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Old 09-30-2014, 10:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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U.S. Law Enforcement Seeks to Halt Apple-Google Encryption of Mobile Data

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U.S. law enforcement officials are urging Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG) to give authorities access to smartphone data that the companies have decided to block, and are weighing whether to appeal to executives or seek congressional legislation.

The new privacy features, announced two weeks ago by the California-based companies, will stymie investigations into crimes ranging from drug dealing to terrorism, law enforcement officials said.

“This is a very bad idea,” said Cathy Lanier, chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, in an interview. Smartphone communication is “going to be the preferred method of the pedophile and the criminal. We are going to lose a lot of investigative opportunities.”

The dispute is the latest flare-up that pits the federal government against the nation’s leading technology companies since National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed last year the extent of U.S. snooping on phone and Internet communications -- and how companies cooperated.

U.S. Justice Department and FBI officials are trying to understand how the new Apple and Google Android systems work and how the companies could change the encryption to make it accessible when court ordered. Their requests to the companies may include letters, personal appeals or congressional legislation, said a federal law official who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.

NSA Spying

Beyond lobbying the companies, there is little law enforcement can do without congressional action. Technology companies have stepped up efforts to shield customer data from hackers -- and the government -- after the NSA spy revelations and the recent theft of celebrity nude photos from Apple’s iCloud service.

“These companies are trying to build products that people want to use,” said Carl Howe, a mobility analyst with 451 Research in Boston. “They want to provide that feeling of privacy. Otherwise, people won’t use them.”

Apple described the new measures on Sept. 17 on its website, noting that it can no longer bypass customers’ passcodes and “therefore cannot access this data.” Apple has in the past cooperated with court orders and unlocked phones for law enforcement or provided data from its systems. Apple’s message said in most cases law enforcement doesn’t ask for content such as e-mails, photos or data stored on its iCloud or iTunes accounts.

Technical Feasibility

“It’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running” the latest version of the company’s operating system, iOS 8, the Cupertino, California-based company said.

Evidence from mobile devices has provided critical help in solving crimes ranging from homicides to drug trafficking. Just as most people spend time on smartphones, so do criminals.

Investigators routinely recover from the devices videos of crimes in progress, photos of drug gang members flashing weapons, text exchanges between conspirators, and child pornography.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey entered the debate last week, telling reporters that he opposed the companies’ decision. He said the FBI was working to get them to change the policies.

“What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law,” Comey said.

‘Fundamental Tension’

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, and Christopher Katsaros, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, declined to comment on the efforts by federal officials.

“This is a fundamental tension,” Howe said. The “balance between how much privacy you’re allowed to have and how many rights the government has” is a question that has continued historically in the U.S., he said.

A half-dozen police and federal officials interviewed said that Apple, in particular, was taking an aggressive posture on the issue.

Law enforcement officials emphasized that they get court orders, and that they aren’t seeking to randomly root through phones. They said they were unsure whether the same encryption protocols would make it impossible to get data stored in cloud-based servers operated by the companies.

Drug Investigations

James Soiles, a deputy chief of operations at the Drug Enforcement Administration, said the stakes in resolving the dispute are high.

“It’s a significant issue for law enforcement,” Soiles said. “As long as we are doing it with court orders, there shouldn’t be any reason to keep us from it. We want to attack command-and-control structures of drug organizations, and to do that we have to be able to exploit their communication devices.”

Andrew Weissmann, the top lawyer at the FBI from 2011 through 2013, said the bureau was especially concerned that criminals could soon “go dark” with the aid of encryption.

Google and Apple faced a choice, Weissmann said: Creating vault-like systems that nobody could penetrate or ones that were less-secure and would permit authorities to investigate crimes.

‘Balancing Act’

“They have created a system that is a free-for-all for criminals,” said Weissmann, a law professor at New York University. “It’s the wrong balancing act. Having court-ordered access to telephones is essential to thwart criminal acts and terrorist acts.”

Weissmann said there was little the Justice Department could do to stop the emerging policies. The companies are permitted to have encryption systems. The only way to ensure law enforcement access is for Congress to pass legislation, he said.

Following the Snowden revelations over the National Security Agency’s data collection, Google, Apple and other tech giants in January got permission to disclose more about government orders for customer data. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) and Facebook Inc. (FB), had filed motions with the secret court that oversees spying under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act asking to be able to publish details.

Some tech companies, including Google and Facebook, are pushing for more help with disclosures. That includes support of legislation called the USA FREEDOM Act, which would allow the search-engine provider to be more clear about the volume, scope and type of national security demands the company receives.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-0...-decision.html


Scary shit right there.
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Take the cell phone part out of the equation... whether it's mail, or physical surveillance if the cops think you're up to something they're always going to watch.
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Take the cell phone part out of the equation... whether it's mail, or physical surveillance if the cops think you're up to something they're always going to watch.
The problem is, it's not about whether the cops think you're up to something or not. In contrast to earlier times when surveillance costed man-power, nowadays with the new technologies they monitor EVERYONE and thereby treat EVERY citizen like a criminal. Totalitarian states like former GDR or Soviet Union under Stalin could only have dreamed of what supposedly "democratic" Western states not only are able to do today, but actually DO to get full control over their citizens.

