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More Than Half of Americans Think Apple Should Comply With FBI, Finds Pew Survey (theverge.com) 585

An anonymous reader writes: Apple may not have the public's support in its legal fight with the FBI, according to a recently published Pew report. In a survey that reached 1,000 respondents by phone over the weekend, Pew researchers found 51 percent of respondents believed Apple should comply with FBI demands to weaken security measures on an iPhone used in the San Bernardino attacks, in order to further the ongoing investigation. Only 38 percent of respondents agreed with the company's position.

Limiting the sample to respondents who own a smartphone only improved the numbers somewhat, changing them to a 50-41 split in the FBI's favor. Among those who own an iPhone, the numbers are even closer, but still in the FBI's favor 47 to 43 percent.

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More Than Half of Americans Think Apple Should Comply With FBI, Finds Pew Survey

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  • Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:22PM (#51562913)

    More than half of Americans are wrong.

    • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Adriax ( 746043 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:36PM (#51563073)

      Most of them have no clue about anything but "FBI wants terrorist iphone unlocked."

      Case in point, listening to NPR this morning they had an "expert" on that said that apple shouldn't be forced to create a backdoor to add to a phone, but they should be required to unlock any existing phones. And to most of the audience that sounds reasonable, but when you actually take a second to think about it you see blatant political doublespeak.
      Yeah, apple shouldn't be forced to unlock unbuilt phones because the bloody things don't exist yet. You can't unlock something that currently exists as sand, hydrocarbons, and rare earths. And "any existing phone" will include those yet to be assembled because at the point the feds want to unlock it, it will exist.

      Hate polls like this. They're about as relevant as one including my predictions on the next superbowl winner, and I know fuck all about football.

      • Most of them have no clue about anything but "FBI wants terrorist iphone unlocked."

        Case in point, listening to NPR this morning they had an "expert" on that said that apple shouldn't be forced to create a backdoor to add to a phone, but they should be required to unlock any existing phones.

        Considering the so-called expert was a government spook, was that "opinion" a surprise?

      • Well, that cheered me up no end, knowing now that most Americans watch news of the same level of quality as NPR... ;-)

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        That expert was a freaking Ex FBI guy. ANYTHING out of his mouth is suspect.

      • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

        by marcansoft ( 727665 ) <hector@mar[ ]soft.com ['can' in gap]> on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @03:07AM (#51565061) Homepage

        shouldn't be forced to create a backdoor to add to a phone, but they should be required to unlock any existing phones. And to most of the audience that sounds reasonable, but when you actually take a second to think about it you see blatant political doublespeak.

        But it actually is reasonable!

        The reason why Apple can be forced to unlock the iPhone in question is because current iPhone security still depends wholly on trusting Apple's firmware. They are not being asked to create a backdoor - they are being asked to exercise a backdoor that they already have. They already have the keys to the kingdom.

        Now, what would be unreasonable is for the FBI to require that Apple don't actually fix this in newer iPhone iterations, thereby making it technologically impossible to comply. Which I hope they do (fix it, that is - there are technical ways of plugging this hole). But, in the meantime, this is no different from previous iOS versions where Apple willingly performed data extraction for law enforcement. The technicalities have changed, but only somewhat - Apple can still, in practice, extract all of this iPhone's data, given their master firmware signing keys. So, the only thing that has actually changed is that Apple has changed their policy to start refusing these requests.

        Now, whether you believe that technology companies should be able to be compelled to help law enforcement is another matter. But, many arguments being used by the pro-Apple side (such as the "this would create a backdoor" argument) are nonsense from a technical standpoint. In practice, literally the only change of substance is that Apple is now resisting this kind of request, where they didn't in the past - and none of this has anything to do with technical security measures in iOS at all, even though Apple is trying hard to make people believe that it does (and, in some cases, actively lying about technical details).

