John Oliver Explains Why iPhone Encryption Debate Is No Joking Matter

from ars technica

The FBI’s legal showdown with Apple over iPhone security has spilled into just about every facet of popular culture, from endless news coverage to Congressional hearings and even to comments from President Obama. On Sunday, it got treatment from comedian John Oliver, whose weekly HBO series Last Week Tonight does a better job than most news shows covering the important news stories of the day.

In an 18-minute segment, Oliver brought the stakes of the fight front and center and explained in some of the most concrete terms yet why—contrary to the repeated claims of the Obama administration—the outcome concerns the security of mobile data everywhere. Not only that, but Oliver kept the whole thing highly entertaining while steering clear of lionizing Apple.

More here.

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22 Responses to John Oliver Explains Why iPhone Encryption Debate Is No Joking Matter

  1. Matthew Ehrhardt March 18, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

    When people like Jon Oliver or Steven Colbert or Jon Stewart say something on TV people do not usually take them seriously due to the fact that they are comedians telling us the news. The news they are telling us, as funny as they make it seem, is still real and serious news. In fact I find it more refreshing to hear the news from people like them because when the news seems funny and interesting it becomes easier to understand. If someone is unsure about the encryption scandal then they should probably watch this video because it is broken down and discussed into very simple and hilarious terms.
    The point that is made that I really enjoy from What Oliver said is thinking of the government like your dad. No one has to debate the fact that apple knows more about computers and technology encryption then the U.S. Government. Actually I could be safe to assume that the people who work at apple know more about encryption than any other human on the planet. It is their job to provide us with new, simple to use, innovative technologies to change the way our world works. This was the vision of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs who envisioned the Apple products to be for everyone from the simple working man to a CEO. Now the government (‘Our Dad’) I this case are trying to stretch their powers of investigation over the statute laws of personal privacy and how a business works. The tricky thing isn’t that they want the information for the killer’s phone code because the video tells us that can be done by a small team of technical engineers at the company in a couple of weeks. The thing that is tricky is the aftermath of extracting that information. In the household the father usually makes all the rules. Some seem fair and others may seem a bit unjust, but as the child you follow them. Sometimes however, the father’s rules begin to contradict one another to cause negative effects. Let’s say for example that your father comes into your room one day and says that you can have a phone that you can do whatever you want on and it is all yours as long as you are responsible. You take the phone and o about your business. Well one day your friend does something bad so his parents check his phone to see who he has been talking to but they can’t because of his passcode. So the parents go and demand for us to find a way for them to see into our phones past our passwords so they can get in to see our information ‘just in case they need to’. Now since we are kids and not technicians our way of doing that would simply be to delete our passcodes and keep the phone open so our parents could see. Now the hypothetical parents would seemingly have the power themselves to search your phone and they are the only ones who can. What the parents aren’t smart enough to know is that when you lose your phone at school or at a restaurant and someone takes it they could now access all of your vital information. The father’s demand for an easy way around the passcode’s purpose contradicts his rule that the phone was our to keep our information and use it for whatever we wanted. The government has to realize that with the banning of this encryption they do not just open the door for them to get this information, but everyone else in the world.

  2. Kevin Lourenco March 18, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

    Another clear article, showing us that this encryption debate between Apple and the government is serious. However, of all the articles I’ve read recently pertaining to this subject, reading and watching John Oliver’s was my favorite. He shines light on this serious issue using his humor. But many times, people tend to look past how serious because of his fluent humor on his show. However, his stress the severity of this debate, and is spot on in what he says.
    Just to refresh your memory on what this case was essential about, and why it has taken the media by storm. The government wants Apple to create a software that allows the government, or anybody for that matter, to break the encryption code of one of the terrorist’s IPhone of the San Bernardino shooting. The government claims that if they had unrestricted access to the terrorist’s phone, it could have enough evidence to put this man away, including whoever else was associated. However, similarly to others, John Oliver is saying that this is more than the just gaining access to one person’s phone. The bigger picture here is, should Apple break it’s encryption code, it is allowing access to a bunch of other phones as well.
    I particularly like the way John Oliver phrases this. He goes on by saying, “the government is like your dad. If he asks you to help him with his IPhone, be careful because if you do it once, you’re going to be doing it 14 times a day.” In this particular case, the government is trying to use its authority, much like our fathers to get what they want out of Apple. Oliver mentions something about, all the phones the FBI has in its possession from past cases waiting for this to set precedent, allowing them to get information from them. In addition, it’s not for the purpose of the information on the terrorist’s phone, it’s to break the encryption and ultimately go against the ethics of personal privacy. In the video, John Oliver explains how the information the government is seeking can actually be done by a special team of engineers. But for our father, the US government, that just isn’t enough, we need to do exactly what they want and when they want it. I can’t speak for all people, but when my father demanded something, I would do it without hesitation because I lived in his house with his rules. That being said, even if I did not agree with him, I didn’t really have a choice, but to go along and do what he says. That is precisely what the government is trying to do in this case, especially with the introduction of the All Writs Act of 1789, which pretty much requires Apple to provide crippled firmware to the government. Just like a father demanding something from his son.
    Just as others did, John Oliver touches on the costs that come with the encryption, making it harder to infiltrate criminals, such as drug lords. However, he does the costs of weakening the encryption code on this phone are far greater. Breaking the only security that protects all the information in a phone, goes against someone’s right to privacy. You break one encryption code, you break all, and I personally don’t like the idea of that. Like many, there are certain things that I just don’t share with people, and I’d appreciate it if the government respected that.

