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Privacy Security News Apple Technology Your Rights Online

Carole Adams, Mom Who Lost Son In San Bernardino Shooting, Sides With Apple (washingtontimes.com) 341

HughPickens.com writes: The Washington Times reports that Carole Adams, the mother of Robert Adams -- a 40-year-old environmental health specialist who was shot dead in the San Bernardino, Calif., massacre by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife in December -- is siding with Apple in its battle to protect consumer's privacy rights. Adams says she stands by Apple's decision to fight a federal court order to create software that would allow federal authorities to access the shooter's password-blocked iPhone. She understands the FBI's need to search Farook's phone, but says it has to be done without putting others at risk. "This is what separates us from communism, isn't it? The fact we have the right to privacy," she told the New York Post. "I think Apple is definitely within their rights to protect the privacy of all Americans. This is what makes America great to begin with, that we abide by a Constitution that gives us the right of privacy, the right to bear arms, and the right to vote."
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Carole Adams, Mom Who Lost Son In San Bernardino Shooting, Sides With Apple

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 20, 2016 @09:20PM (#51550603)

    ...as1) even as a capitalist I acknowledge that the Soviet bloc wasn't Communist; 2) the US is already way more intrusive than even the Stasi could have dreamed of... ...but that said, hoorah for Carole Adams! She GETS it. If you give the government free reign over the people, rather than the other way round - and the government uses "terror!" as justification - then the terrorists are getting exactly what they wanted.

    I.e. to side with Apple is to carry on with the free lifestyle that makes America a less-than-despotic place to live; to side with the government is to kowtow to terror AND to encourage more of it, as terrorists will be strengthened by the knowledge that it works.

    • the US is already way more intrusive than even the Stasi could have dreamed of...

      In the Soviet era, in the Eastern block, typewriters and photocopiers were licensed and closely watched, and ordinary people were restricted from owning one.

      Here in the 'intrusive' US you could go to Sears or JC Penneys and buy a typewriter any time you wished.

      • the US is already way more intrusive than even the Stasi could have dreamed of... -- AC

        In the Soviet era, in the Eastern block, typewriters and photocopiers were licensed and closely watched, and ordinary people were restricted from owning one. Here in the 'intrusive' US you could go to Sears or JC Penneys and buy a typewriter any time you wished. -- Bing Tsher E

        I'm not sure exactly what your argument is here. If you're saying the US Government doesn't impose as much restriction in order to carry out surv

  • In the world of Facebook, who has privacy anymore?
    • by dissy ( 172727 )

      In the world of Facebook, who has privacy anymore?

      Those of us that care about protecting it, and don't use facebook.

    • Facebook? You mean that thing I got tired of and quit posting to 3+ years ago?

    • I use Facebook plenty, but you can control what is posted to it. I can't say Facebook has diminished my privacy in any meaningful way.

    • In the world of Facebook, who has privacy anymore?

      That's not a question as much as it is a statement.

      Here, let me clarify.

      Because of the world of Facebook, who wants privacy anymore.

  • The fact we have the right to privacy,

    I seriously doubt that .

  • Right to Privacy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Saturday February 20, 2016 @09:31PM (#51550647) Journal
    It's a curious thing, but the U.S. Constitution is rather vague about a "right to privacy." There is no explicit right to privacy to be found anywhere in the Constitution or amendments. However, there's a long judicial history of interpretations and precedents [google.com] that, in aggregate, creates something like a right to privacy. But, again, it is an implied right, not an explicit right, which is partly why we found ourselves in the present situation. A fun way to get a bunch of first-year law students in a twist is to propose a privacy amendment for the Constitution, then have them argue about what it actually means.

    Would it make much difference? Could the things that Snowden revealed have taken place if an explicit privacy amendment had existed? (Many here would argue that the 4th amendment ought to have prevented it, so what good would another amendment do?) Would the FBI have much of an argument against Apple if such an amendment existed? Could Google do what it does and not run afoul of violating citizens' privacy rights, a la the "right to be forgotten" rulings in Europe? Could Roe v. Wade, which hinged heavily on an implied right to privacy, ever be overturned?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The constitution does not grant people rights; it grants the federal government rights. Anything not explicitly disallowed by the constitution (plus each state's constitution) is a right of the people. The constitution does not give the federal government the right to inhibit to privacy, therefor you have the right to it.

      • The constitution does not give the federal government the right to inhibit to privacy, therefor you have the right to it.

        Wow, that's spectacularly simple-minded.

        The Constitution requires a periodic census. Doesn't that "inhibit privacy"?

