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21st Century Privacy and Security

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by CometsWin, Feb 24, 2016.

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Who do you support in case between Apple and the FBI?

  1. Apple

    77.5%
  2. FBI

    15.0%
  3. Don't know

    7.5%
  1. JeffB

    JeffB Contributing Member

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    You don't have to see it. Apple does. And I suspect the FBI does, too (based on concessions the FBI has made to Apple's fears). And Apple has complained about these privacy issues in the past. And they have used their stance in the U.S. to further their stance in the bad actor countries.

    I think Apple should abide by U.S. law and weaken the device. The FBI just needs just realize that the bad actors in certain countries will take the opportunity to demand similar access in a way that may make it easier for those bad actors to breach our digital security here in the States. I think this part of the reason the FBI has offered to have the device on Apple's campus and never leave the campus with the software update. The FBI has just determined it is worth it, on balance.

    No corporation should be above the law (enough of them are already). If law dictates and action, they should follow until the law changes. Apple included.

    My position is that there will be consequences to Apple having to give in on this. And then Apple will be faced with either having to not sell their phones in China or Russia or abiding by the laws of those lands. But we should just be aware that not every company will abandon a market and some will just start offering the backdoors on demand (which some companies already do).

    I suspect Apple already knows it will end up acquiescing to the FBI request. Cook is just going though the legal process to establish the company will fight. That will give him a leg to stand on when China starts pressing again.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. txtony

    txtony Member

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    TPM is not allowed in Russia. Western version of TPM is not allowed in China for commercial products.

    China stated motive is they would like their own TPM version with their own algorithm. The unstated motive is they don't trust western algorithm and would like to prevent hack from western target. And of course, they understand their own algorithm.

    Russia, AFAIK, have no stated motive. Their unstated motive is, they want to hack their people at any time.

    This isn't to the level of an open easy backdoor access, but there is already differences in security due to nation laws today.

    I do fairly trust the government and I do not have a problem with them being able to access any device, lawfully, once the law is updated to today standard. The concern is security for the public at large. But I believe they can develop a system that isn't risk free, but is *good* enough in that it doesn't really move the needle that much (security needle is never at 100% secure, so being a bit more vulnerable for US lawful reasons is acceptable).
     
  3. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Following that logic . . . .Once they have the way to open these phones
    and compromise the security . . . . Apple should give this same tech
    Any country they sell in . .. because they sell there too

    Rocket River
     
  4. JeffB

    JeffB Contributing Member

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    Just adding to the discussion. I am still mulling this argument from the Harvard Business Review:

    How the Apple/FBI Fight Risks the Whole U.S. Tech Industry

    James Allworth

    FEBRUARY 24, 2016

    There’s a very real cost to the actions of the U.S. Government in the San Bernardino case. From a civil liberties perspective, we’re all bearing it. But from an economic perspective, that cost is being born almost entirely by the one bright spot in the American economy: the technology sector.

    To consider the impact this is having on tech firms, it’s critical to understand the change the internet has had on the world of business, taking the addressable market for any one product or service from a handful of localities through to the entire planet. But underlying this revolution is something else, which is just as critical as the technology itself: trust. Remember the early days of the web, when people were afraid to enter their credit card details? It took years to get to a point where there was enough trust that buying things online was considered normal.

    This trust is absolutely implicit to the promise of the web.

    And herein lies the problem with the U.S. Government’s policies on national security. San Bernardino is just one in a steady stream of U.S. Government actions that have undermined the world’s trust in the services and products of U.S. technology firms.

    It was not so long ago that news of the PRISM program — the massive surveillance effort undertaken by the NSA — was made public as part of the Edward Snowden revelations. While it made headlines in the U.S., what is easier to overlook is the impact that the revelations had internationally, and not just in places that might have traditionally been suspicious of the U.S., such as China and Russia. This impact was felt in countries that are friends to the U.S. — even its allies.