  3. Kira Williams March 18, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

    John Oliver is known for his facetiousness and satiric commentary on current events which is a way to convey messages so people will both understand and enjoy them. It is no surprise that Oliver has gotten his hands on the legal battle between the FBI and Apple; just about everyone knows about it. It was a good start for Oliver to open his segment with basically what encryption does for people (for those of his audience who do not know). It is always good to present both sides of an argument when discussing an issue. He continues and shares a clip of an FBI representative who says that the government has not kept up with technology. That unnerves me because the government has a role to protect the United States and its people, but a lot of dangers can manifest through technology so I wonder how protected we are after all.
    Based on the commentary from the Congressmen I do not think they know the full extent of the issue. It is not like this is quick fix for the singular device; everyone running that operating system would be at risk. Apple is not just being defiant or aiding in terrorism. Presidential candidate Donald Trump recommends a boycott of Apple, but Apple is on the side of the people and its customers. The company does not want to tamper with a new operating system because of the lack of encryption consumers could possibly face. He said that he just thought of that idea on the spot so maybe he should have thought a little bit more instead of trying to get fervor out his rally participants. Returning to Oliver, I again appreciate that he is displaying both sides of the argument to let the audience decide where they stand. Besides weighing pros and cons of each statement Oliver does not take a definitive side.
    Making a code, as mentioned, is possible but to me the possibilities of the master key getting into the wrong hands outweighs getting into the shooter’s phone. I am not one for uncertainty so if there is a chance of making software that will be “cancer” to iPhones, it seems too risky. I agree with John Oliver in the sense that the FBI does not seem to have a full grasp on the magnitude of making back door into iOS. There is no guarantee that once this technology is out there it will not open “Pandora’s box.” There is limited protection from it being abused by hackers, but no protection from abuse from other law enforcement. There is probability that the software will not be abuse by police the FBI is saying that the use would be a one shot deal; that seems unlikely that that would be the case.
    Encryption is everywhere so this back door into iOS 8 could get authorities into iPhones, but if they are running programs like Telegram or WhatsApp will those tech companies need to provide back doors into their software? In disruption like this other companies are going to take advantage of a consumer’s needs so it seems like technology and the government are entering a cyclical argument. Also, enter the encryption companies overseas that Americans can utilize but are not always under jurisdiction of American law. There are a lot of factors of cracking into encryption; more than I think the FBI realizes. In such a globalized world communist countries want this information and software so the scope of this issue spans wider than just a terrorists phone that could have nothing on it to help the FBI investigation.

  4. Gerry Kiruthu March 18, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

    Once again, the Apple debate is a major cloud that hovers above all our heads in the current world we live in today. John Oliver highlights the values of encryption and from just the basic level, we can already see that allowing or giving someone access to these encryption technologies would be devastating to the world we live in today. Giving access to random individuals to those documents and accounts that we hold dear to our lives comes with tremendous risk for just one person, and if the population to target is a whole nation, it is chaotic and disastrous. This is what the Apple versus FBI lawsuit is shaping up to be. This is just another way of making the federal government our “Big Brother.” The Big Brother idea/ thought is known to most people: some through George Orwell’s “1984” and some through the reality show “Big Brother.” Both of these sources have the same kind of message to their readers and viewers: the Big Brother sees, hears, and knows everything that happens in our lives. Like most people, I am not in support of the federal government knowing, hearing and seeing my every move, and that is why, like most people, are in support of encryption and not allowing the FBI access to peer and poke through my livelihood.
    This stance is not unique in that there are millions of other people who have taken the same stance because they do not want their lives to be put on blast. The FBI is using a highly flawed analysis to argue its case against Apple as the author puts it. They want engineers to develop software that will bypass the already existent security/ safety structures put in place by Apple. The power of this encryption case is precedent. If it seems to work in one circumstance, it may seem to work in another one, then another, then another and the chain of surveillance would be difficult to disrupt from a big time terrorist like the San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, to the regular law abiding citizen.
    John Oliver’s point of view also argues the fact that the FBI uses the All Writs Act of 1789 to argue its case for Apple to provide a crippled IOS firmware. This a part of the incredibly flawed argument by the FBI because it expects Apple to simply hand over a sensitive 21st century technology under a law that was enacted shortly after the country gained independence. This is a flaw, not only in the FBI but in the law structure as a whole. The laws used today stem from an analog system used from the 1700s to the end of the industrial revolution. Business laws were constructed under older conditions, none like we are used to today and none that the original drafters could ever imagine. Apple Inc. is possibly one of the most influential companies that have sparked the tech and mobile industry to be the superior industry that it is today. This only means that the world today; a world that is growing vastly and immensely is still being governed by outdated rules that act like a catalyst to the federal agencies that want to gain easy access to information. It is no longer a space race or a cyber race; it is now an information race that governs the world around us. This is often an afterthought to most but it is dangerous how much information is stored and can be tracked on and from our devices.
    As a cautionary tale, asking Apple Inc. engineers to produce a backdoor to its encryption software is outright dangerous. It would set a precedent that would threaten modern day security and livelihood as whole the way we know it now. John Oliver’s fake iPhone ad provides the perfect tale when it comes to such a dangerous technological possibility: there will be a random hacker who will hack into your device and fornicate to photos of your family. It is not impossible, and that by itself is dangerous enough.

