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


#21

As opposed to companies making record profits off the pain, suffering, and potential death of people that they do now? Of CEOs that are allowed to buy up a necessary drug and jack the price up 1400%?

I’d take Canadian healthcare over that shit any day. This is not the place for that go 'round again friend.

As for Apple? Good, their self interest temporarily aligns with our needs. I do not mistaken this for them genuinely caring. Apple will do what is best for Apple, not me. With that said, I’ll take what i can get at this point even if it is temporary and liable to change. Tired of bad news everywhere.


#22

I get that the FBI wants to get into this phone and see what additional info is on it. But smart phones have only been around for what 20 years now? really 10-15 in real popularity?

Acts of terrorism and evil have been happening for far longer than that. Do what your predecessors did in 1960 or 1970…police work. I know…it’s hard. BUT…it beats trampling on the inalienable rights of all the law abiding good people in this world.


#23

Is that Apple using the 13th amendment argument?


#24

Isn’t this his work phone?

Didn’t he and his wife literally destroy their private phones (and computer drives)?

  • why would somebody that careful be using their work phone for terrorist activities?

#25

Nowadays most of the banks’ value too is electronic.


#26

They wouldn’t, which is the whole reason this argument is stupid. The FBI wants a backdoor as precident so they can belly up on the next case, and the case after that, and so on even though Apple already handed over what was in iCloud, and amusingly had the FBI not tried to brute force the thing it would have kept synching with iCloud instead of the last backup being a few days before the big scary thing.


#27

And of course they chose THIS as their test case because…terrorism. If they didn’t have terrorists, they’d have to invent them. It’s not like they’ve never done THAT before…


#28

The chaos of modern Europe and Canada, where highly skilled and qualified professionals are kept in labor camps labelled “hospital” and “clinic”. A too delicious depravity of conscious has left my concupiscence unconsciously unctuous.

but hey,

Welcome to the site. Browse some articles. Like some posts maybe. Steel yourself against your likely disappointment.


#29

But the records are held on separate systems with different access controls, even different operating systems. There is no one backdoor that would open lots of locks.


#30

A small nit: code isn’t speech. It is the product of a digital printing press, and therefore also protected by the First Amendment. I say this because many people mistakenly believe that “freedom of the press” is intended to protect journalists as a class. What it actually protects is the operation of printing presses, regardless of the profession of the operator (though there are also shield laws that protect journalists as a class).

I wonder if the four part Central Hudson test will come into play:

Is the expression protected by the First Amendment? For speech to come within that provision, it must concern lawful activity and not be misleading.

This is more relevant where the government is attempting to prohibit false claims and less so when the government is trying to compel speech. However, by compelling developers to sign code, I think the case can be made that the government is compelling misleading speech. I take it as self-evident that Apple uses its key to sign updates because it cares about the security of delivering their updates and preventing unauthorized ones. I do not expect Apple to use the key for other reasons such as delivering government-mandated back doors into their products. The signature attests to authenticity of code and loses all of its value if it can be compelled.

Is the asserted governmental interest substantial?

I have no idea how a judge is going to decide this part of the test. I can see arguments both ways. My gut instinct is that Yes, this is a substantial interest even if I don’t like the ramifications of that answer.

Does the regulation directly advance the governmental interest asserted?

Now we are in trouble. If the interest asserted is foiling a hypothetical attack, that is likely going to be No. If the interest asserted is merely accessing evidence, then the answer is probably Yes. But still tricky.

Is the regulation more extensive than is necessary to serve that interest?

Because of the ramifications this order would have for all iPhone owners, I think the answer here is Yes.


#31

What does this have to do with the issues at hand here?

(Not to mention it isn’t true…)


#32

[quote=“Comrade, post:15, topic:75113 full:true”]
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.[/quote]

Oh boy.

