t abused and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands is to never create it.”

    Source: Yahoo
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  2. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm like a politician you can tell when they are lying when their lips are moving or when they text/tweet/email.

    If iOS is hopelessly broken by helping the FBI as Cook claims then they just gave hackers all the information they need and it's only a matter of time before iOS is hopelessly broken.
     
  3. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

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  4. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    A BAD APPLE

    Suppose an Apple employee was caught embezzling millions of dollars from the company.
    I am quite certain that employee's company iPhone would be seized and unlocked, to aid in criminal prosecution, and to find out where the money went.

    Even if no lives were lost.
    Shareholders would demand it.
     
  5. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

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    Interesting point, except that Apple would probably be able to hack into the phone without resorting to the "Master Key" method which would be required to get into the San Bernardino phone. They could do this in several different ways if the phone has not already been put into lock down mode. The problem is that the FBI monkeyed with the device first, and now they are basically asking Apple to do something that would invalidate their entire security for iOS.

    Actually, once it was explained to the Apple board/shareholders, even if an embezzling Apple employee were in this same position in some way, one could argue that Apple and its board would definitely NOT hack the iPhone. Doing so could basically hurt the reputation of the company. Besides, if the offender were an Apple employee, there are a number of other ways they could get the info they need without breaking the security of the iOS.

    Here's another article which sheds light on this subject in a different way. Just as many have predicted, this incident is not isolated. It turns out that the FBI wants to pressure Apple to hack iPhones in 12 other cases. They basically want the power to be able to break the security of any iOS device at any time, and are using this particular case to pressure Apple in to creating this backdoor access.

    Justice Department Wants Apple to Extract Data From 12 Other iPhones

    To be clear, I am personally not an Apple fanboy. Sometimes, I personally do not like things Apple does. Despite that, on this issue, I think Apple is doing the right thing, but only because the FBI screwed up and didn't come to them before the phone went into lockdown mode. We must remain vigilante that we do not give our government too much power over our lives. It's a razor's edge balancing act certainly, but we must weigh how much of our freedoms we are willing to give up in the name of safety.
     
  6. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Stay off the slippery slope.
     
    GreyFox7 likes this.
  7. nnthemperor

    nnthemperor Member

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    Yeah, remain vigilant until the terrorists sweep you off your feet. It's all about publicity for Apple and I really hope this backfires on them. Not an American, but I seriously think Congress should come out with a law targeting this type of practice and show that the govt. is there highest authority in any land.
     
  8. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Much has been written, mostly meme driven clickbait with few to no facts. Wouldn't it be ironic if the phone contained information leading to a cell planning an attack on Apple as a symbolic strike against the elitist corporate power structure, corporatism, and corporatisms role as pseudo-imperialists. Just sayin, this is not as wild as some of the slippery slope arguments thrown about. The military and government are just the tip of the spear, corporatism is the body of the infidels why would they not strike there and who better than one of the worlds richest companies. It would not be so far off from the WTC ideologically, just as an example.

    Congress says not to exclude them but the only way they will act in a reasonable timeframe is if someone burnt Apple to the ground or did something similar.

    The ridge has a slippery slope on both sides. ;)
     
  9. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Not to beat a dead horse but this article outlines 5 of Tim Cook's distortions, delusions and downright lies.
    Apple vs. FBI: Top 5 distortions, delusions, and downright lies | ZDNet
    Giddy-up ;)

    Unfortunately this article is in the worst format Zdnet uses and it works really bad on a Surface but they improved it after the last time I complained about it :)
     

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