Feds say Apple's pro-privacy response to iPhone hacking order is a 'marketing stunt'

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It’s a pretty good marketing stunt!


Someone I know claims this too. I told him he’s full of it.

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But of COURSE the Donald had to weigh in on the issue in a way that makes him look like a complete horse’s ass.


More like an 18th century law, not 19th, unless people forget when 1789 was…


Tough cookies, DoJ. Perhaps if you weren’t so complicit in all the NSA spying on Americans over the last few years, We the People might be a bit more inclined to believe your request was entirely on the up-and-up. We are not. Besides, you are asking for a fundamental weakening of all of our digital privacy and security in ways that can have far flung and very damaging ramifications, indicating that you are acting rashly and irresponsibly, and thus even less worthy of trust with our digital lives.

We need more companies to to employ such ‘marketing stunts’ around standing up for the civil liberties of their customers. The world would be a better place.


Just checking, this is the same US government that was responsible for Prism surveillance system etc?


*pirate voice
High drama on the techno-seas!


‘marketing stunt’

All publicity is Good Publicity!

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I’m inclined to agree.

Tim Cook trying to position Apple as the defenders of privacy is a bit disingenuous. Claiming everyone is in danger because the Feds want to put back doors in every phone is not consistent with what Flowers By Irene is asking for according to your previous link:

“The SIF will be coded by Apple with a unique identifier of the phone so that the SIF would only load and execute on the SUBJECT DEVICE.”

Apple has cooperated in the past, probably hacked numerous phones and I think they should do so in this case. There are NO privacy concerns here and personally I think they are morally obligated to so if not legally.

That being said, the feds are also guilty of a marketing stunt, choosing this particular case to make their point and set a precedence. In the court of public opinion I can see this going either way but if I had to guess I’d say this will backfire on Apple.

Apple would love to produce a truly unbreakable (at least by them) phone. It would relieve them of this responsibility. I have been wondering though about the implications of a truly unbreakable lock. It may be a wonderful tool to keep government overreach in check but maybe even more valuable to those who truly have something to hide.

Therein lies the trade-off.


In a rare instance, FBI is correct. It is nothing more than a branding exercise Tim Cook. The Tim Cook letter suggests two thing that are outright falsehoods;

  1. The court order tells them to GASP “OPEN A BACKDOOR”, and
  2. That Apple’s technical specs allow the company to comply with the order.

The court order does not even ask for a backdoor. Just removal of certain protections for this specific case. The suggestion that this will set a precedent requires a leap of logic that is not present in legal history.

Second, Apple’s technical specs does not allow them to do any of the stuff court is asking, including loading a modified version of iOS. As far back as iOS2, loading a update in a forced DFU mode would wipe the encryption key from the phone, making the data useless. There are three possibilities to why Tim Cook would say these;

  1. iOS is not as secure as Apple’s docs say, which means FBI does not need a court order,
  2. Tim Cook does not know what the court order says or how iOS encryption works, which means his whole ‘customer letter’ is useless and Apple has lots of problems. Please sell your stock right now.
  3. Tim Cook is doing his job by using this as an opportunity to rebrand Apple from a scruffy underdog to benevolent Liege Lord protecting us from the hounds of Big Government.

I do not think Tim Cook is doing anything wrong. I do find that journalism now stands for taking all agreeable subjects at face value.

Also, spelling exercise is difficult.

Tell it to the judge.

Feds continual privacy erosion is a product too.


Assuming it is possible for Apple to do what the DoJ wants, this is a clear example of compelled speech, since any reasonable interpretation considers computer code speech, just as much as a paper in a mathematical journal is. Anyone who can’t come to that interpretation lacks sufficient understanding of the subjects involved to have an opinion.


And this is all just an FBI stunt to rebrand the USA as The Eye Of Sauron.

They can go stuff themselves. This is as much a marketing stunt as any other company ever who tested something in the market to see if it’s what customers want. So what.

Or another way of looking at it- apparently they think it’s better to eat a shit sandwich as long as it’s given to you with the utmost sincerity and lack of ulterior motive.

Code is speech?

Next you’ll try to tell me money is speech, or companies are people.


But I guess since I can’t come to that interpretation I don’t deserve and opinion.


I guess it’s a natural result of trying to convince us that the free market is king and can be applied to almost everything for the best part of 40 years.

Hi there. I’m a longtime boinger, longtime blogger, and longtime system admin. And I’m done.

Let’s be clear: this is the first salvo in a war that will end with all crypto, including TLS/SSL, being accessible with government tools, ie: a “master key” scenario. That will compromise security throughout the entire internet - Somehow the master key gets leaked, and suddenly no connections are secure.

Hackers, criminals, terrorists, they’ll be all over everything. Corporate data theft, people’s bank accounts being emptied, identity theft: they’ll all be commonplace. We know this, because we have relatively OK crypto now, and hackers are STILL all over everything. We’re talking about a total clusterfuck of our most important internet infrastructure.

Virtually every major tech company, computer science authority, and digital-rights advocate is in complete agreement that breaking crypto is a horrible idea. Certain politicians refuse to listen to a plurality of experts, just like climate change or vaccines.

People can’t seem to take notice. So I say: fuck it. Let the internet burn. Less than one year without working TLS/SSL and the world BEG the tech community to bring back crypto and make things right again. It’s too bad we’ll have to loose so much in order for society to actually listen to the people it continually lauds as “our best and brightest”.


Is a mathematical paper speech (or at least expression)?
If so, how is code implementing the algorithm described in that paper not speech?

A video game is speech.
A free operating system is speech.
An open implementation of a mathematical algorithm is mathematical expression.
A computer software instrument or generative graphics program are clearly constitutionally protected expression.

response = input(‘Do you think the program that wrote this prompt is constitutionally protected speech: [y/n]’)
if response == ‘n’:
print('Don’t you oppress me, ')
elif response == ‘y’:
print(‘No shit, Sherlock’)
print(‘Unrecognized input’)

The above code is almost certainly constitutionally protected expression. (BoingBoing is censoring my very expressive indentation, but that’s their prerogative, since this is their site.)

I can’t think of any examples that I don’t think are clearly protected expression, but if you can, please be specific about exactly what the code you’re thinking of does and why you don’t think it should be protected expression.