        • The reason why Apple can be forced to unlock the iPhone in question is because current iPhone security still depends wholly on trusting Apple's firmware. They are not being asked to create a backdoor - they are being asked to exercise a backdoor that they already have. They already have the keys to the kingdom.

          Only partly. You're right that Apple has the cert and can send updates, but as far as I know (from two iPads and two iPhones), the user must unlock the device and accept the software update/firmware install. I don't know of any way to do the install without unlocking the phone, and I can't imagine Apple built that technology in, because that's the biggest, most obvious security hole ever (plus, their legal department would insist on an opportunity to make the user periodically hit 'agree' on a ToS screen).

          • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

            by marcansoft ( 727665 ) <hector@mar[ ]soft.com ['can' in gap]> on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @12:47PM (#51567915) Homepage

            You can simply boot into DFU mode and upload arbitrary (signed) firmware via USB that way. This is how forensics-without-Apple's-help works with iPhones that had vulnerable boot ROMs (and thus you could bypass the signature requirement). It's not that Apple has built this technology in, instead, they haven't built technology to stop this use case. The iPhone design from the very beginning included the ability to boot off of USB into a ramdisk, as this is how iTunes restores work, and by extension, that can be used to extract data and/or generally replace any behavior of the standard OS if you have Apple's keys. Regular restores using the official mechanism may or may not in practice require the PIN to work, but the underlying DFU technology allows for that kind of bypass because it doesn't have any mechanism to ensure otherwise.

            This is something that I've mentioned in the past, before this debacle: that large parts of the iOS security system are just policy decisions made by their software, and that they are therefore trivially vulnerable to replacing said software - which Apple can do, as they have the keys. This allows the system to be more flexible, as it's a lot easier to write code to implement a policy than to design a cryptographic system that guarantees it.

            I hope that in future iPhone versions Apple uses cryptography to secure user data in the face of unexpected updates (i.e. the requirement for a PIN is actually enforced cryptographically, and if you attempt a cold restore without the PIN you inevitably lose access to user data storage keys), but right now, that is not the case.

            Android, comparatively, tends to have a weaker security system, but, on the other hand, uses "hard" crypto-based security in places where Apple doesn't. For example, iPhones use full disk encryption but it is not based on the user PIN - so, again, that's a policy system, not cryptographically guaranteed - which means that some/most data is encrypted with your PIN in newer iOS versions (at another layer), but the metadata isn't (filenames, and perhaps data that is accidentally stored without adequate file-level encryption config), and anything that isn't based on the PIN can be extracted by Apple. Android full disk encryption is cryptographically based on your PIN/passphrase (which you enter on boot), and therefore guarantees that every last bit of data and metadata is safe without depending on OS policy.

      • by qwijibo ( 101731 )
        There are people who believe the FBI needs Apple to help so they can catch the terrorists. Nevermind that they know who it was and he's been dead this whole time.

        It is somewhat reassuring that the result wasn't more heavily skewed towards "FBI should investigate terrorists", suggesting more than a knee-jerk reaction to the whole issue.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      More than half of Americans are wrong.

      You misspelled fucktarded.

    • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LostMyBeaver ( 1226054 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @10:48PM (#51564245)
      Consider that 40% of humans on earth probably doesn't even understand the question. For that fact, probably most people lack the ability to understand cause and effect beyond what is clearly spelled out to them at the given time in the given context. As such, their decision making process is limited to "Terrorism bad. Terrorism scary. Stop terrorism."

      It's the world's dilemma. How do you give people freedom and give them the rights of humanity to be part of the process of choosing representation? Consider what you end up with as leaders using fair rules. You get Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama. With those kind of choices, we know it's obvious that the current system is failing. The Romans tried an alternative which was to provide weights for voters based on social class. This of course was a less than optimal system because a higher class didn't necessarily mean a smarter person... in fact, it really only meant a wealthier person. So, do we try a system which provides weights to votes based on IQ tests?