  5. Michael Quinto-Lopez March 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    Within John Oliver’s weekly HBO series Last Week Tonight, he has decided to talk about the issue that Apple is facing against the FBI. If are unfamiliar with the issues that Apple has been facing with the FBI, let me give a basic summary of what’s going on. The FBI approached Apple not to long ago in order to try to get Apple to unlock the contents within the phone of the San Bernardino shooter, Syed Rizwan Farook. After their efforts to try to get Apple to unlock this phone, the FBI came up with the idea that Apple should create a backdoor to the iPhone’s IOS software, so if the FBI wanted the contents of any iPhone in use, Apple would be obligated to corporate. Even though Apple has stated that they totally support all the efforts of law enforcement, they cannot agree to the order to create this backdoor. The reasoning behind this decision is due to the fact that if Apple were to create this backdoor to their iPhone’s IOS software, the possibility for iPhone user’s privacy to be at risk becomes much greater. People that have valuable information within their mobile devices or within certain accounts online already face the risk to have their information stolen, and now that the government has created this order could put peoples valuable information even more at risk. I have made article comments on the issues that Apple has been facing against the government based on this order to create a backdoor to the IOS software and I still am in favor of Apple.

    This article states that within John Oliver’s, Last Week Tonight, he claims that one should look at the government as your dad. I really like the comparison that John Oliver makes between the government and with a father who needs help in order to use their iPhone. He says to think of the government as your dad who needs help to operate his iPhone and says, “If he asks you to help him with his iPhone, be careful because if you do it once you’re going to be doing it 14 times a day”. So what exactly does he mean by this? If he asserting that if Apple were to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter, the FBI would bring much more iPhones to Apple to unlock. And you know what? I totally agree with what John Oliver is stating because I do not believe that government would make this a rare thing, I believe that this will become something in the norm. I understand that the creation of this backdoor is to unlock the mobile phones of suspects who are believed to have committed crimes, however, this backdoor could put the privacy of many people at risk and I just don’t believe it will be worth it.

    So as you can see, the battle between Apple and the government still exists. I still believe that Apple will be victorious in there journey to seek that the government shouldn’t make them create this backdoor. I am totally fond of Apple’s belief that the privacy of their customers is something that should be viewed as something really paramount. At the end of all this, the government will not prevail into making Apple create this backdoor to the IOS system.

  6. Beth O'Brien March 22, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

    True no easy answer or side to take on this debate, there are endless reasons to back Apple on the security system or their products, but how do the families of the victims feel? I would have to go with the consequences based approach, the billions of people who have iphones and want to keep their personal items secure would not want the FBI to have the code to encrypt the iphone, because there is no end. If the FBI acquire a code from Apple and it starts with one iphone then the 175 iphones in NY that cannot be unlocked would have to be next. Where would it end? That’s the problem. No one would want any agency to have a master key to their home, that’s what it would be like. Most iphone users have all their personal data on their phone and all would be vulnerable. It’s bad enough that hackers get into data bases of major retail chains and compromise just one credit card, but the iphone is a person’s life, in some cases.
    John Oliver made it clear that there are serious ramifications to unlocking one phone and how it would affect the billions of iphone users. Personal information, health records, family photos and addresses, banking, credit card data and the list goes on and on. As the article states first it’s the Apple Inc., and then it’s Samsung, I am sure they would like to help and bring down the terrorists but at what cost to the rest of the world. A report from Bloomberg News on the Radio a correspondent felt strongly that Blackberry’s decline was a direct affect to them unlocking a phone in 1998, weakening the security of the phone. I initially thought it would be a bad idea for Apple to hand over a security code to unlock the phone, its bad business. I know it comes down to morals and ethics and who is it helping the and how it could help law enforcement to catch terrorist and other criminals but at what costs. There are so many leaks and breaches of security in the world without someone turning over the master key, the entire technology industry would have to create a new system and the same thing would happen all over again.

  7. B.U. March 28, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

    I just did a blog post about this issue last week and feel as though I can’t escape it. Yet there is a reason why I am writing another blog response on this topic. The reason is because this is such a major issue in regards to what the outcome will be. Will Apple have to create a software that is accessible to the FBI given the proper warrants and regulations. Or will Apple continue to keep their products firm in regards to privacy for the owner. We all understand that the San Bernardino shooter is a tragic occurrence, and many of us would agree that the FBI should be able to access the phone to see if they can dig up any other information in regards to the shooting and or if other people are involved. Maybe even prevent a future shooting that hasn’t happened yet. Well, like I said, in regard to crimes of this magnitude, many people including myself would all agree that phones, computers, whatever, should be able to be accessed by the FBI in order to keep the country safe and avoid any tragedies. Everyone has their rights and privacy rights, but if you are going to commit crimes of this magnitude, you shouldn’t be able to say you have the right to not let the FBI search your personal belongings. You have proven to be a danger to society, and if searching through phones, computers etc.. could potentially prevent another tragedy, then that should be the way it is.
    The reason why this is such a hard decision and is taking forever, is because if indeed Apple lets the FBI into the phone, that means they would have to do this for may other phones held in police custody. Not only that, but now hackers can have more motivation in the sense that they now can believe that there is indeed a way to hack into people Apple phones. Apple stated that they would need to create a new software in order to have the FBI be able to access phones with warrants behind them based off of criminal activity. Well, clearly this “new” software isn’t as strong in regards to privacy as the first one, so how long will it take until hackers break the code. And then once one phone is hacked, then that means all our phones can be hacked. Apple has proven to have their phone remain unhackable, so why change that?

