Apple vs. FBI and Some People

The Apple vs. FBI issue has been discussed recently by many people including Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates, FBI Directory Bill ComeyAlan Woodward, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, Peter Swire, a privacy law expert at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Edward Snowden, and tech expert Shelly Palmer.

Apple v. FBI – Why You Need To Care – Shelly Palmer on Fox 5

Some people are making this about the law as in “you have a subpoena go ahead and get the info.” In my opinion that is where it stands and that is where it is left. The FBI has the phone and they can go and crack the phone. I don’t agree that they can force a manufacturer to break their own encryption protocols without due process. Has Apple violated any laws? Is Apple accused of obstruction of  a law? Is Apple being charged as an accomplice or accessory to a crime? No, of course not, they are being asked to assist in an on-going criminal investigation that involves national security.

We have the time, the means and the energy to cite exactly who makes made statements and attribute their comments to our own arguments. Also , we have the responsibility to make up our own minds based on what we have learened, and give our own opinions and stand by them to enter into discourse with others.

The casual utterance of “some people” is the habit of such people as Donald Drumpf and other politicians, rabble rousers, and malcontents who are neither inclined to weigh in with going on record with their own opinion which would be subject to fact checking, nor opening up the discussion to meaningful debate to arrive at an understanding that would benefit us all.

The segment opens with the issue at hand as being about “public safety” vs. “privacy” which is more like a discussion about the degree of window tint is allowed on a vehicle. There are millions of residences in the country all of them private, legally law enforcement is not supposed to enter without a warrant issued by a judge for a specific purpose. Whether those homes are safe in their construction, utility hook-ups, appliance installations is secondary to the right to privacy, once those homes are deemed safe. The local gas and electric meter reader is allowed to enter to read the meter, but the homeowner has the option to provide a reading and get an estimated bill for service. The meter reader is not automatically allowed access unless it is in emergency. Public safety is an important issue when we discuss personal safety, again another topic entirely, for another day.

The issue at hand is national security vs. the right to due process. Is the government allowed to ignore due process in light of national security? A better question what rights does an individual have when the government ignores individual rights and due process?

The issue that it might go to t he Supreme Court is a weighty topic in and of itself which makes this very political and again , due to time constraints we will have to address that topic another time and another day.

But here is the bottom-line in a nutshell…the real issue is supposedly that creating a backdoor-up or even one time “skeleton key” should leave us all worried that our financial records could be exposed, hacked, or we could be at risk for identity theft. That is not the problem…actually the amount of money that could be lost compared to the amount of lost income to the American tax payer due undeclared wars, corporate greed and corruption on Wall that led to the recent financial collapse and housing bust, not to mention the amount of  taxes that the average individual has to pay to keep the government running due to corporate tax breaks and off-shore holdings, and the number of jobs lost overseas to China, is much great than what could be lost to hackers.

Even if the fear was based on protection of corporate data bases and ans digital assets. those systems are only as secure as the software and clouds that run and store the data, which we have seen that even the government’s own servers and databases are not totally secure.

The real issue, and the only issue at hand is this: people need to be responsible for their own data, their own security whether it is personal or or related to business and to not leave it to the manufacturer, or government to decide for you.

Unfortunately, the current generation of mass consumers has not fully understood or been made aware that their behavior is constantly being cataloged, and for marketing purposes they are being encouraged to add data to their own individual marketing footprint in order to feel a sense of  being of valued to the world and to others.

Even businesses are encouraged to create digital media assets, establish intake portals, build websites and apps, use email across any device over WiFi,  and collect customer data not fully understanding the security risks, implications and responsibilities such as having a business continuity plan and having a written information security plan.

In the final analysis, the data is already out there, and the information has been collected for some time. This discussion about who is asked what entity for what access and why should be of concern to us all. To be comfortable is to be complicit in any future situation that arises when due process overruled in the interests of national security.