      Consider this... I've asked this question in rooms full of technical people. I asked how many of them were likely to spend the time on the phone answering questions. The result was an overwhelming "not me". Does this mean that the technical people are giving up their right to be represented because some idiot at Pew report couldn't get anyone but rednecks that can't comprehend the repercussions of such a decision?

      Notice, it clearly said telephone calls. What kind of people even talk to these people anymore? What's worse is... do we have an alternative that is better? How would you sample "The American Public"? How would you choose 1000 people throughout America that would represent a sample set? Would you include a physicist from MIT? Would you find a black woman in a trailer home in Alabama? Would you find a 18 year old Jew studying talmud in Omaha? Would you find a 67 year old Imam in a Mosque in Mississippi (is there such a thing?). After you ask them the obvious question, would you explain to them why it's even worth asking the about? Would you explain that this would set a legal precedent that could give the government the power they need to snoop more and more into their own information? Would you ask the again after that? Would you note how their opinions changed when you gave them a new "This is bad... don't do this" feeling? Would you be gaining their opinions or would you be dictating your opinion to them? Would that change whether this represented the Americans as now you've "educated them" and changed their perspective?

      The system is completely flawed, but there's no alternative. mass stupidity represents the wide scale human species.We have no way to limit the vast scope of stupid and we can't cure it and we can't leave stupid unrepresented because they do in fact represent the majority.

      The problem is... we also can't use the results of some telephone survey to make decisions because it leaves too many other groups unrepresented. Why not ask Pew how many phone calls they had to make to get 1000 responses? That should be enough to disprove the validity of such a report.
    • by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @12:20AM (#51564647) Homepage Journal
      Half of Americans are by definition, below average intelligence. Coincidence?
    • Considering that in 2012, only 9% of people were willing to answer the phone and cooperate with Pew Research-sponsored telephone surveys [people-press.org]. Before that, it was 15% in 2009, and before that in 2006, it was 21%. Now, please forgive me, I am just a layman and I don't know statistics, but I would assume that in 2016, assuming the same downward trend, that number could easily have reached 3% to 5%.

      So is this what we're talking about? We're talking about 3% to 5% of American households, careless enough to answer qu

    • I call bullshit, it's you typical, "here's the results we want, how to frame the question?" and "Contact those we know will support the answer we want" garbage....

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:22PM (#51562917)

    I find it odd. I don't know anyone who thinks Apple should help the government. I realize this is the definition of anecdote ... but still, this seems odd.

    • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:25PM (#51562939)

      I'm in Silicon Valley, and almost no one here thinkgs Apple should cave in. But then there are lots more engineers here who think about devices and security.

      • by sdinfoserv ( 1793266 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:33PM (#51563033) Homepage
        Same engineers who are busy throwing together the IoT without a second thought on security?
      • I'm in Silicon Valley, and almost no one here thinkgs Apple should cave in. But then there are lots more engineers here who think about devices and security.

        And nothing about geopolitical security or how to actually run a functioning democracy...

      • I'm in Silicon Valley, and almost no one here thinkgs Apple should cave in. But then there are lots more engineers here who think about devices and security.

        This is the part I don't understand.

        Wouldn't we rather have devices that are actually secure instead of secure on the precondition Apple will not push out a firmware image that tweaks a few hard coded variables after the fact?

        Certainly it must be feasible to create hardware based key stretching schemes which cannot be nerf'd by software changes in the field.

        Rooting for Apple in this matter means less pressure for actual security deficiencies to get addressed.

        In my view this really isn't about government eff

    • Reading this site, you likely work in tech.. Few people outside of the tech industry understand the ramifications of this or the National Security Agencies desire to eliminate encryption completely. My wife is in healthcare, her eyes gloss over when I start discussing this stuff, or how important it is.
      Like most freedoms, people won't care till they're gone.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tlambert ( 566799 )

        My wife is in healthcare, her eyes gloss over when I start discussing this stuff, or how important it is.

        Most people in healthcare are like this.