  8. Ashley F March 28, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

    Some people may argue that because this topic is being covered in a comedic way that the issue itself is not relevant or important. However, the controversy over Apple’s encryption is a topic that has been being discussed for weeks, we have even talked about it in class multiple times. I appreciate the way that John Oliver delivers the issue because not all people enjoy sitting down and listening to a news story being covered the traditional way, he adds an entertaining twist while still presenting the important facts and issues. Some people question why this Apple case is relevant to them and their privacy considering the government is only requesting data from one specific phone. However, Oliver educates the viewer on why encryption is relevant to them which immediately grabs the audiences attention as to why this is such an important subject to pay attention to.

    The analogy Oliver gives about thinking of the government as your dad is perfect because it is one that every can understand in order to put this situation into perspective. He states, “Think of the government as your dad. If he asks you to help him with his iPhone, be careful because if you do it once you’re going to be doing it 14 times a day.” In other words, the government has been arguing to Apple that they just need help with this one instance and that this will be a one time thing. However, there are in fact hundreds of other phones the government has lined up that they want to investigate and if Apple shows them that they can break their encryption for one device, then the government will expect it in the future for all of the other devices. People do not realize the severity of this. If Apple decides to give in to the government, and break their encryption, this can have an affect on any person in the future. If anyone gets in trouble, or the government decides they want to search your phone or other smart devices, they may be able to if this one case if accepted. People want the government to be able to search this device because they are only thinking in the now, and want the FBI to find out information to get potential “bad guys” off the streets, however, if this was them, they would not like their privacy being violated.

    Lastly, Oliver comments on Apple’s marketing campaigns and strategies. He comments on the fact that Apple has often compared their designers and creators to important world leaders and figures such as Einstein and Gandhi. Also, Apple has always marketed their products as top of the line, the most high tech and the most innovative products on the market. Therefore, people rely on Apple to solve every issue, they think that they are a company that can do everything and anything when in reality that may not be true. The company has created an image for themselves where people think that there is nothing that they cannot do, which in the minds of their consumers this is a good thing for them, however this has backfired on them with the government because now they are expecting a lot from them.

  9. EF March 31, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    Encryption has become a major issue in today’s society. Its not that the technology is brand new, its more that now the technology is so widespread more people use it then ever before. As the FBI Director put it, “Unfortunately the law has not kept pace with technology and this disconnect has created a significant safety problem we have long described as ‘going dark’”. This case with apple has gotten a ton of media attention, and for good cause. In the common-law system in which we are under, this case will set a major precedent. As the FBI have admitted, they have at least 175 iPhones involved in completely separate crimes that they cannot get into.
    The government is currently citing the All Writs Act of 1789, which essentially mandates that you must cooperate with investigators if they ask you to do something. The major issue here is that courts are split on whether or not it applies in situations such as this. This is where the FBI director’s quote really stands out. The law is well behind the pace of technology and as John Oliver points out, there will always be ways that keep technology ahead of the law. The point Mr. Oliver made was that there are over 800 applications that offer end-to-end encryption already! The argument Apple makes is that it needs to be able to ensure 100% security by not allowing any backdoor measures. They also claim that what is to stop the FBI from coming back? The FBI claims they just want access to this one phone, but as their own admission, they have at least 175 other iPhones that they would like access to. So which is it?
    There are understandable arguments on both sides. One representative for the FBI explains how there is no bank, building, vault, or door that cannot be penetrated by a court order, so why would a phone be any different? I’m inclined to agree with the FBI on this issue. To be clear, I truly hate the invasion of privacy/security that we see examples of in the news seemingly every week. But the battle of national security has us facing issues that are more complex than ever. Thanks to whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden, we know that our government as well as others choose to “spy” on communications in order to keep us safe. (Or at least that’s what they’d like us to believe) As much as I’d love to shut down programs like these, I feel it leaves us too exposed as a country. Without getting into more detail on this complex issue, the privacy/security debate is one that we should try to go in with open minds.
    The shocking twist since Mr. Oliver released this episode is that the FBI has now dropped its case in court against Apple. Why is this you might ask? Well in what may be a surprise to some, the FBI has gained access to the shooters phone. I was not shocked in the least to read this news this week. The thing that comes to mind first is that once again, we will not have a precedent set in court. While its unclear if the FBI will be able to replicate this process for the other 175 iPhones, common sense would lead me to believe it is likely. The law is lacking dangerously behind and I think it is time that other cases are brought to court so we can get some type of ruling. Updated laws will help speed up investigations that involve at minimum hundreds of people across America. While technology always seems to find a way to stay a step ahead, or at least catches up quickly, we need to be able to reference laws that weren’t written in 1789.

