consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

So, without really trying previously the federal government simply wanted to cram through a forced easy-access backdoor to all communication of citizens, against citizen privacy interests, and when the effort encountered due resistance, they disarmed it, for now; but wait and see.

Reuters, here, stating:

The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday it had succeeded in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters and dropped its legal case against Apple, ending a high-stakes legal battle but leaving the broader struggle over encryption unresolved.

The abrupt end to a confrontation that had transfixed the tech industry was a victory for Apple, which vehemently opposed a court order obtained by the Justice Department that would have required it to write new software to get into the iPhone.

"From the beginning, we objected to the FBI's demand that Apple build a back door into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent," Apple said in a statement late on Monday. "As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought."

But the larger fight over law enforcement access to encrypted information is by no means over. The technology industry is adamant that anything that helps authorities bypass the security features of tech products will undermine security for everyone.

Nit picking: The last paragraph's use of "security" might better be phrased, "privacy."

The government's argument for an easy-access backdoor threatening everyone was "national security," having to learn what these proven bad actors were up to, etc., when without that easy forced backdoor cram down, they, surprisingly at this late date, found out what these bad actors were up to, as far as that knowledge was memorialized in the contested iPhone.

What we don't know - was it worth any effort at all, and how was the hack done. Was it so actually easy that we all are in peril? That Russians or Eastern European identity theft hackers can do it? Or so abstruse and difficult that the government each time must bring in costly highly-skilled consultants to do each hack?

Case dismissed. Questions left hanging. How secure in your privacy does it make you feel?

Last, Strib carrying parallel AP feeds, here and here.

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