        Which is why HIPAA violations are so common.

      • by flopsquad ( 3518045 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:46PM (#51563147)
        Absolutely this. Plus, how was the question worded? Because when I hear or read popular accounts of this situation, Apple is being asked to "unlock the phone"... like they've had this magic key the whole time and all they have to do is stop being terrorist-protecting jerks and let the FBI in.

        They might get slightly different numbers if they asked instead, "Is it right for Apple to be compelled by the government to create a new, insecure version of its operating system?"

        Followed by, "Would your answer change, knowing that the government had a chance to obtain this data on the day of the shooting, but instead changed the password that could've been used to access the data?"
      • Reading this site, you likely work in tech.. Few people outside of the tech industry understand the ramifications of this or the National Security Agencies desire to eliminate encryption completely. My wife is in healthcare, her eyes gloss over when I start discussing this stuff, or how important it is.
        Like most freedoms, people won't care till they're gone.

        I've personally explained the technical details and issues to several people unconnected to tech and changed their minds. It's not really very complicated and the consequences are easy to describe in literal terms that apply the to the phones in their pocket.

    • The majority of people are sheep or stupid. You only have to look at the amount of people that believe in conspiracy theories or the amount of support Trump has. I don't know anyone personally that fits into either of those categories either but their appears to be a shit ton of them.
    • I find it odd. I don't know anyone who thinks Apple should help the government. I realize this is the definition of anecdote ... but still, this seems odd.

      I think Apple should absolutely help the government. But in the old Apple tradition: Don't give people what they ask for, give them what they really need.

      Someone who knows more about security (and about breaking it) than anyone on Slashdot is Michael Hayden, former chief of the NSA and CIA, and he has publicly stated that end-to-end encryption (and safe phones) are an overall benefit to US national security. So while the FBI wants that phone unlocked, the government, as far as they are actually well-info

    • I find it odd. I don't know anyone who thinks Apple should help the government. I realize this is the definition of anecdote ... but still, this seems odd.

      Well here I am, so feel free to ask questions.
      From what I've read, I have no problem with Apple complying with the government's actual request. But what you'll find on this topic is 99.9% strawmen and hyperbole about things the FBI hasn't asked for, and who cares about logic and reason, when hating on the FBI and proposing imaginary end-of-world scenarios feels better right?

  • by Xenolith ( 538304 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:27PM (#51562955) Homepage
    Isn't there a compromise? Can't Apple unlock this individual phone without providing the government a universal backdoor? From what I understand, the county has given them permission to unlock the phone, so we aren't treading on the 4th amendment.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      If Apple CAN unlock this particular iPhone, then Apple can unlock ANY iPhone. If it is already technically possible to comply with the judge's order (i.e. get the data off an existing phone that was running previously released software), then Apple doesn't want anyone to know that.
      • by scrib ( 1277042 )

        Apple may not be able to unlock this phone, but as was said in another article on /., Apple CAN update iOS on the device without user interaction.

        The back door is ALREADY THERE.

        The FBI is just calling Apple out on that fact and asking for a change in the code from "if attempts > 10 then wipe" to "if attempts != attempts then wipe". the FBI will do the unlocking from there.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by imgod2u ( 812837 )

      The FBI is asking for a universal backdoor so that they can hack the iPhone's pin password using brute force. There isn't a way to specifically hack just one phone the way the encryption and decryption method is built.

    • Its possible Apple could push an update to that 1 phone that allows it but they refuse to do it. Since its a court order its not some behind the scene's FBI demanding something be unlocked with no over sight, its a request from a court of law.
    • Re:Compromise (Score:5, Informative)

      by xfade551 ( 2627499 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:42PM (#51563119)
      The backdoor doesn't directly unlock the iPhone. The backdoor allows Apple to alter the firmware without unlocking the phone itself. The authentication mechanism is baked into the ROM, but the "10 strikes and auto-wipe" is not. The FBI wants Apple to disable the 10 strikes so they can guess as many times as they want, as fast as they want (through a cable interface). However, once that altered firmware gets on that particular iPhone, the FBI has that firmware permanently and can re-use it at a later date on some other iPhone. (At least that's the gist I get from the various articles I've read.)
      • However, once that altered firmware gets on that particular iPhone, the FBI has that firmware permanently and can re-use it at a later date on some other iPhone.