  10. Billy Vorrius March 31, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    John Oliver perfectly summarized the Apple and FBI court case that had to do with the San Berandino shooting and the phone the killer possessed. Without going in too depth, the FBI wants Apple to take off the auto erase feature as well as the secure enclave feature which causes difficulty when cracking the password. Apple refuses to do this. John Oliver hits the nail on the head because he speaks the pros and cons of both parties. If we do create this cheat code for the Bernandino phone, it will create a precedent for the FBI to demand the cheat code for other phones that were under criminal investigation. To be specific in the video, over 185 phones just in New York City would need this cheat code. This in turn will cause Apple to save the cheat code for future phones, which makes the company vulnerable to hackers.
    On the other hand, John Oliver stated that technology has been ahead of policies for the government. So, the government should have a right to keep up and demand that the phone to be cracked to prevent future terrorist threats. Not only does this argument fall under the Patriot Act, but Apple can use the All Writs act of 1798 to protect themselves from the government. There is a conflict of laws that contradict one another in this court case, which makes it not only morally, but also legally difficult to choose a side.
    Due to hackers being very lethal in terms of hacking phones, computers. and even in the video on the blog post, cars, I want to choose the side of Apple. If apple creates this encryption key,hackers will somehow get a hold of it. If they do, it is definitely possible for them to hack a phone remotely with the key, which would cause technological turmoil everywhere imaginable. Our phones hold a lot of information such as pictures, messages, and even banking information. I believe Apple is not particularly scared of the government using this encryption key, but I believe they are more afraid of the hackers that will come after it. To put it lightly, hackers are malicious and will do anything through a computer to get an individuals personal information.
    The one counterargument in favor of the FBI is that they do have the Patriot Act to help to try to obtain this key. Since the crime was an act of terrorism, the phone could help link the FBI to where there are more terrorists. In the constitution, the government should do whatever it takes to benefit the “common defense of the American People”. So in this case, finding more potential links to the crime through the phone could help the defense of the people. Overall, both sides have arguments and I will still look for future articles to follow through the story.

  11. Li You April 1, 2016 at 2:45 am #

    In the apple with the FBI’s battle for unlock “encryption” is not the tie, apple again to the United States patent and trademark office to apply for a new encryption patent, the patent can let the encrypted data is more difficult to crack, and has been approved by the us government passed. The big apple is really very terrible, netizens have said, this is obviously a provocation blended!!!!! Who wins who negative remains to be seen, but attitudes are very clear, may be able to see that point. Reuters reported that the United States district court for the central district of California where the judge ask apple to help the federal bureau of investigation (FBI) to unlock one of the apple iPhone 5 c phones, the mobile phone owner, stuffed, ritz farouk, happened last December in San Bernardino, the city (San Bernardino) shooting one of the two murderers. For many years, at the request of the court, apple has unlocked dozens of mobile phones, help the government to unlock step seems more also no big deal. And iphone5s models before, there is no built-in special encryption chip, this means that, in theory, apple can be again by special means to enter the ministry iphone5c mobile phones, help the government to get the information. Farouk’s cell phone, however, is a loaded iOS 9 iPhone 5 c.
    The old version before the iOS 8 on iOS, apple has the ability to bypass the user’s password, the phone unlocked, access to the data on the phone, but in the iOS 9 systems, users set up a secret, if in order to prevent someone by brute force cracking passwords, can open in the set “10 consecutive input error secret will erase all data”, that is to say, if the input wrong password after a certain number of times, the secret of the mobile phone will be erased automatically, become the real “secret”. The most important of all, in such an encryption system, mobile phone user‘s password and keys “combination”, create a password key, used to protect the data on the and unlock the device. As a result, even the apple cannot bypass the user’s password to obtain the data. So, this time, the government not followed the same asked only apple to crack the password, but required apple to make a special operating system version, set aside in the firmware “back door”, try to allow millions of passwords, to bypass apple’s encryption technology, and then to install this version in case of the murderer on the phone. Apple, however, rejected and then the FBI got angry, then – open to tear! Apple chief executive Tim cook, the public response to a court order, he sent an open letter in apple’s official website, entitled “a letter to our customers,” stern to the government, and the irony is quite strong, and cook to questioned the government’s rhetoric, he wrote, “the FBI for apple iPhone build a back door.” “The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but there is no doubt that the development of such a version of the iOS, and try to countless times password way to bypass the security Settings, is to create a back door,” cook wrote, “although the government would say, even for this special case, they will limit the password input number, but there is no guarantee that the government would not do so.” Before because they have to cooperate with law enforcement authorities told the iPhone apple ID password, but when the government after get these information, to change the password in less than a day, this behavior let apple doesn’t want to use some solutions to the device to unlock, and, with the government says the unlock solution, can affect the newest iPhone.