    For example, it led to Brazil, one of the world’s largest internet markets, deciding to create an internet constitution. This saw a massive increase in the regulation governing how Brazilian user data is stored. In fact, it almost resulted in the country forcing all foreign technology companies to store all Brazilian data locally.

    And that’s just one example. The damage has also extended through to Europe, specifically through the Safe Harbor provisions that govern the transfer of data between the U.S. and the EU. These provisions had indemnified U.S. firms when they exported EU citizens’ personal data to the U.S., on the basis that they were providing a similar level of protection for that data in the U.S. as they would have if the data was stored in Europe. But as a result of U.S. surveillance of EU citizens, the European Court of Justice has invalidated the Safe Harbor agreement, and the EU is now examining whether companies such as Facebook ought to be allowed to transfer user data from Europe to the U.S. at all — on the grounds that the U.S. “does not afford an adequate level of protection of personal data.”

    What’s the end result of all these U.S. Government actions that are compromising the trust people place in U.S. technology firms?

    Well, China actually provides the perfect case study for the U.S. to answer that question. Back in 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee called for a ban on Huawei and ZTE products because of a fear of technological backdoors — just like the one the U.S. Government is now asking Apple to create. In the words of the committee, these Chinese companies “cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems.”

    Ironically enough, the U.S. Government is about to subject Apple to the same fate. The U.S. Government will leave Apple open to the accusation that its products aren’t really secure as a result of undue government influence.

    There seems to be an assumption inside of Washington, DC, whether explicit or not, that U.S. tech firms’ superiority is insurmountable, that no matter how difficult the government makes life for these firms under the guise of national security, they cannot be challenged. The problem is, the sweep of business history suggests that superiority in innovation is fragile — and rather than being driven by any innate exceptionalism, it is closely tied to having the largest market to address. Historically, the size of the market that mattered was the domestic market. The internet has changed that to the market you could sell to internationally. And while Chinese technology firms now have a massive domestic market as a basis from which to grow, they have a much broader issue in terms of growing beyond that — simply because nobody trusts them.

    The U.S., traditionally at least, has not had this problem. But the U.S. Government is doing its best to change this. Already it’s the case that America’s European allies don’t trust the U.S. with their citizens’ social media data. After forcing a backdoor into Apple’s phones — and who knows which could be the next company that gets a knock on the door — what is the rest of the world going to think?

    If the U.S. is serious about housing the world’s greatest technology sector — and it should be, because it’s undoubtedly the most important economic sector of the future — then it is going to need to get more serious about fostering it and viewing it as more than just a place for whistle-stop tours for candidates to raise campaign funds. This isn’t to say that the government should do whatever the sector asks, but rather that it needs to be incredibly considered in the rules it imposes and the asks that it makes of the sector — because each of these are going to be closely scrutinized by every other country in the world. The principles that the U.S. lives by are the ones that the rest of the world will adopt.

    In the case of San Bernardino, the FBI may find the answers it wants in that single cell phone, or it may not. But the government needs to be very clear that it’s not just Apple being dragged into this trial — it’s the entire U.S. tech sector, and by extension the future of the U.S. economy itself.
     
  5. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I don't like this argument. China and Russia don't give a flip about American precedent. If they can force Apple to make a backdoor for them without Apple pulling up stakes and leaving the market, they'll do it. Even if the Americans won't. And, for its part, Apple can tell Russia and China, "yeah we built a backdoor for the US government, but we won't build one for you." If Russia and China don't like it, they can force Apple out of their markets.

    Anyway, I don't care where we end up on this question. Apple should exhaust every avenue of legal argument to advocate for their position. But, in the end, if the courts say they need to comply, they had better comply. The US government is my representative. I don't appreciate companies resisting my representative. Nor do I appreciate the intimation by Apple that the courts are not qualified to decide and a law needs to be passed by Congress. The courts are a co-equal branch of government, and in the absence of new legislation, they don't just sit on their hands and wait for Congress to decide for them.
     