Yes, Apple has cooperated with authorities in the past. They kind of have to, it’s the law. When presented with a warrant for information already in their possession, they have turned it over (they’ve also contested at least some of those warrants, so they’re not cooperating blindly). They’ve also spent years steadily locking down more and more of the data on iOS devices so that not only can criminals not break into them anymore, Apple and the FBI can’t either. That’s why this case is fundamentally different: they’re being compelled develop a new piece of software so that the FBI can gain access to data that is not in Apple’s possession, because Apple built a system that’s “too good” at keeping unauthorized parties out of it.

If you’re trying to imply that this fight really is more about Apple’s bottom line than any sort of principled stand, I think you’ve bought into too much Evil Walled Garden Empire rhetoric. To start with your accusation that iPhones are built by child labor, that’s simply bullshit. While there are certainly labor problems in many eastern suppliers that affect the entire tech industry, Apple has been doing more to enforce better conditions than any other company I’m aware of, despite the complexity inherent in policing such a massive supplier network. Specifically regarding child labor, Apple’s punishments for companies that violate either local law or Apple’s requirements for employee age are not only serious, they also work to mitigate one of the main motivations that young teens have to work in these factories: supporting their families. Companies caught employing underage workers are required to send that person back to school and keep paying them what they would have been making at the factory until they’re legally old enough to work (as outlined in Apple’s supplier progress report). Yes, they could always do more to enforce their supplier conduct standards, and those standards are definitely sub-par when compared to what we would expect from a manufacturer in the US, but I don’t really see anyone else even trying. Unfortunately, in many ways lifting working conditions in these areas is a game of inches; get too strict too fast, especially without government support, and companies could stop working with Apple entirely. Then everybody loses.

There’s a lot of other poor reporting and innuendo in that article you linked, like ignoring Apple’s 61% reduction in per-product lifetime emissions (including manufacturing) since 2008 (which I got from the very article that the author chose to link as a source) to focus on the 5% year-over-year increase in their overall footprint between 2014 and 2015 because they sold so many more devices. That increase somehow invalidates all of the actual investment Apple has made in improving manufacturing processes, optimizing packaging (like putting iMacs in trapezoidal boxes, because you can tessellate them to pack more into a shipping container), improving battery technology, enhancing their software’s energy efficiency, and renewable energy production.

A while back, Tim Cook made waves by telling a climate change-denying investor (and the think tank that he represented) to take his money elsewhere if he didn’t like that Apple was investing, potentially without any hope of a positive return, in mitigating the company’s impact on the environment.

Apple definitely cares about making money (and they’re extremely good at it), but just because they operate in a capitalist environment doesn’t mean that’s their only objective. It is possible for a company to do the right thing for the right reasons, even if you disagree with some of their policies or practices.

The Jacobin article pretty heavily implies that Apple is willing to go along with Chinese surveillance for the sake of access to its market, which I think is completely without merit (as is its accusation that Apple has already built a back door into its software for the NSA because of their appearance on the PRISM slide, when every other company on it has disavowed doing so and instead accused the NSA of obtaining those connections subversively). Yes, letting China in the back door would keep them in that government’s good graces, but it would also risk turning the rest of the democracy-loving world against them. We would demand that Apple not give in to the Chinese government’s outrageous requirements in pursuit of more money. That’s exactly what they’re doing now, in this fight with the FBI, and yet somehow we’re still questioning whether they’re doing it for the money?

If Apple didn’t actually care as much as it says it does about the right to privacy - as the Jacobin article implies - they would have quietly done what the FBI asked, and not raised an enormous public stink about it. Really, that was a dangerous move for them. Because it’s a deadly terrorism case, the FBI can bring the full force of 15 years of heavily-stoked fear of terrorists and the emotional weight of 22 grieving families to bear in the court of public opinion to shame Apple into unlocking that phone. And it risks setting a precedent that every country can then use to compel Apple to do the same thing, if not in court then potentially in new legislation. By picking this fight, they’re clearly motivated by principle; they have far too much to lose to be motivated by anything else.