  12. Austin Lopes April 1, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    This article explains the court case exactly how I perceive it to be in terms of what could happen. We have in our hands maybe one of the biggest potential breaches that may allow the government to gain more control over us then we ever would think possible or would ever want. Yes, we could say that the government and FBI may keep this new backdoor a secret if they were to ever create it. The government may unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s IPhone in a vacuum and call it quits after that. However, that is the last option the government would most likely take. If the technology is already created the government and FBI would not allow this backdoor into any IPhone to go to waste. The FBI and government would go through the San Bernardino shooter’s phone and then proceed on to whatever other material they believe is suspicious or have a reasonable doubt of. Knowing full well that the government will make the most of this technology means that it will be outside of a vacuum, therefore being available to anyone if the technology were ever to somehow leak from the hands of the government. Having said that, the risk of such a technology leaking is far more risky then not knowing or accessing what is on the San Bernardino shooter’s IPhone. If we expose this technology to the public and it falls into the hands of a hacker or terrorist we are in serious trouble, not only here in the United States, but anywhere in the world where there are Apple IPhone users. Having access to this, terrorist may be able to hack into any one of our IPhones while we are walking around using them. If just having control over our IPhones is not bad enough, imagine them being able to hack into all your personal information that you hold on your cellular device. Many may say that they do not have much on these devices, however most people can access their bank accounts they have set up on apps, their messages, and anything they really desire if a person has ever passed it through your phone. This is bad because they could then in fact not only hack average American citizens, but corporate leaders who hold our economies together. Some may say, “Oh they do not have this information on their cellular devices”, however that is wrong. In today’s day and age our world is ran by technology, because it is simply faster, easily accessible, and most of the time safer. Besides the fact of being one of the safest ways of storing information, technology has its downturns of being highly damaging when a person does get into these devices. With that being said, if a terrorist is able to hack into the cellular device of these corporate leaders they will be able to destroy our economy in a matter of seconds. This case is not a case that people should take likely for it is a situation that can lead to a life time full of problems. We have now entered a technological age and we must understand the risks that come along with them and how much of a delicate asset technology is.

  13. wenqi zhang April 1, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    More and more people realize the importance of the security of the iPhone. And people start to argue should the government supervise their phones? In my opinion, the answer is yes. Digital world is the biggest characteristic of the height of the information transparency, both individuals, businesses and government. Enjoying the big data bring convenience, at the same time also assume the hidden trouble that is monitored by technology, the data of the economy is difficult to reconcile the contradictions. But for ordinary people, smartphone is docking this information network interfaces.
    Personal information on your mobile phone, exists in the digital data, in essence, this should be a private possessions, however, this shall not touch, invisible personal belongings, too difficult to realize in the “prevention of theft”. Different from real entities in the article, was away, there is no information has the characteristics of “unlimited replication”, be copied person will not lose the original information, even most of the time don’t even know are copied the.
    Therefore, when the data into the public domain by the non-public areas, completes the whole “leaks” process, and because the whole process will not have any leaks reminds, led to the leaker in unwitting circumstance Exposing privacy on the network. And information reproduction cost is very low, can be numerous copies of has been in an instant and unlimited, multidirectional communication, creating an “unable to withdraw” characteristics, the data is permanently retained in the network. The vast majority of the leak is to save the hidden trouble data on mobile phones too much, although some people will consciously to delete the data, however, these “delete” operation can’t really eliminate data, can be restored by some means, this greatly increases the hidden trouble data theft and the probability of secondary use.
    So the most important thing is to know how to prevent it. The first point, which is the most important thing, to foster a sense of personal privacy protection. People should pay attention to in the use of mobile phones, especially in the application of rights management and the use of public WiFi, should have the consciousness of prevention at any time, in the largest extent, and reduce the possibility of privacy.
    Second, according to former leaks way mentioned in the article, most unsafe links or application are some uneasy kind of people’s psychological guide click or installation, as a result, the maximum to ensure the security of your information is in the formal channels to download and install applications, do not access the unknown site, etc.
    Finally is the mobile phone as far as possible not to ROOT and escape, many manufacturers now do to system function and performance optimization, already don’t want to a few years ago that need to rely on ROOT to add more functionality or get a better experience.

  14. Debbie Barbiero April 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

    One can see that this issue is extremely controversial, especially now that the FBI has gotten into the phone successfully. Many people have different opinions on whether or not this encryption software is necessary, ethical, and safe but I think most people feel it is an invasion of privacy that could just lead to more and more invasions of privacy. Besides the fact that Apple would be losing the trust of the customers, many other tech companies could potentially lose the trust of theirs as well. This case is going to set a precedent for all similar cases in the future, if Apple does it, Microsoft could have to do it, and so on and so forth. Consumers are worried how much “big brother” could be involved in this and how much this is really for our safety rather than to spy on the people of our country. I think this article puts the main issues into perspective but I am curious to see how the case unfolds now that the FBI has gotten into the phone.

