By Eustace C. Jackson.
April 11, 2016.
Greetings from Eustace to you. And if you’re reading this from your super secured iphone, better watch out!
It may not be as secured as you’ve been made to think.
On April the 6th, FBI director James Comey gave updates on the FBI, Court system, Apple and the San Bernardino terrorist duo and their quadrangle of intrigue, distrust and frustration.
A quick overview. The San Bernardino terrorists who last December massacred 14 people, left behind a company issued Apple iphone. Naturally, the FBI would desire to take a peek. Of course and why not, especially since the employer who technically owns the phone had given authorization to break into it? Who wouldn’t’ve wanted to find out who those bastards were communicating with in the minutes, days and months before their express descent into eternal hellfire? Perhaps Apple? Really? Well, maybe. Apple rebuffed the FBI’s request to unscramble that one device and annul the code that would cause the device to auto-destruct and shed all its data after 10 unsuccessful login attempts (passcode counter). Notice that the FBI didn’t ask for Apple to assist in the arduous task of logging into the phone itself, but just to modify this ONE phone to allow them (FBI) a chance to break into it. Apple declined and took the matter public, claiming inter alia, that the FBI’s request was akin to imploring a homeowner to construct and reveal an unguarded backdoor to her home. Plus, Apple charged, this would require nothing short of a rewrite of the operating system which would cost so much ($25 million i think was floated) and would take an inordinate amount of time. Eustace thinks the exchange between Apple and the FBI may have gone something like this:
FBI: O ye Apple, the great citadel of electronic innovation, we hail thee!
Apple: What wanteth thou, investigating lords, seekers of the truth, whose long arms striketh in the day and smothereth at night?
FBI: Oh no ye purveyor of smart devices, in peace we come. Pray we beseech thee, that your people of immense coding acumen, unlock this one device and let us be to our own devices. Whatsoever it costs, that we shall pay, for there’s terror in the land and the people are fearful.
Apple: O ye finders of secrets, how can it be, that we are to build a bridge for them hackers who besiege us day and night?
FBI: No no ye maestroes of knowledge, no such demands shall we make. On this one device alone do we humbly seek thy intervention. Should we lie about this, may our pens be inkless and our servers crash, up to the 3rd generation!
Apple: What ye speak, longhanded one, are mere words. 97 million device holders we must protect. Shall we then with our own hands incinerate the house of Jobs? What ye ask, we cannot do. We have spoken!
FBI: We implore ye o cauldron of reason, to reconsider, because the terrorists must be stopped, for the people seeketh a return of their tranquility. Thou must not bring shame upon the house of Jobs! Always consider, wwjd – what would Jobs do? We must take this to the court of the law!
And so it was that the FBI sought and acquired a court order demanding that Apple avail the necessary expertise to assist in the investigative endeavor. Apple remained resolute and cast this bruhaha as a potential attempt by the authorities to infringe upon “we the people’s” rights to privacy and to not be warrantlessly surveilled. In the age of Edward “the traitor” Snowden and the NSA, that isn’t a difficult arguement to make. As Apple prepared its defence, the debate raged on in the public domain engendering divergent, strong and intransigent viewpoints, as well it should. The central question, is, what happens at the confluence of individual/corporate liberties and national security? What gives? Who yields? What happens when individuals (and by extension, corporations) liberties are sacrificed on the alter of the common good? Who promulgates the criteria and the why, how and what those would be for determining who’s liberties are in need of violation? Are corporations ob liged to forgo their fiduciary goals and obligations for the sake of national security. To be clear, the dilema hovers around the extent to which the security services can go to compel an organization to act in an assistive manner towards them (security services) while by so doing, be possibly detrimental or injurious to its own interests. This is clearly an important matter which the founders may not have envisaged, in which case the SCOTUS will set a precedent by making a determination not of the letter but of the spirit of the law. The battle between the FBI and the house of Jobs, is one our eminent jurists must take up, set a precedent and erase any gray areas in future scenarios. And this is a matter far too important to be litigated before a quorumless 4-4 Supreme Court (thank you Senators McConnell and Grassley)!