        The Constitution authorizes the government to raise and fund an army; this was widely understood from the very beginning to imply conscription. Doesn't that "inhibit privacy"?

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The beauty of the constitution is that is is so simple-minded. The first 3 words of the document are "We the people". "We the people" do hereby form a government and grant it the following explicit functions and duties. And just to make sure, there were 12 original Bill of Rights just to put an exclamation point on the fact that the people are the ones with the power and not the government. In fact, the current 10th amendment spells it out explicitly, that the powers not explicitly enumerated are reserved f

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          A simple count of nameless people isn't much of an intrusion on privacy. Conscription is a complex and somewhat controversial case but privacy isn't really the problem with it.

        • The Constitution requires a periodic census. Doesn't that "inhibit privacy"?

          A census does not. What they actually do in the name of a census does.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      vague?

      >The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated

      Yeah no. not vague.

    • Re:Right to Privacy (Score:4, Informative)

      by Lakitu ( 136170 ) on Saturday February 20, 2016 @11:28PM (#51551041)

      There are lots of vague deductions, but the Constitution is perfectly clear: it ensures the right of people to be secure in their persons, homes, papers, and effects. It is reasonable to suggest that transmitting data over the internet, trusting in its care to someone else, relieves one of that security, but it is not reasonable whatsoever to suggest that the person or entity you are entrusting it to does not also have the right to be secure in their papers and effects.

      Ultimately it doesn't really matter how we define "privacy" culturally, because there is basically no definition under which you could argue that the data on your smartphone is not part of one of those four categories. It only begins to get interesting when you reach the point where someone has encrypted data, is served a valid warrant, and refuses to decrypt it.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        There are lots of vague deductions, but the Constitution is perfectly clear: it ensures the right of people to be secure in their persons, homes, papers, and effects.

        Yes, but that's not what the Supreme Court has invoked when it struck down laws against contraception, abortion and sodomy. The way it's been framed in US is as a right to non-interference in deeply personal and intimate matters. While that's certainly a question of freedom, for me that's not privacy. To me privacy is the degree to which the government can collect information on me, dealing with all aspects of that process. Like what sources they can use, what means they can use, to what degree or level of

    • The Government has decided that objects have no rights, so they can convict your money of crimes to take it away from you and you don't get a trial. They can spy on your data held by others, since others have no right to privacy over your data.
    • "There is no explicit right to privacy to be found anywhere in the Constitution or amendments."
      There is no explicit right to breath either. There is, however, a pre-dating right of trespass and that is exactly what privacy was back then. You had land, you didn't want anyone on it then you could throw them off or stop them coming onto it without permission.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    CA and NY have proposed legislation to require that phones have law enforcement backdoors to encryption turned on by default. FBI director James Comey has testified before Congress saying they need the ability to read encrypted communications over services like iMessage. I don't think the FBI is picking this fight because they need information about the San Bernardino shooter. They're making a scene because they want backdoors to all encryption. While they may not be able to see the contents of messages sen

    • by ShaunC ( 203807 )

      I don't think the FBI is picking this fight because they need information about the San Bernardino shooter. They're making a scene because they want backdoors to all encryption.

      Right. Seems like they picked this case because they don't anticipate either the judicial branch or the public siding with Apple against a terr'ist. Once they have precedent that Apple can be compelled to provide this service, they'll start using it to unlock phones of suspected marijuana dealers, etc. Same as the USA PATRIOT act, it was pushed through under the guise of fighting terrorism but is mostly used for drug cases [eff.org] instead.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday February 20, 2016 @09:35PM (#51550663)

    I know it's extremely unlikely you'll ever see this, but - thank you.

    It's easy for those of us who haven't experienced a loss like this to weigh in with our opinions. In all honesty, I think these sorts of subjects are best discussed dispassionately, as much as possible. But, having said that, it takes a lot of character and wisdom to see what's important and to stand for your principles in a matter that has impacted you in such a horrible, tragic way.

    Thank you.

    • by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Sunday February 21, 2016 @12:11AM (#51551155)

      We had a similar thing here in Canada. The government, a conservative authoritarian law, order and national security type, kept trying to push through spying laws, in particular forcing ISPs to keep all kinds of data and give it to the government for the asking, because you know, getting a search warrant is too much hassle.
      They started with the think of the children line and got a lot of push back when they called everyone child molesters, then tried the terrorist angle and still got enough push back to back down. Finally a 13 year old girl committed suicide due to online bullying and they managed to push through their law. The mother was on TV crying about as horrible as it was to lose her daughter, she did not want such an invasive law passed.
      It was quite uplifting to see a mother who lost her young daughter still completely supporting our right to privacy.
      Unluckily it also showed that the government can just keep trying to pass bad laws and the people will get tired of fighting it and eventually they'll succeed.

