Apple, basically: “If it pleases the court, tell FBI to go fuck themselves"

[Read the post]


every time i read anything that’s Apple vs. FBI, a movie comes to mind.

bad things happen when the FBI steps in… or the EPA. lol


Of course, everything Apple said about privacy could also be said to condemn their commitment to a curated internet.


Granted, but today I’m an unabashedly cheering them on in this fight. Fine form!


Yes. And we should be taking copious notes to feed them their own words once it becomes necessary.


I’ll toast to that.


They still haven’t referred to Arkell v. Pressdram 1971

We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell’s attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows:

fuck off.


Are you misusing the term ‘internet’ to mean ‘mobile app store’? That’s a pretty big typo.


It would’ve been more awesome if Apple stood up for privacy when the issue isn’t in the eye of public - like before 2013 when they were rubbing shoulders with the government during the PRISM program and willingly forking over their customers data for money. No wonder the government is a bit miffed - from best spy buddies to enemies.


I am fantasizing about a world where Apple didn’t take the high road.

Like, “ok, so here’s your signed binary”. Oh, our bad, did we give you the one that erases phones? Jeeze, yeah. Really sorry about that. Yeah, well I guess the case is moot then huh?

Or: Apple elects instead to publish the private code signing key in an ad in the New York Times. The next day, it pulls a LavaBit and shuts it’s doors, resulting in thousands of layoffs and billions of shareholder values evaporated. The resulting legal chaos would see the shareholders of Apple pitted against the government to try to recover their losses, and the international shareholders having their governments bring a case in the WTO with the eventual punishment being that an equivalent tonnage of corn has to rot in a warehouse in Louisiana or something. And the now public signing key would be used by bad actors to cause an Armageddon of competing iOS hacks all trying to make the biggest mobile device botnet ever seen.

Would also be a convenient way to shut the Apple fan boys up once and for all: no Apple, no fan boys.



At the end of the day you can use threats to force the company to write this but there is no way you can force a developer to write this code.

If they lose, Apple can hire me (or someone like me) to not ever deliver this code in a usable form.


That’s so simplistic it makes no sense. It’s like saying “Everything said about oranges could be said about apples,” as if you’ve just come up with an argument-winner. What’s your point?


I wish there were no trolls. [waits two days] What the hell, there are still trolls!

OK but before valorizing Apple remember that their iPhones are made with conscripted child labor under deplorable conditions in China, and their retail employees are generally very precariously employed. Like a lot of other electronics companies. It would be a huge mistake to compartmentalize Apple’s policies, good and bad.

We have to take the good with the bad in order to get a more accurate picture of what current events mean and how they reflect the spirit and motivations of the company.

Some of what Apple is doing may seem good for consumers but remember also that they are motivated by self-interest, and they regularly cooperate with authorities on handing over information.

1 Like

And perhaps the finest one-liner from a fine film…

Venkmann: “Dickless here turned off the ghost storage system causing it to explode releasing all the ghosts we caught!”

Governor (to the health inspector): “Is this true?”

Venkmann (deadpan): “Yes sir, the man has no dick.”



No, they are completely unrelated.
The Government of the US has a monopoly of political and military power. Apple does not have a monopoly of the mobile phone market. People have a choice as to the amount of insecurity they wish to have with their mobile phones and desktop operating systems.
Since iPhone users tend on the whole to be richer than Android buyers, and since they use the majority of mobile internet in the US, I consider it highly desirable that they are protected from their own carelessness by Apple. People buying high spec Android phones are, I suspect, more likely to work in IT-related areas and so be more aware of the need for security, so letting them have access to dodgy app stores and unlocked bootloaders is less of an overall risk. (Where I’m staying at the moment one person works for Google and has a Galaxy Note something, the other is a lawyer with an iPhone, and it was observing that which made me think of this post.) It’s the same logic by which businessmen are encouraged into large, expensive cars with lots of safety gadgets. Until Porsche joined the banker set, a 911 was one of the fastest ways to kill yourself. But, owing to cocaine, drunk driving and people with more money than engineering skill, 911s now have all kinds of traction control, stability control and the like to protect their entitled occupants (and the ordinary people coming the other way.)

If Apple has to give up security to the Government, and at some point someone else will acquire the backdoor, then Apple Pay (for instance) is a disaster waiting to happen that could bring down the company. That’s the self interest. For the same reason banks are often in conflict with governments about security. The difference is that banks have physical rather than electronic vaults, so they can allow limited access to governments because of the compartmentalisation.


Should the government have carte blanche rights to force anyone to work for them?

The irony of someone making this argument and then saying everyone should have free health care (in effect, forcing medical providers to work the government, since the government would then be setting reimbursement rates) is just too delicious…