Several business titans have weighed in, including a longtime Jobs archrival and founder and former CEO of Microsoft, the planet’s wealthiest human, multibillionaire Bill Gates. Ok, so much for the long intro because Eustace couldn’t really decipher his viewpoint. He seemed to straddle both sides of the divide. The conversation between Tebe and Frank was by far more illuminating. Tebe, a seasoned techie, vigorously defended Apple’s right to protect the fidelity of its flagship product. Frank, himself a seasoned former techie, erred on the side of the FBI and particularly found worrisome, Apple’s defiance, even in the face of a court order.
Enter OGB and Pikins, two very impressive, astute and accomplished physicians. Unequivocally siding with the security services, they both expressed a measure of empathy for Apple’s position. They both however were very clear that the interests of one mustn’t trump the good of all.
Back to FBI Director Comey. He, during his briefing, revealed that an Israeli company, Cellebrite, had provided them with the wherewithal to enable them acomplish that which Apple was unwilling to assist with. With Apple’s assistance no longer pivotal and perhaps not needed at all, the FBI withdrew its litigation and turned their focus into advancing the investigation. Now, Apple is demanding the FBI provide it with information about the hack. And gals and boys, believe it or not, Apple has the law on its side! There’s a law in the books that requires the FBI to do just that. It remains be seen how the FBI would play this one, if the FBI will hamstring itself for future investigations by enabling Apple plug that hole. Apple may have to sue. Ooooieee! How the hunter has become the hunted!
That’s it for now girls and boys. Goodbye!
No goodbye. Not until you have learned the truth on this matter. And the truth shall turn you loose! And here it is.
Apple’s “security” and “backdoor” angle is the facade that shrouds the more viceral purpose for waging this battle in the public domain.
On October 27th of 2015, Apple reported its Q4 – ’15 earnings and reported a period profit of $11.1 billion. That wasn’t only an Apple record, it was also an American all-time record. Period. And what did that get them? In the immediate following the report, Apple’s great harbinger of value, the stock price, didn’t go up nor did it go sideways. It actually took a dive, albeit a small one, and hasn’t had a surge of significance since.
What does one need to do to get the market to behave nowadays? Maybe shake things up a little? Make some noise? Do something! A public bout with the FBI must’ve been viewed as a bonanza.
It is true that companies have a primary responsibility to cause no harm to its customers, there’s however a school of thought that believes a customer forfeits the right or privilege of protection as soon as it is demonstrable that such rights or privileges have been abused. That is why OGB gave an apt analogy to the effect that much like the attorney – client privilege, the doctor – patient privilege of confidentiality can be nullified when a client or patient demonstrates malicious intent.
And from Eustace to Apple, mega shame on you! You chose your economic interests over the safety of all – including yours! Every reason you gave turned our to be false excuses. You said it couldn’t be done – it was. You said it would take an OS rewrite – it didn’t. You said it’d take an inordinate amount of time – it didn’t. You said it’d cost a fortune – it probably didn’t.
San Bernardino, 400 miles away, could’ve been you! Our security is your security and vice versa. There’s a reason you’re in Cupertino and not Aleppo! If don’t have security, you don’t have a country.
Eustace doesn’t know what Jobs would’ve done. Apple co-founder Wozniak says for sure Jobs would’ve fought the FBI with every fiber of his being. Eustace begs to differ and thinks the legendary Jobs would’ve heeded to reason and have done the right thing. Because afterall and above all, he was a patriot!
And the people said:
Trump: Let’s all boycott Apple! Actually, y’all go ahead, I’ll need mine to tweet with. Plus i’m very very rich, that i must tell you!
Apple ad: “iphone, the preferred phone of terrorists worldwide”!
Frank: Is it worse for Apple that they refused to help or that the FBI
found a way in without them?
Dr. OGB: Apple should’ve made an exception. What if that phone had the details of the next 9/11?
Dr. Pikins: National Security overides individual liberties any and everyday. Not even close!
Koboko: Why people *h*t where them eat!
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