        Wrong.
        The request is for one firmware, for one device, which Apple can sign (you know, using encryption) so that it can't be used on any other device.
        Take off the tinfoil hats, the very technology everyone is defending here can be used to ensure it is used only once (as per court order).
        This is why I have no problem with it.

        • Re:Compromise (Score:4, Insightful)

          by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @10:52PM (#51564265) Homepage Journal

          The request is for one firmware, for one device, which Apple can sign (you know, using encryption) so that it can't be used on any other device.
          Take off the tinfoil hats, the very technology everyone is defending here can be used to ensure it is used only once (as per court order).

          Make that "... it is used only once (per court order)".

          And soon enough, not even a court order, but a rubber-stamping court like for other surveillance.

          Once Apple has shown they can do it, they will be expected to do it. This is not even speculation - several police offices have straight out stated that that is what they will do if Apple loses.

          This is why I have no problem with it.

          This is why I do.

          • And soon enough, not even a court order, but a rubber-stamping court like for other surveillance.

            Once Apple has shown they can do it, they will be expected to do it. This is not even speculation - several police offices have straight out stated that that is what they will do if Apple loses.

            I would assume this would be the case.

            If Apple doesn't want to deal with helping unlocking devices for law enforcement maybe they should design them in a way which precludes Apple from possessing the capability to unlock them in the first place.

            Yea it sucks people purchased something they thought was secure against this type of attack and it isn't... that sucks... This isn't however the governments fault it is Apples and Apples alone.

    • Then what do you do the next time the government asks for this, and the time after that, and the time after that ... You do this once and you're setting the precedence that it's ok to unlock a phone anytime the government wants you to.
    • Re:Compromise (Score:4, Informative)

      by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @08:59PM (#51563695) Journal

      Isn't there a compromise? Can't Apple unlock this individual phone without providing the government a universal backdoor?

      You haven't been following what is going on. Farook (the guy who perpetrated the multiple shooting deaths) destroyed his personal phone. This is his work phone. Since he had the awareness to destroy his personal phone, how much useful data do you think is on this phone?

      Furthermore, they have the metadata for this phone, so why not get the data off the phones that this one communicated with? Do you really think he was calling people in the middle east with his work phone?

      Going on, the FBI screwed up one possible way to access the phone: allowing it to sync with the iCloud.

      What you are left with is the conclusion that the primary reason that the FBI is expending time and money on this is to establish a precedent. The FBI thinks that "because terrorists", people will be more sympathetic to unlocking this phone, and, once it has been done once, it can be done a thousand time, or ten thousand times.

  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:28PM (#51562969) Homepage Journal

    One big problem with Pew studies is how they are conducted. They're often done using random telephone calling, and the people who are most educated on technology issues are also the ones least likely to pick up the phone.

    Response rates are only something like 10%, and they're likely to be skewed towards the elderly. Take a look at the Snowden studies, where people over about 40 were highly skewed towards believing the government, whereas people under 40 were highly skewed towards believing Snowden, and you now understand why this poll should be taken with a grain of salt.

    • It would be interesting to see a survey that also asked a few questions to determine how informed the survey taker is about this story and encryption in general. I bet if you could look at responses from people who met some moderate threshold of prior knowledge, you'd see huge support of Apple's stance. Maybe this is what they were trying to get at by looking at responses from people who owned a smartphone, but these days owning a smartphone doesn't really indicate any technical savvy.
  • by thoth_amon ( 560574 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:35PM (#51563055)

    In fact, in my experience, the majority is wrong quite a lot.

