When FBI complained, Apple dumped plans for encrypted iPhone backups: Report

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/21/apple-abandoned-encrypted-ipho.html

No encrypted iCloud backups for you, citizen!

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looks like apple rolled over stupidly easy on that as I believe googles been offering this on android since last year?


Good thing Apple encourages you to not use iCloud backup with the silly 5 GB of free storage.


Perhaps paper-shredders should be illegal too.


How come it’s not an issue with Google? Or is the assumption that Google just turns over everything anyway? I hear the newer Android versions do encrypt backups:


Huh? Since when do FBI “complaints” equate to legally binding requirements?


I wonder, though, if end-to-end encrypted iCloud would be a customer service nightmare for Apple, especially in the early days of iCloud. when Apple’s cloud apps were a bit wobbly, and devs were having a heck of a time using the iCloud libraries. People freak out when they can’t restore their files, and if they’ve somehow wiped the only key, those files are not useful on the cloud.

Also, not sure about the architecture. If you use the secure enclave to encrypt your iCloud files on one device, then you really can’t decrypt it on the other devices, so the question then is where are the encryption keys actually generated and stored. Obviously not unsolvable issues, but Apple still seems to be going through enough growing pains with iCloud as it is.

I can easily see that someone might have decided that it was too expensive and risky to do if the resulting product was going to have legal issues anyway.

not if the paper shredder scans the document and uploads it to safe cloud storage where , only, the government can can see it. then shredders could remain legal… until someone from the past unthaws and sees how easy it is to feed the pages in backwards. dang it


So query: Does this create an opportunity for a service that encrypts the backup before it goes up into Apple’s cloud?
For that matter, aren’t workarounds pretty simple? Don’t back up to iCloud but other services who aren’t necessarily running scared from our awesome oppressive leaders? Or back up to separate devices? Or, for the more competent bad guys, don’t back up at all? Or limit communications to texts through anonymous services (I’m thinking Secret, but obviously, I’m no expert)?
I mean, there are plenty of alternatives to encrypted backups in iCloud. You know, outside Apple’s walled garden.
And, of course, in the greater scheme of things, a) times are pretty fucked up that this is an issue and b) among the sins of the American state, this one’s pretty tiny.

Not the first time. Apple projects a facade of privacy champions since 2013. 2013 is the year Snowden leaked their participation in the PRISM program to the public.

If the US Gov asks most US companies will do their part as “Good Americans”.

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