  15. Parth Parikh April 1, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    This John Oliver clip not only gives a humorous take on the encryption battle but also gives insight as to what is going on between the Apple and the FBI and the battle that they are involved in. The battle started when the FBI get ahold of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone and wanted to get access to the phone so that they can unveil different contacts and read into the messages that the shooters were saying in hopes that they could help stop other future attacks that may be in the works. The only way to get the access was to run an application that would bypass the phone’s security code and that way, they can jump into the system quickly. The only problem is: Apple is unwilling to create and give the application needed to bypass the security code because there would be a trust issue. Many Apple users know that their information is out there and Apple has to ability to store that information within their system. If Apple does in fact create a system that bypasses the codes and lets the government see what you do every day, Apple users will feel like their security is violated and that the company they get their phones from are all too willing to let other people have access to their information. Also, if Apple makes the application that bypasses the code, there will be a demand for more copies so that local police departments can use the system to break into more phones that they have. According to the John Oliver clip, there are over a hundred phones in New York City alone that would love to have a code that can bypass the security locks on peoples phones that might help in figuring out more crime and to solve what crime group is being run in the City with help as to how to stop it. For those reasons, Apple made sure that there would be no promises made to the US government and said they will not unlock the iPhone that the shooter had. On the flip side, Apple phones have had a history in being unlocked and broken into that many hackers are able to get into the iPhones without much trouble. With that being said, the US government recently asked a third-party to help unlock the iPhone and they took back their suit they had on Apple. The government got into the phone using that third-party source, which has now triggered a battle from Apple’s end as to how they were able to get into the phone so they can stop that loophole.
    How that relates to encryption is through storing the information. The code that Apple was told to make would basically break the encryption code that all Apple phones have and would give access to the government any information they could get their hands on. Encryption was designed and created from preventing these kind of break-ins and from being accessed by anyone except yourself. Encryption, with situations like these taking place, has gained popularity and many people have become fans of it. Now that the encryption battle has taken a turn in the government’s favor, we will see where the debate goes from here, but many will not forget the term encryption any time soon.

  16. Michael Colasurdo April 2, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    Many people would look at this article and push it to the side because it is told from the point of view of a comedian, but the thing is I find I would rather listen to what someone like John Oliver is saying rather than a news station because it seems like the media is going to have a stance that it will persuade you to follow. In this article and the video the follows Oliver certainly puts his brand of humor on the subject but at the same time he gives both sides of the story when it comes to the encryption issue between Apple and the U.S. Government. I tend to agree with Apple on this but I don’t completely feel the government’s requests are unjustified. I understand that by creating the back door it will help aid national security, but it will lower the security of the everyday citizen. I myself have on my phone all of my email information which contains data pertaining to student loans, there is access to my bank account on my phone, there are important documents for organization I’m involved in on my phone. If someone were able to hack into my phone and get that information my life would take a turn for the worse and I’m a college student I still have time on my side to make up for some of these things, but what about my parents. Lets say that happened to one of my parents and all of our money saved in the bank were to be stolen because someone hacked their phones. For the rest of their lives they would be struggling to simply put bread on the table. So the way I see it is the opposite way many others do. I see it that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and the “many” in this case is the people, and the “few” is our government.

  17. Timothy April 2, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

    Its funny that it took a comedian to finally make a point when it comes to the Apple issue. It’s especially surprising that a person, that I usually don’t take serious, made the best points. He also provided funny commentary to give explanations of the problems that people can’t seem to understand. The whole issue is really blown out of proportion and the issues Apple had to deal with is quite unfortunate. Some basically said that apple isn’t worried about the safety and protection of its country. In my understanding, that was never their job so why is it now? So is someone else slipping up in the security of our country? Maybe Apple has made it difficult for law enforcement to complete investigations thoroughly but that’s not apple fault? Apple is only increasing its profits by adding more security measures which are drawing in more consumers because of such security. Are we no longer allowed to have such security? This is a topic that really sends me over the edge because of how misinformed the general public is.

    People that have a tendency to say something dumb, never have enough knowledge of the issue. If you are going to talk about technology specifically than ensure that you know what the issues are. Understand what issues are caused and what is stopping a specific outcome. When you finally have all that knowledge down then you can feel at liberty to say what you want. Just because you are a past attorney and a current U.S. politician it doesn’t make you the smartest person in the world.

    I’m specifically talking about our U.S Representatives i.e Mr. Trey Gowdy. In the video, he states, “How in the hell you can’t access a phone..I just find baffling”. So let’s try and explain this the best we can so Mr. Gowdy and everyone else understands. So the iPhone that belonged to the terrorist had a version of iOS that does not allow Apple or anyone to access the data on the phone because it is encrypted. Now encryption is the process of taking all the data on a device and putting it into a bunch of codes that only the device can read. The data is protected by a passcode created by the user of the phone. Even if plugged into a computer you would still be required to unlock the phone to allow the phone to trust that computer. In my understanding, it was created to protect consumers from phones being stolen and credit card and email information from being hacked into.

    Now I’m sure Mr. Gowdy is successful enough that he has some type of Apple product. I’m sure that somewhere on there he has some personal information that he doesn’t want the public to know. That is what Apple is protecting. They are protecting the security of their customers. I am sure that if it was the other way around and Apple was to blame for not having enough security there would be similar issues. Just because someone is a terrorist that does not mean that all their information isn’t encrypted. Now to the people saying that they need to create a software that can create a loophole into this system, I would love to know how they expect to push that software update onto the locked phone of which you don’t have the terrorist computer to do so. It’s logic people. Wake up and learn about the issue that Apple has at hand before we start critiquing their business perspectives and basically stating that they protecting terrorists.

