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Old 03-15-2016, 11:04 AM
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Default DOJ threatened to seize iOS source code unless Apple complies with court order in FBI

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has slid a disturbing footnote in its court filing against Apple that could be interpreted as a threat to seize the iOS source code unless Apple complies with a court order in the FBI case.

The DoJ is demanding that Apple create a special version of iOS with removed security features that would permit the FBI to run brute-force passcode attempts on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has made public where he stands on the Apple vs. FBI case, which has quickly become a heated national debate.

In the court papers, DoJ calls Apple’s rhetoric in the San Bernardino standoff as “false” and “corrosive” because the Cupertino firm dared suggest that the FBI’s court order could lead to a “police state.”

Footnote Nine of DoJ’s filing reads:
For the reasons discussed above, the FBI cannot itself modify the software on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone without access to the source code and Apple’s private electronic signature.

The government did not seek to compel Apple to turn those over because it believed such a request would be less palatable to Apple. If Apple would prefer that course, however, that may provide an alternative that requires less labor by Apple programmers.
As Fortune’s Philip-Elmer DeWitt rightfully pointed out, that’s a classic police threat.
DOJ threatened to seize iOS source code unless Apple complies with court order in FBI case

The government's behavior on this is abysmal.
Their track record demonstrates they cannot be trusted with this.

The fact that they believe they could just swoop in and grab the source code itself is a new low. Demonstrates how out of touch they are with the reality of the situation.

If this is allowed, it won't just be a backdoor for the U.S.
Others will identify it as well in time. Chinese. Hackers. etc, etc.

This isn't the first time we've been down the road of the government telling people they need to weaken security ...
... and then it cost Americans in general with breached security.
Latest attack against TLS shows the pitfalls of intentionally weakening encryption

And let me repeat the fact that there is no evidence there is anything of worth on that phone in the first place.
The government COULD propose a viable workaround in allowing Apple itself to control the software implementation. This would involve Apple being given the phone itself, Apple would copy over the new code to allow easier hacking of the phone and then Apple would deliver the contents of the phone to the FBI with the FBI never gaining the new code itself.
THAT would be the safe way to do this.
The FBI demanding they be given the code itself is problematic as they have provided no safe-guards against future misuse.
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