    Fortunately, this is not a popularity contest. The question is whether the government can compel a company to rewrite its products to make it easy for the government to snoop on its customers. If they can, it's only a small jump to forcing companies to include a backdoor in their products in the first place.

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:40PM (#51563099)
    The right way to ask it is "Do you think Apple should help the FBI, even though it helps Russian hackers get into your phone?"

    That might change a few people's minds.
    • by TrekkieGod ( 627867 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:52PM (#51563201) Homepage Journal

      The right way to ask it is "Do you think Apple should help the FBI, even though it helps Russian hackers get into your phone?"

      Except that's not true. This battle has been phrased as the encryption backdoor battle, but they're not at all the same. After all, adding an encryption back door now, wouldn't help the FBI with a phone encrypted before the backdoor was added.

      What the court order has asked Apple to do is to create an OS version, to be installed on this one phone to which they have a warrant to, that will remove the feature to automatically delete the contents if the phone if more than ten incorrect password attempts are made, and to allow software to brute force it. Since by default only a 4 digit PIN serves as the key to the encryption, 10,000 combinations shouldn't be a problem.

      The government isn't asking Apple to weaken its encryption. In fact, their current software allows you to disable "simple passcode", and you could have a long, complex password. If you do, Apple can provide everything the government is requesting, and they're still not going to get your data, because they're not going to be able to brute force it. It's up to you to decide whether you want your phone to be encrypted strongly enough to sustain such an attack, or you want the convenience of a short password with content erase policy which will be good enough protection against the average phone thief. For this court order, the government isn't trying to take that right away from you. If they were, I'd side with Apple. As it stands, I think they absolutely have the right to what they are asking.

      • by tranquilidad ( 1994300 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @08:14PM (#51563357)

        What the government is asking is that Apple divert its private resources away from Apple's priorities in order to develop a product for the government.

        In United States v. New York Telephone [justia.com], which may be the closest Supreme Court precedent related to this case, the Supreme Court ruled that New York Telephone needed to install a pen register for the government because it wasn't a burden on New York Telephone. It wasn't a burden because New York Telephone owned the equipment and already installed pen registers for their own, internal use.

        In this case Apple does not own or control the equipment and does not already create software to perform this type of unlock. It seems to me that this is a burden.

        The FBI has been asking for encryption backdoors for some time and Congress, rightly or wrongly depending on your perspective, has not created legislation to do that. The FBI then gets a sympathetic case and decides to go through the courts to force a company to build a product in order to "unlock" a phone. If the government succeeds in creating this precedent then what's to prevent them from forcing any company to "unlock" a phone; whether it's via building a new OS version or creating a method to "backdoor" the encryption?

        This becomes even more complex given the other discoveries that the county government changed the passcode after taking possession of the phone but are now unable to use the new passcode to unlock the phone. Also, don't forget, the county could have purchased a service that would have given them centralized control of their iPhones but chose not to, presumably because of cost.

        If the government succeeds and can force Apple to build an OS they don't want to build and there's a bug in the code that causes erasure of the data then will Apple be held in contempt of court? What will help Apple recover whatever reputation they would lose as a result?

        If the government succeeds in their effort to deputize/reprioritize/commander private resources to "create an OS version" of their liking against the will of the creators then you've created a real mess with liberty.

        • I think Apple should have to "help" unlock it so that the hardware makers learn their lesson and make sure the handsets are actually secure. I don't think claiming that making a new firmware is an undue burden is going to hold up on appeal. As far as I have heard Apple has not claimed this is "hard", only that it undermines the security of their devices. But that horse is gone. If this device's security depended on Apple's non-cooperation with the government, it was never secure to begin with. To say i
  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:40PM (#51563101) Journal
    More Than 500 Cherrypicked Americans Completely Clueless About How Encryption Works, Finds Pew Survey
    • More Than 500 Cherrypicked Americans Completely Clueless About How Encryption Works, Finds Pew Survey

      This is hilarious to me because you're assuming they had to cherry pick, as if they skipped over the first 5,000 respondents because they all turned out to be crypto experts...