  6. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    Also not to keen on this argument. In a nutshell, he saying this sector of the economy is a huge economic opportunity. But, regulation of it will significantly shrink the opportunity and leave our economy worse off. That's probably true. But, he presents it as a choice the US government has, which I don't think is the case. Instead, I think it is an innate weakness of the tech-sector value proposition. All governments are coming to realize that participation in a trans-national service that hosts vital information is a serious vulnerability. Even if the US doesn't build a backdoor into Apple products, other governments still have to structure themselves to protect themselves just in case the US has built one covertly, done something else covertly, or later chooses to do something after they've trusted us too much. This is a big, unavoidable weakness in the business model, not in government policy.
     
  7. JeffB

    JeffB Contributing Member

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    I suggest you observe some Chinese state run media if you think China doesn't care (I would provide links, but too much work at the moment to gather them up. The evidence shouldn't be too hard to find, though.). Maybe you forgot the whole row with Google, especially after the public reveal of the PRISM program? China completely takes cues for what they think is politically feasible in the international space from the actions taken by the U.S.. The PRISM program has been highly leveraged by Chinese media to support their demands on companies like Facebook.

    China isn't quite yet ready to give Apple the boot out of their country, as our government has with certain Chinese products, in part due to the ramifications with respect to international trade. But if they either get an opening they believe will pass the "trade war test" or one of their home companies matures enough to suffice, China will do just as you suggest.

    Russia generally doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks. But Putin is always looking for a "legal" angle to exploit trade agreements and precedent to get what he wants, especially in sensitive cases in which he just can't outright execute his schemes. If it is within the confines of existing free trade agreements to have companies install backdoors and the primary country that generally against such behavior (the U.S.) promotes doing so, then Putin has an angle to argue his position in the international community.

    Of course Apple will comply. If they don't, then Cook should be arrested. I have not and will not argue Apple or any company shouldn't fold to the law.

    More than Apple intimating that the courts aren't qualified to pass judgement, I am more offended by the fact Apple spends so much money on lobbying that they are confident enough they can get a law they like passed though Congress.

    I am more against corporate power than I am against religious brainwashing.
     
  8. JeffB

    JeffB Contributing Member

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    This whole scenario can be understood with classical political economy. Friedrich List looked at the industries of his time and saw the weakness in their value propositions, especially relative to the value of job security and the possibility and consequences of disrupted trade. I think this is a very classical conflict between the want for economic globalism and the needs of nation states.

    The argument as I see it is that government policy matters with respect to how the weakness in both the business model and the technology will be exploited to meet the needs of the nation state versus the needs of global capital. I've never been one to support the needs of the corporation (or political party) over the needs of the nation. But I have been sharing so folks get the larger conversation, whether any of us agree with the arguments or not.
     
  9. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    [​IMG]

    Rocket River
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. TheresTheDagger

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    I have to say I'm stunned that the vote so far is in favor of Apple.

    Apple's point seems to be we aren't going to be strong armed into creating a back door into our products in order to protect our customers and their privacy.

    That is a fantastic argument. Except its a strawman.

    From what I understand, the ONLY thing this court order says is it needs Apple to hack this SPECIFIC phone used by a terrorist which was used (not owned by) a Terrorist. The owners have given their blessing to do so. It was NEVER about creating any sort of "backdoor" violating anyone's privacy.

    Moreover, this was ordered by the judicial system meaning evidence was provided, and Apple had its chance to argue against it. The independent judge made the call.

    If we are now saying the judicial system isn't good enough to enforce our system of laws, then we have anarchy.
     
  11. Cold Hard

    Cold Hard Member

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    Regarding that one specific phone: It was a work phone. I think this whole fight between Apple and the feds could've been avoided if the San Bernardino county had some semblance of IT competence and implemented a MDM policy on their mobile phones.

    That said, this fight obviously is about way more than just this mere phone. I don't think the FBI really cares that much about the phone...it's likely there's nothing useful on it that they don't already know. The phone is just a useful pawn in a big political game.