Addendum

Senate Intel encryption bill in final stages
March 9, 2016

By Cory Bennett and Katie Bo Williams

–I’M WAITING FOR THE MAN: Get ready for a fight. The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee told The Hill on Wednesday that a bill to give law enforcement access to encrypted data could come as early as next week. “I’m hopeful,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who heads the Intel panel. The long-awaited bill — in the works since last fall’s terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. — is expected to force companies to comply with court orders seeking locked communications. The FBI and law enforcement officials have long warned that encryption is making it more difficult to uncover criminal and terrorist plots. Burr has been drafting legislation to address the issue with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), his committee’s ranking member. Feinstein told The Hill she passed the text along earlier this week to White House chief of staff Denis McDonough. “My hope is since I was the one that gave it to Denis McDonough, they will take a look at it and let us know what they think,” she said. The White House last fall decided to back away from supporting similar legislative options, leading many to believe the administration will not champion the Burr-Feinstein effort. The Senate is scheduled to recess the last two weeks of March, meaning Burr and Feinstein have until March 19 to release their offering before the upper chamber breaks until April 4. When it arrives, the Burr-Feinstein bill will likely become the most controversial salvo in a heated Capitol Hill debate over whether and how Congress should act. The tech community, privacy advocates and a bipartisan contingent of lawmakers are expected to vociferously oppose the measure, which they believe would weaken security and damage America’s economic competitiveness. To read our full piece, click here.

–WHAT BACKDOOR?: As expected, senators peppered Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Wednesday with a series of questions on the Apple-FBI feud at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Apple recently rebuffed an FBI court order asking the tech giant to create software that would help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. The company characterized the software as a “backdoor” that could give hackers access to all iPhones. At Wednesday’s hearing, Lynch insisted, “We do not want a backdoor into Apple or anyone else’s technology. What we are asking for is for Apple to comply with a valid court order.” Lynch continued: “We are not asking them to break encryption. We are not asking them to weaken encryption.” Increasingly, lawmakers on both sides of the debate have argued that Congress — not the courts — should settle the issues raised in the Apple-FBI standoff. Lynch on Wednesday said the Justice Department will not be proposing legislation on encryption policy. She demurred when asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) whether her department would be willing to draft legislation to achieve its goal of preventing what Lynch termed “warrant-proof” encryption. “I don’t think the department is at a point where we are drafting legislation here,” she said. Graham then pressed his colleagues to offer a bill instead. “Introduce some legislation requiring the technology companies to do what you want the judges to do. I’d like to look at it,” he said. “It’s just not enough to complain. If you think these companies should be required to do this, let’s sit down and see if we can introduce legislation.” To read about Lynch’s comment on backdoors, click here. To read about her comments on legislation, click here.

–WHAT INVESTIGATION?: Lynch also got pointed questions on Wednesday about the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. “We don’t discuss the specifics of any ongoing investigation,” Lynch said in response to repeated queries from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “With respect to the procedure relating to any specific witness, I would not be able to comment,” Lynch said. Cornyn, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, pressed Lynch on the Justice Department’s role in granting immunity to Bryan Pagliano, a former Clinton aide who is believed to have set up her “homebrew” email server. News of the Justice Department’s decision last week raised the stakes in the ongoing probe connected to Clinton’s unusual email behavior while she was secretary of State. “If, in fact, this was immunity granted by a court, that had to be done under the auspices and with the approval of the Department of Justice, which you head,” Cornyn, a former judge, told Lynch. The level of Justice Department involvement “would certainly depend on the type of immunity that was granted,” Lynch responded, while refusing to discuss Pagliano’s case. “With respect to Mr. Pagliano or anyone who has been identified as a potential witness in any case, I’m not able to comment on the specifics,” she added. Cornyn has been one of the Senate’s most vocal lawmakers about the investigation connected to Clinton’s server. To read our full piece, click here.

UPDATE ON CYBER POLICY:

–OUR PROBLEMS THREE (PLUS ONE MORE). The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday outlined four concerns about recently introduced legislation that would create a national commission to explore how law enforcement could get at secure data without infringing on people’s privacy rights.

The measure, from House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), has been viewed as a compromise bill that could actually move amid the heated encryption debate on Capitol Hill.

While the Burr-Feinstein efforts have proved divisive, the McCaul-Warner legislation was introduced last week with a plethora of bipartisan co-sponsors, including seven in the upper chamber and 15 in the lower chamber.

But the ACLU is a bit wary of the commission for a few reasons:

-First, its overly broad mission threatens to open up a Pandora’s box of bad ideas.

-Second, the bill grants disturbingly broad subpoena authority to the commission.

-Third, the commission would be redundant.

-Fourth, the commission includes inadequate provisions to ensure that privacy and civil liberties viewpoints will be adequately represented.

Read the full explanation, here.

–COMING SOON. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Thursday will introduce a bill that aims to give state and local governments access to the federal resources and tools they need to combat cyber crime.

The so-called State and Local Cyber Protection Act is the upper chamber companion to a bill Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) introduced last November.

The legislation, Peters said in a statement, “will help ensure all levels of government are equipped with the best practices and resources to counter cyber threats.”