The novel 1984 not that long ago was considered a scary dystopian fiction, now we are right in it.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I applaud Apple and Google for this, assuming they don't cave to the political nonsense. My private data is my private data, stay the hell out of my personal life. More over, this kind of crap just leads to worse and worse things, if the government is allowed to keep going down this road of infiltrating your personal life, eventually this will most definitely be an iron-fisted police state, with the extreme advancements in technology I honestly would not be surprised if we are heading to the world "Demolition Man" takes place in.

In other words, good, I hope more company policies block the government from accessing your private data, among blocking the government from other things.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Im all for law enforcement being granted court orders to get into terrorist and serious criminals data.

The problem is that once it becomes status quo then the police will be requesting data on people for more trivial offences like GBH and before you know it they'll be able to access your personal data for stuff like parking offences. Then comes the private companies accessing you're stuff to see if you've been downloading music torrents, or insurance companies requesting your data to see if you've been searching for stuff like heart problems, quit smoking, lose weight ect.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Who cares if people are monitoring us? If we're doing nothing wrong, they dont give a shit. If we are doing something wrong, we DESERVE to be reprimanded.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Who cares if people are monitoring us? If we're doing nothing wrong, they dont give a shit. If we are doing something wrong, we DESERVE to be reprimanded.
Send me your phone. I want to go through all your FB messages, I want to go through your photos, your text messages, your phone calls, I want to know what you've been doing, where you've been, who you have been hanging out with. Have any personal/intimate conversations with your wife/GF lately? Doesn't matter, I want to read/hear them. Share any personal information with a specific person that you don't want anyone else to know? Doesn't matter, I want to know all about it, and guess what? You have no right to say no to me. Give me all your information right now. You know what you get in return? Nothing. I want every single right to invade every inch of your personal life without your consent, simple as that. So yeah, I'll message you the address you are now to send your phone to, without question or debate, send it as it's absolutely none of your business who gets into your personal life and in fact could potentially be against the law if you do not send me your phone, you could even wind up in jail if you do not send me your phone right now.

Sounds good, yeah? No, it sounds absolutely ridiculous and it's the exact reason Apple/Google are trying to stop nonsense like this.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Who cares if people are monitoring us? If we're doing nothing wrong, they dont give a shit. If we are doing something wrong, we DESERVE to be reprimanded.
I guess you don't believe in having civil liberties and rights. Might as well move to N. Korea if this is how you truly feel. It's crazy that humans are giving up everything so easily.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ClydebankBlitz View Post
Who cares if people are monitoring us? If we're doing nothing wrong, they dont give a shit. If we are doing something wrong, we DESERVE to be reprimanded.
Powers can shift, in particular in unstable economic situations. Before Hitler came to power, killed several million Jews, Sinti&Roma, homosexuals, handicapped people and put war on Europe from the UK to Russia, Germany as Weimarer Republic was a liberal democracy. When the economy in a once stable country goes wrong, people are quick to elect extremists into power. And when some lunatic like Hitler or Stalin get to power or if a government system installed like in the GDR, it is THEY who decide if you're doing something wrong. And they'll be happy that they don't have to collect all the data themselves, but that it's already there.

You elected the opposing party, before they got to power -> jail/get shot
You texted your friend about smoking weed at parties -> jail
You're overweight are a disgrace to the superrace -> labor camp
Wrong skin colour -> concentration camp
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by M.C View Post
Send me your phone. I want to go through all your FB messages, I want to go through your photos, your text messages, your phone calls, I want to know what you've been doing, where you've been, who you have been hanging out with. Have any personal/intimate conversations with your wife/GF lately? Doesn't matter, I want to read/hear them. Share any personal information with a specific person that you don't want anyone else to know? Doesn't matter, I want to know all about it, and guess what? You have no right to say no to me. Give me all your information right now. You know what you get in return? Nothing. I want every single right to invade every inch of your personal life without your consent, simple as that. So yeah, I'll message you the address you are now to send your phone to, without question or debate, send it as it's absolutely none of your business who gets into your personal life and in fact could potentially be against the law if you do not send me your phone, you could even wind up in jail if you do not send me your phone right now.

Sounds good, yeah? No, it sounds absolutely ridiculous and it's the exact reason Apple/Google are trying to stop nonsense like this.
Are you only asking for my FB or are you asking for everyone in the countries? You can have mine if you are having every one. The odds of me standing out is slim to none.

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Originally Posted by TheNinja View Post
I guess you don't believe in having civil liberties and rights. Might as well move to N. Korea if this is how you truly feel. It's crazy that humans are giving up everything so easily.
They aren't exactly imprisoning me in a cage. Why should I give a shit if the government knows I play Zynga Poker and watch Cheerleader porn?

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Originally Posted by Voiceless View Post
Powers can shift, in particular in unstable economic situations. Before Hitler came to power, killed several million Jews, Sinti&Roma, homosexuals, handicapped people and put war on Europe from the UK to Russia, Germany as Weimarer Republic was a liberal democracy. When the economy in a once stable country goes wrong, people are quick to elect extremists into power. And when some lunatic like Hitler or Stalin get to power or if a government system installed like in the GDR, it is THEY who decide if you're doing something wrong. And they'll be happy that they don't have to collect all the data themselves, but that it's already there.

You elected the opposing party, before they got to power -> jail/get shot
You texted your friend about smoking weed at parties -> jail
You're overweight are a disgrace to the superrace -> labor camp
Wrong skin colour -> concentration camp
Username bet - If in the next 2 years the world gets taken over by a new version of Hitler (ReptilianSlayer, no, Obama isn't a new version of Hitler), then I'll change my name to whatever you want (or whatever the totalitarian dictator wants).
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