    This issue about privacy is one area where almost every politician in both parties is wrong on.
     
  12. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    [NYT]Apple Faces U.S. Demand to Unlock 9 More iPhones

    and

    quote from another story.

    [rquoter]
    "And as news of this Court's order broke last week, state and local officials publicly declared their intent to use the proposed operating system to open hundreds of other seized devices—in cases having nothing to do with terrorism."

    Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has already said that he has 175 Apple devices it wants to unlock in investigations, and at a congressional hearing on worldwide threats earlier on Thursday, FBI Director James Comey said that the final ruling in the California case will be "instructive" for other courts. Comey repeated the sentiment in a separate hearing later the same day.

    [/rquoter]

    A terrorism case is the perfect wedge issue for the FBI to use to get the public on their side. The only thing better would be pedophiles. Very few people will choose the side of the worst of the scumbags. But this order will reverberate up and down the legal system to drug cases and tax fraud and all sorts of other stuff.

    also

    [rquoter]
    But building the tool the government envisions in its court order — which would bypass security features on the iPhone and allow agents to enter passwords over and over until they get it right — would require ten Apple employees including engineers dedicating most of their time over a period of two weeks to a month, the company argues.

    [/rquoter]

    Apple is doing nothing that they aren't legally entitled to do. You are acting like the full extent of the back and forth of the legal process is some sort Communist plot to overthrow America. The judge asked Apple to come back with any objections that they had to his order.
     
    #32 Ottomaton, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  13. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    It's NEVER about ONE PHONE . . ONE SITUATION . . . ONE PERSON

    Once the Government can do it to one .. . they will do it to all
    governments never TEMPORARILY take a right or gain power
    THEY TAKE IT FOREVER and Never return it to the people.

    Rocket River
     
  14. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    The government is the people. Apple is a collection of stockholders (that don't happen to include me). When the FBI has the power to break into criminals' phones to collect evidence, I am empowered. When Apple has the power to protect the activities of criminals and foreign enemies, I am disempowered. I'm not stumping for one side or the other in this case -- I want the courts to work it out. But, I find it funny that people identify with Apple and reject any identification with their duly and democratically elected government.
     
  15. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    Apple fanboyism is strong. Just forget that it is a massive company. No one would argue that the FBI should not be able to search the phone records or filing cabinet of a terrorist. Much less their work files.
     
  16. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    True in general I think. Probably not true of Rocket River, who instead has a deep suspicion of government. His suspicion is probably justified in many ways. But, RR, Apple isn't your friend either.
     
  17. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    I hate Apple.

    I believe in privacy.

    The FBI is entirely entitled to look at the guys phone. If they want to look at a guys filing cabinet, they should have to open the lock themselves, not force every lock manufacturer to build them a master skeleton key that works on every lock they make, compromising the entire reason for locks on filing cabinets in the first place.

    If the FBI screws that up and breaks the lock, they should own that as their mistake, not compelling safe manufacturers to spend a ton of time and money to bail them out.

    If the FBI really needs this phone, do you believe the NSA couldn't help them under terrorism laws?
     
    #37 Ottomaton, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  18. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    I laughed.
     
  19. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    So a specific safe manufacture should not have to open a safe that the FBI cannot access without destroying it in the case of a terrorist?
     
  20. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    If it requires making a master key, destroying the security of all of their products, and if doing so would place an undue burden on the safe manufacturer, no. Apple has been providing reasonable assistance, equivalent to giving internal physical details of the lock, and details about how it works so that the FBI can figure out how to open it.

    I used to do after hours work in a bunch of banks. They have special keys that make the door locks more difficult top pick than "normal" door locks. Is it appropriate for the FBI to issue an order that compels lock makers to break all their locks that can't be picked, because in one instance the fact that someone has one of those locks makes it too difficult for their mediocre lock pickers to open?
     
    #40 Ottomaton, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016

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