  • You guys who like "total control" over your hardware and software are, at some point down this horrific line, in greater danger than the Apple fans you so love to sneer at.
    You'll soon find yourself carrying an "illegal comms device", if Apple loses.
    We all thought soviet communism was bad but we are on a crash course for something much worse in the "free west".

    How many Americans side with the NRA -v- Government one wonders?
    Is it just me or has logic reasoning been deported from the USA in advance of all the

  • by sgrover ( 1167171 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:53PM (#51563207) Homepage

    John Oliver famously coined the "dick-pic" angle of looking at the surveillance programs Snowden helped reveal. The resulting understanding in the masses when you boiled down the question to "can the government see my dic pics" showed a massive reversal of general opinion (IMO).

    Something similar is needed here. Perhaps the question should be reworded to "Should the FBI be able to force Apple to rewrite their systems so that an Apple phone will unzip your pants to see if you have a penis or not?" Because at this point there is no evidence (that I've heard) that there is anything pertinent on the phone. Only the possibility that there *might* be. Much the same as there is a 50/50 chance that any particular person may have male genitalia under their pants. Hmm.. Schrodinger's Dick Pic???

  • People with a telephone line to their home are less likely to understand technology.

  • by orgelspieler ( 865795 ) <.moc.cam. .ta. .eifl0w.> on Monday February 22, 2016 @08:07PM (#51563297) Journal
    I have a friend who is very right-wing nut job. In most cases he's staunchly "anti-big-gub'mint." Yet in this case, he thinks that Apple is being downright traitorous. I guess the only thing he hates more than Uncle Sam's grubby paws on his cell phone, is terr'ists. So strange. I even pointed out that this is forcing a company to do something on behalf of the government. When "Obamacare made Hobby Lobby provide abortions," he got all upset about that. But it's OK if it's Apple working for the FBI. WTF?!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 22, 2016 @08:20PM (#51563405)

    Good thing the Constitution & the law aren't a 'popularity contest'...I don't CARE what 'the public thinks'...the question is one of 'legal rights'...society can't be beholden to the '50% below the curve'..

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @08:31PM (#51563499) Journal
    Why didn't they go for the gold and just make stuff up with something like "should Apple stop breaking the law?" They'd get more yes responses then. Try asking "should Apple write software if FBI demands that they do?" And see how many positives you get then.
  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @08:39PM (#51563557)

    That time, the question was "should this radical proposed document be adopted?" accompanied by the actual US Constitution. And the results were roughly the same:
    http://www.constitution.org/co... [constitution.org]

  • by Tjp($)pjT ( 266360 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @08:41PM (#51563563)
    Did the pollsters add the information that the court limits it to this phone, and apple would have to create and test a new version of the iOS operating system code at the expense of potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars and likely a possibility of having to specifically hire additional people to make up for the diversion of resources internally in Apple to comply, as well as potentially delay the release of new versions of the iOS software in the normal flow, as well as potentially ripple the delay to delaying new products?

    People seem to think this requires no effort or expense on Apple's part to comply with the request, where the reality is it affects the iOS family devices as a whole, and carries a considerable expense.

    Additionally it is to cover for the sloppy government handling of the iCloud account associated with the phone in the first place.

    And the open liability issue if their one of a kind OS version, tied to a single device and no other, fails catastrophically. Testing alone would be a nightmare as you'd have to duplicate the essential elements of the target phone on a test device, and then test against it ...

    Tim Cook is correct in denying compliance. It opens a huge can of worms (read liability) on Apple. And Tim's job is not to give the government free services and incur liability that can be avoided. It is to protect the fiduciary rights of the stockholders.

