Saturday, February 20, 2016

Confidential Jihad

"It is unfortunate that Apple continues to refuse to assist the department in obtaining access to the phone of one of the terrorists involved in a major terror attack on U.S. soil."
U.S. Justice Department 

"The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe."
Timothy D. Cook, Chief executive, Apple Incorporated
Image result for apple corporation
In their investigation of the Islamist terrorist murder that took place in San Bernardino, California, last December, the F.B.I. has asked Apple for their assistance in "unlocking" an iPhone used by one of the two attackers. Apple has rejected that request. "The worst-case scenario has come true. As more of these devices come to market, this touches all aspects of the cases that we're working on", stated Reynaldi Tariche, an F.B.I. agent, of the problems inherent in scrutinizing the contents of the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook.

The problem is a four-letter code. The problem is if the F.B.I. tries a number of combinations and none work, the cellphone will automatically go into a state of permanent lock-down, ostensibly to protect the security of someone who is now dead, but whose violent act of multiple murders gave him a place of notoriety in the pantheon of Islamist jihadists for his success in annihilating the lives of innocent people. Any potential connections to others in jihad that could be obtained by the cellphone's contents are vital in the investigation.

Apple, however, has dug in its sanctimonious heels, insisting its first duty is the protection of its clients. Besides which, it insists they do not have the technology yet developed that would satisfy the demands of investigators. Inconveniently, it was pointed out by technology experts in design and security that this particular piece of technology is quite within the capacity of Apple to create for the use of this particular purpose and none other.

Oddly enough, when it does suit Apple's purpose, when something affects their bottom line, they can invent security reasons why it is required of them to develop a system whereby they are enabled to completely disengage a cellphone, making it entirely worthless. As when for example, an iPhone owner takes his own cellphone apart to make a slight adjustment, or when that owner takes the cellphone in for servicing somewhere other than an approved Apple dealer.

In those circumstances, bypassing an accredited, and more-expensive-to-pay-for, dealer who is authorized by the company for a technician to make adjustments to a device they have sold and is in the possession of an individual who believes that as the owner he has the right to do with his device what best suits his plans and his wallet, Apple has designed an operation to destroy the usefulness of the iPhone.
"We believe Apple may be intentionally forcing users to use their repair services, which cost much more than most third-party repair shops."
"There is incentive for Apple to keep end users from finding alternative methods to fix their products."
PCVA law firm, Seattle, Washington

"It is hard to see how something which ceases to work in this way could be said to be of reasonable quality, one of the determinants of which is durability."
"The law states: 'A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another, intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence.'"
London-based barrister Richard Colbey:  Error 53 could be viewed as an offence under the Criminal Damage Act 1971

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