Encryption

Apple faces €1m fine per iPhone unlocking refusal in France

Apple faces €1m fine per iPhone unlocking refusal in France

Despite its victory in court yesterday, Apple is still facing an uphill battle when it comes to iPhones, encryption, and the company’s staunch refusal to obey every unlock order that comes its way. France has proposed a million Euro fine for every iPhone the company refuses to unlock. The same penalty could apply to Google under similar conditions, and is being considered as a way to strong arm companies into giving governments access to suspected terrorists’ smartphone data.

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Judge: Apple can’t be forced to unlock iPhones under All Writs Act

Judge: Apple can’t be forced to unlock iPhones under All Writs Act

In a case unrelated but entirely relevant to the San Bernardino legal battle, a New York judge has just ruled that Apple cannot be forced to unlock an iPhone for the FBI under the All Writs Act, something George Washington himself had signed into law back in 1789. In this case, the matter revolves around an iPhone belonging to Jun Feng of Queens, New York. The DEA seized his phone while executing a search warrant on Feng’s home back in 2014. When it came time to search the phone, though, law enforcement was stopped by an increasingly contentious issue: the phone was, and still is, encrypted.

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Apple files its response to court order, Google, Facebook to follow

Apple files its response to court order, Google, Facebook to follow

The heat hasn't cooled off in the fight between Apple and the FBI over the encrypted iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter, a case that, due to the circumstances of the crime, has bled into mainstream media and divided not just companies but also citizens. Soon, however, the case might be taken to yet another step higher. Apple has just submitted it legal response to the federal court's order and, in turn, is asking the courts to vacate the order on the grounds that the government is overstepping its legal boundaries and is setting a chilling precedent.

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Apple’s Tim Cook explains that FBI request is like ‘software cancer’ in interview

Apple’s Tim Cook explains that FBI request is like ‘software cancer’ in interview

Apple CEO Time Cook appeared on ABC World News Tonight last night, and in a 30-minute interview with David Muir, he goes into detail about Apple's stance encryption, as well as why they will not give in to the FBI's demands for backdoor access into an iPhone that belonged to a terrorist. The television broadcast of the program only included a small portion of the interview, but ABC has now posted it online in full, and it's a must-watch for anyone closely following the Apple/FBI topic, as well as the larger issue of privacy and the government.

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In defiance, Apple works on making iPhone harder to hack

In defiance, Apple works on making iPhone harder to hack

Following the hoopla concerning Apple’s battle with the FBI over unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone comes a new report claiming the company is working on the development of new security measures that’ll prevent it — and the government — from breaching the phones. This will be a big blow for law enforcement and various government agencies, which have sought backdoors to the encryption.

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FBI ordered San Bernardino county to reset shooter’s iPhone

FBI ordered San Bernardino county to reset shooter’s iPhone

If the consequences weren't so dire, the developments it the case of the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone are almost too comical to be real. The matter, however, is very serious, both for those whose lives were lost and affected in last year's shootings as well as for the future of mobile device legislation. In the most recent back and forth between the US government and Apple, the FBI finally acknowledged that it had a hand in getting the iPhone's iCloud password reset, and act which Apple claims has closed the doors on harvesting the device's data without requiring a backdoor.

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Microsoft makes modest statement in support of Apple over iPhone encryption

Microsoft makes modest statement in support of Apple over iPhone encryption

The news about the FBI ordering Apple to offer backdoor access to an iPhone belonging to a terrorist, along with Apple's subsequent refusal, has been dominating headlines this week. On an issue that's sure to prompt ongoing debate about encryption and privacy, several other tech giants are voicing their support for Apple's stance. It took a bit of time, but Google's Sundar Pichai tweeted his agreement with Tim Cook's open letter on encryption, along with Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp. Now Microsoft has spoken up, albeit in a moderate way.

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Google chief Sundar Pichai tweets in support of Apple, Cook

Google chief Sundar Pichai tweets in support of Apple, Cook

The tug of war between government and the tech industry over the question of encryption has been going on for months, perhaps even years now. But this latest case that involves the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooters is perhaps the tipping point of the debate. Snowden calls it the most important tech case of the decade and one that could, and most likely will, set a precedent for years to come. That is the "chilling" precedent that Apple is trying to fend off, and it won't be doing so alone. Joining the growing chorus, Google CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter to show his support of Tim Cook's letter to Apple customers.

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Apple ordered to disable autowipe on San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

Apple ordered to disable autowipe on San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

It's not exactly a landmark court decision but one that could set a precedent in the tug of war between the US government and encryption advocates. A federal judge in Riverside, California has just ordered Apple to assist in unlocking the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone to aid in criminal investigation. While the judge isn't exactly telling Apple to break the smartphone's encryption and only disable the "10 tries and wipe" security feature, the consequences of this subtle difference can still send ripples in the fight for security and privacy on devices and services.

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Bill could block attempts to enforce encryption backdoors

Bill could block attempts to enforce encryption backdoors

The fight for security and privacy, now embodied in the encryption of devices and services, has long taken a political flavor when the US government publicly advocated installing backdoors on such systems for the sake of criminal investigation. Now the story takes an interesting turn when two lawmakers cross the political divide to propose a bill that will preempt such proposals. Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, and Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Republican from New York, have proposed a House bill that will prevent any state or local government from forcing OEMs to create such backdoors.

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AG on encryption: we don’t want back doors, just back doors

AG on encryption: we don’t want back doors, just back doors

Encryption has become a very thorny subject of late, particularly in but not just limited to the US, which isn't that surprising considering most of the tech companies of the world call the country their HQ. Although it has since slightly weakened its formerly strong language, the US government stands by its position. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch reiterated that position. The US doesn't want encryption back doors. They just want access to encrypted systems through another door that isn't the front. So maybe a side door perhaps.

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California also wants encryption backdoors on smartphones

California also wants encryption backdoors on smartphones

Another US state has added itself to the roster of those fighting for requiring encryption keys to be provided to aid in criminal investigation. Or as others call it, "weakening encryption". California assemblyman Jim Cooper proposed a new bill that eerily sounded like a similar proposal being made in New York City. The difference, however, is that the purpose isn't to fight terrorism but to crack down on human trafficking specifically. Still, it's basically the same mantra that's being repeated in the US, UK, and France, requiring companies to provide governments with keys when they need them.

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