  • I don't even (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Krishnoid ( 984597 ) on Saturday February 20, 2016 @10:25PM (#51550853) Journal

    I think Apple is definitely within their rights to protect the privacy of all Americans.

    We're now in a world where a for-profit corporation (two, if you count Google) is directly battling the US Government to protect human rights. I'm don't know if there's even a term to describe this political/societal situation.

    • by dryeo ( 100693 )

      Public relations. Both Apple and to a lesser extend Google have decided that globally it is better PR to fight to protect rights.
      This can change really quick as both companies are most interested in profit.

    • Corporations are dedicated to making money, the public is getting upset over spying and will soon vote with their money to avoid it, being seen to protect privacy will protect their revenue stream.
  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Saturday February 20, 2016 @10:46PM (#51550929) Homepage Journal

    Everyone here appreciates your standing up for America's right to privacy and safety. Even the ones who nitpick about your using "communism" as a synonym for "authoritarian".

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by roman_mir ( 125474 )

      All communist ideologues on this planet led the people to authoritarian systems.

      I was born in the ex ussr, we were socialist, with communism always being 5 years into the future. I am against all authiritarian systems and i see socialism as authoritarian because it destroys private property rights, self determination. I am against all forms of redistribution, against all forms of income and wealth confiscation (taxation). I am not against voluntary communism as long as I am not forced to participate.

      • I am against all forms of income and wealth taxes

        Do you support any form of tax? I know you support contracts. So, who pays for the courts and enforcement?

        • Do you support any form of tax? I know you support contracts. So, who pays for the courts and enforcement?

          You already know the answer. Whoever has the money can afford "justice". Everyone else gets run over.

  • by Assmasher ( 456699 ) on Saturday February 20, 2016 @11:09PM (#51550989) Journal

    ...saying - she's correct.

    That IS what made America a great country. That we weren't such cowards that we traded liberty for a false sense of security.

    • No, no, the red peril is the best part of this! It was perfect.

      Nothing undermines the government better than associating their behavior with that of totalitarian communism. It's so perfect because the irony is like kryptonite -- the security state always uses protecting freedom and the American way as their justification and mission, they can't possibly doing something in contradiction to their mission, can they?

      It's like the Star Trek episode with Nomad, where their give it an illogical problem to solve

      • This woman is either a idiot savant, or she's a political genius who should have run for office

        Or she's a normal 60 year-old woman of average intelligence, who lived through the Cold War and isn't a poli-sci major, and therefore conflates authoritarianism and communism because for most of her life political discourse drew no distinction between the two. So she just used what she knew to be a pointed "synonym" for authoritarianism.

        The fact that this is a beautiful smear of the government policy was intentional, but inevitably so, not due to particular cleverness on her part. The reason "communism" i

  • Slavery (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Saturday February 20, 2016 @11:36PM (#51551063)
    Apparently the government has asked Apple to undertake a very exhaustive and expensive effort to develop new software to enable breaking the encryption. In essence, the government wants this done gratis and the programmers would be paid by Apple and not the government. It might also mean hiring some very special engineers and perhaps mathematicians to do this work. Since when can the US government point a finger and demand work? It does strike me as being fascist. Further Apple would lose a great deal of business with people in other nations as they really don't want their phones wide open to US spy agencies.
    • Apparently the government has asked Apple to undertake a very exhaustive and expensive effort to develop new software to enable breaking the encryption.

      Uh no. It would be a trivial job. While it might be slavery, it would be microslavery at most, little more arduous than being legally required to cross streets at crosswalks when they are provided. The problem is the ramifications for users, not for the developer who would have to do the work.

  • IF you guys in the USA want the government 100% access to your gadgets, passwords, bank accounts and all other accounts and family settlements then why not set up some sort of constitutional amendment? HOW EASY WOULD THAT BE?

    Of course you could continue as the USA and GB are doing and get the data anyway by hook or crook and fudge.

    A tipping moment for you guys. Obviously going to the Supreme Court. (Watching with cynical interest.)

  • The presumption is that apple can update the OS running in the phone in a way that it circumvents the cryptography in the phone, i.e. disables the HW mechanism securing the key storage.

    There are several options:

    a) the keystore mechanisms (which i would have supposed to be on a lower level) ignores such a change.
    a1) the keystore mechanism accepts "signed binaries" as OS (like TPM does), which makes the request to apple less a "make changes to the OS" but more a "sign off the changes for us"

    b) it does not ign

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