I certainly don’t think Apple is faultless; there are plenty of actual problems to criticize Apple for, but those issues don’t change the fact that in this case, Apple is living up to some of its highest principles in defending the Constitution and everyone’s right to privacy. Falsely accusing them of relying on forced child labor to build their products, or framing their environmental efforts as nothing but a corporate tax write-off, or implying that they’ve already given China a back door into their services, just serves to further the FBI’s own specious arguments.


#33

We have always been at war with the EPA and OSHA - they just get in the way of disruptive emergent innovative entrepreneurs.


#34

@shaddack? You’re signed into the wrong account!


#36

Oh please, Apple is defending their bottom line, not the Constitution. You make them sound like postmodern knights gallivanting around the globe protecting consumers from Big Brother.

And oh yes, @enso too, Apple’s iPhone’s are definitely made by forced child labor in the same factory that has all kinds of infamously brutal conditions that led to a spate of suicides a few years ago. Apple has of course claimed to have begun some sort of audit process but that of course was, unfortunately for the workers, totally false, because Apple’s promises to protect workers have been “routinely broken,” laughably so for anybody who thinks that they’re an “ethical” company.

Unfortunately, in many ways lifting working conditions in these areas is a game of inches; get too strict too fast, especially without government support, and companies could stop working with Apple entirely. Then everybody loses.

Not everybody loses, just people who can’t live without the iPhone 20 next year? And the capitalist pigs calling those shots? But I guess if you think it’s OK to force people to work 90 hours a week for pennies so that Apple can make a buck (but a green buck, with fewer emissions too!) and keep releasing new models every couple of years, then you’re part of the problem…

Just like in the U.S., when companies make decisions to store sensitive data, their business models are endangering consumers (technology doesn’t have to be run that way). So like this Reuters article argues regarding Apple storing data in China,

“If they’re making out that the data is protected and secure that’s a little disingenuous because if they want to operate a business here, that’d have to comply with demands from the authorities,” said Jeremy Goldkorn, director of Danwei.com, a research firm focused on Chinese media, internet and consumers.

Which is in total agreement with your statement, “Yes, Apple has cooperated with authorities in the past. They kind of have to, it’s the law.


#37

Do you have a citation that isn’t four years old, not to mention not just kind of generalized bitching about Foxconn, which makes a lot of things and is a fairly quickly evolving entity?

And that still has nothing to do with this article.


#38

It should shock every American, and it is no doubt shocking the rest of the watching world. How can the freest country in the world, a beacon for those in oppressive countries…

Uh. Oh, yeah, no, shocking. Totally shocking.

Does anyone want to tell him? I don’t have the heart to tell him.


#39

Without wanting to derail the thread, and without wanting to suggest that you are necessarily wrong, I would just like to point out that’s a pretty weak argument. Surely the onus is on you to provide a newer citation showing that conditions have improved? You can’t just say “oh that was four years ago, I’m sure things are fine now.”

Labour conditions in China are bad everywhere, in fact poor labour conditions constitute pretty much the entirety of China’s competitive advantage in international markets. Nobody should believe that Foxconn has risen above that without strong evidence.


#40

The onus isn’t on me to prove anything. Foxconn issues are already a derail. I just figured that if he is going to offer proof, it should actual evidence of current practices, not allegations of past behavior that Apple and others said was addressed.

That isn’t to say Foxconn is without issues because it has problems. It also employees (doing a quick check) over 1.4 million workers in China.

I’m really quite skeptical that Apple knowingly allows “child labor” in 2016 and aspects of the old case seemed pretty weak.

Overall, for the purposes of this thread, I really don’t care that much here since it is a derail from someone looking for things to dislike about Apple.


#41

They get in the way of everything.

I heard a story from a friend doing some radio frequency research. A shallow pool on the roof, used for testing antennas above water. Filled with potable water. Used for measurements. By some EPA magic the water turned into a waste that couldn’t be just let down the drain but accounted for and “properly disposed” at significant cost.

Or shutting down a mercury mine because there was mercury found in it.

Never underestimate the possible idiocy of a bureaucrat with a stamp and a power.