    I think that Tim Cook is 100% correct when he states that “no one would want anyone to have a master key built that would turn 100’s of millions of locks”. I can tell you personally, that I wouldn’t even want that. My phone has my credit card info, email info, personal info and a lot of other things stored within it. People don’t understand what can happen if apple were to release such a software to unlock an iPhone. The funniest thing I’ve read all day is “Think of the government as your dad”. Honestly, this is 100% correct. The government is so controlling and it’s almost as if they are abusing their powers forcing a company to risk the security of millions of other people. I am really surprised that Apple even fired back at a government that has so much power. What would have happened after they unlocked one iPhone though? I guarantee it would have gone something like this, “Unlock this phone and we have 100,000 others we need unlocked to”. It would have only become a system where government and law enforcement are abusing the software constantly.

  18. Sulaiman Jilani April 7, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

    John Oliver and Steven Colbert are both known for their facetiousness and comedy and therefore people do not take them seriously due to the fact that they are comedians. Even though that is true about them, they are still telling people about a subject matter that is real and serious. This debate between the government and Apple is serious. However, since this topic is being covered in such a comedic, people are not taking the issue seriously and do not think that this issue is relevant. People who do not know too much about this debate should take some time out of their busy schedules and watch this video and watch how this issue is broken down into simple terms with a bit of humor.

    The case is essentially about the government wanting Apple to create a software that can allow the government to break the code of the phone of the terrorist. Even though this idea can be beneficial, the privacy of the users of the phone will be at risk. People have valuable information on their phones and that information can be taken with the government now having created this order. There is no easy answer to this debate since there are countless reasons to defend Apple, but people may feel a different way. John Oliver said there are serious consequences to unlocking a phone and the affect it can have on over a billion users. People have information such as health records, addresses, credit card information, and much more. There are major pros and cons to this debate. Pros being that terrorists can be tracked down and taken down, but at the same time it will be at the cost of others’ privacy. It will be interesting to see how the case will unfold now that the FBI has gotten into the phone.

  19. Morgan Cole April 10, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    This ongoing issue regarding the FBI vs Apple is a topic that I cannot wrap my head around. A few months ago when the FBI requested that Apple unlock the iphone of the San Bernardino shooter, Apple denied their request, as it would effect their operations entirely. Allowing the FBI to hack into the terrorists phone would require Apple to create a whole team and new department of hackers. Along with creating the department, these people would be creating a new operating system that would allow the FBI to have backdoor access into the iphone. It makes logical sense why Apple would not want to be involved with the FBI’s request. They would be putting too much of their company at risk.

    Now I could play devils advocate and say that Apple should comply with the FBI’s request because we are talking about a terrorist here. Unlocking the phone could discover potential information regarding other terrorists and future attacks on America.

    As the author of this article says, “there is no easy side to be on in this debate”. It makes sense why Apple would want to keep their reputation and products safe, but it makes sense why they should unlock the phone in order to protect our country.

  20. Joshua Gavin April 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

    Government surveillance is no easy subject to tackle. This is an incredibly muddy gray issue where on one hand having our entire lives exposed to the government is disgusting, but on the other we are incredibly more safe with it. Truly think about how hard it is to organize a terrorist event in the US for example. Without encryption, your best bet as a member of ISIS would probably be to do it via actual pen and paper, delaying the incident for who knows how many mothers. There is literally no avenue of digital communication to the middle east, or any known terror site that is not being watch. On the subject matter of Apple vs The FBI, lets not kid ourselves for a second. Apple knows that it is doing the right thing, but assuming the the FBI really needs a warrant to break into the iPhone is laughable. The declassified technology the US military uses is something out of a science fiction novel, with current naval warships being outfitted with Lasers and even a Rail Gun (its all true just google it), and your telling me the iPhone is too secure to hack? That stuff is the DEclassified technology, imagine what devices and software the is classified. While this is all great PR for Apple to think that the NSA cannot just turn on cameras and microphones of any device connected to the internet is being naive.

  21. Sam Sheikh April 10, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

    As someone who has not been following the FBI and Apple situation, this was a good summary on the whole topic. The government seems to want more and more information and people just do not want to give it to them. The article did make a good point about precedent. If the government is allowed to go into this phone, they will be able to get into any other phone in the future. The only problem is that there is a potential terrorist situation, but it is potential. If it was proven that unlocking the phone could lead to stopping terrorists, I believe that Apple should unlock the phone.

  22. Peter Senkowsky June 18, 2016 at 12:07 am #

    I cant say I have done huge research on this topic, but I did actually watch this on his HBO special. Iv been a big John Oliver fan since he was on comedy central. He always pokes fun at certain topics but this on seemed to be something he was more serious about, and we all should. Its no laughing matter why Apple refuses to help the FBI, because ones they find out, its no telling who after will get a hold of the information and be able to open any apple product.
    One of Apples many arguments was that after helping the FBI they would have to change their software so that no one, but them, would be able to open it again. Given that the reason why the FBI wanted the info was to open a terrorists phone was a pretty solid reason for why they needed apples help, Apple carries many good reasons why not to help. And why they ended up never helping, and FBI got someone else to hack into their phone.

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