    I think if the pollsters included a scale of what amount of money Apple should spend on compliance, as well as what amount of delay is acceptable for Apple's product shipment dates given as multiple choice questions, the results would be very different. You could be talking about delaying the next releases over a significant time period where apple not only losses expenses related to the compliance directly, but losses due to product delays and loss of market share as unencumbered companies have a DOJ wedge edge created.
    • Did the pollsters add the information that the court limits it to this phone, and apple would have to create and test a new version of the iOS operating system code at the expense of potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars

      Woah! Hundreds of thousands of dollars? For a company worth half a trillion?
      To make an analogy, would the average person be willing to contribute $50 in the name of justice? (oh wait they already do via paying tax, something Apple avoids so fuck them). Justice costs money, and if the 1%ers aren't willing to contribute 1 millionth of their value they can fuck off.

      People seem to think this requires no effort or expense on Apple's part to comply with the request, where the reality is it affects the iOS family devices as a whole, and carries a considerable expense.

      I can't speak for all people, but for me the effort argument is a no-brainer. Just like being subpoena'd or called for jury service, we all bear t

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @08:45PM (#51563593) Homepage

    What, exactly, was the wording of the question?

    Chances are that could have had quite a lot to do with the respondents' answers, in either direction.

  • by aepervius ( 535155 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @09:48PM (#51563967)
    Nearly half of American disbelieve evolution and think the world was created 6000+ years ago. So, when you have so many people even disbelieving the most successful predictive theory in biology, I don't expect that many either to udenrstand complex themes like encryption, walled garden, and civil right to privacy.
  • by blindseer ( 891256 ) <blindseer@@@earthlink...net> on Monday February 22, 2016 @11:11PM (#51564369)

    A funny thing about a republic is that no one can vote away another person's rights.

    Let's say we do live in a true democracy. I get enough people to agree with me on something, like perhaps that people that take welfare should not get to vote. If you don't pay a net income to the government then you cannot have a say on how that money is spent. Then next year I get a smaller group of people to agree with me, only landowners get to vote. Why not? If you don't actually own the land then why should you get to vote?

    Now that I've narrowed the field quite a bit I might have to be a bit more careful on picking my allies. I might be able to find a majority of men that think that women should not be able to vote. Perhaps I make this a religious cause. Those that do not pray to the great pasta in the sky should not be allowed to vote. Then I keep redefining who gets to vote year after year until it's just me and my inner circle of friends. We used democracy to become what is effectively a monarchy.

    But it doesn't have to be a vote on who gets to vote. It could be a vote on who gets the guns. No guns for you and yours, we'll just leave you to fight off the armed thugs with your fists, feet, and teeth. Perhaps I vote away your healthcare, let you die off from a lack of shots against tetanus, flu, and meningitis.

    Or here's an idea, I vote away your right against unwarranted search and seizure. I'm trying to protect you from the evil terrorists in the world. So I go about listening to phone calls, poke around your backyard. If I find a wild marijuana plant then I can assume you're growing the stuff in your basement, then I take your house. Your kid thought it would be "cute" to fashion a bong in art class, obviously you are selling drugs so I take your house. I think you bought too much cold medicine, so I lock you up for five years. I think you bought too much diesel fuel, ammonia, and fertilizer, I don't care if you have 600 acres of farmland, you are obviously making bombs and meth. I take your farm and lock you up.

    Oh, wait, maybe we don't live in a republic any more.

    A republic means that an individual has rights, in spite of what removal of those rights might mean to the benefit of the whole. If we can vote away the rights of any one person, even if we think that person is evil incarnate, then no one's rights are safe. The FBI lost the ability to snoop on us as it wished through a series of gains in technology and civil rights cases. They want that back. If we believe we live in a democracy, and lose the basis of a republic in our laws, then we'll have the government prop up one bogeyman after another to convince us to vote our rights away.

    Those that choose security over liberty will get neither. I think a wise man warned us about this many years ago.

  • by jsepeta ( 412566 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @10:44AM (#51566699) Homepage

    It's a fact!

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