FBI vs. Apple: Fight for your right to bear encrypted devices

The FBI is being disingenuous in demanding a backdoor from Apple says IT Security Thing; former counter terrorism head agrees

Writing an Op-Ed piece for IT Pro back when the whole San Bernardino iPhone affair kicked off, Davey Winder asked what if it was “less to do with if it is possible to comply with the FBI request, and more to do with forcing the removal of security functionality without having to bother with that democratic process nonsense?” The suggestion being that the FBI, and by implication the US government, were using the All Writs Act (from 1789) along with a relatively lowly magistrate judge, to bypass political and democratic processes. “Why bother with debates and votes to try and change the law when you can just haul something out of the dusty statute books,” Winder wrote, concluding “now that is where the real backdoor in this whole thing comes in…”

Richard Clarke, national security advisor and head of counter-terrorism to both US Presidents Clinton and Bush, has since gone on the record to agree with Winder and numerous other IT security experts, in suggesting that if the FBI wanted to get at the iPhone data they would have sent it to the NSA. “If I were in the job now, I would have simply told the FBI to call Fort Meade, the headquarters of the National Security Agency,” Clarke said. The “NSA would have solved this problem for them. They’re not as interested in solving the problem as they are in getting a legal precedent.”

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