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Communications IOS Iphone Privacy Your Rights Online Apple Politics

Arizona County Attorney To Ditch iPhones Over Apple Dispute With FBI (networkworld.com) 345

alphadogg writes: Apple's refusal to help the FBI unlock an iPhone 5c used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino, California attack on Dec. 2 has prompted the Maricopa County attorney's office in Arizona to ban providing new iPhones to its staff. 'Apple's refusal to cooperate with a legitimate law enforcement investigation to unlock a phone used by terrorists puts Apple on the side of terrorists instead of on the side of public safety,' Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a statement Montgomery described as a corporate public relations stunt Apple's positioning of its refusal to cooperate on privacy grounds. On the other hand, I suspect Apple's public refusal to decrypt, and Tim Cook's strong words in favor of user privacy, have probably triggered an opposite reaction among many would-be phone buyers.
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Arizona County Attorney To Ditch iPhones Over Apple Dispute With FBI

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  • Government Idiocy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:05AM (#51582345)

    I wouldn't recommend iphones to anyone but certainly not for this reason. The whole notion of lumping Apple in with this classification of criminal is just batshit crazy.

    • by mdvx ( 4169463 )
      Time fort this department to foresware anything more secure than a flip phone, they should also empty their patrol cars of all technology that has encryption. In fact, since the patrol car uses encryption in the onboard engine mangement computer, they should remove the engine from that too. Better make sure they don't get any smart guns too.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:46AM (#51582857)

        This is Arizona. The guns are already smarter than some of the Sherriffs.

      • Once they bring in android phones, I can't wait to see all of sheriff joe's dirty emails that get leaked by hackers. I hear he has a strong position on illegal immigrants!

        maybe they will wish they used phones with better encryption.

        • Re:Government Idiocy (Score:5, Interesting)

          by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @02:07PM (#51584475)

          No good. Google is on Apple's side here. So Android's out. Microsoft sided with the FBI though. So maybe Arizonans can all switch to windows phone. Then again, it seems that Gates is now trying to backpedal and say he was misinterpreted. So maybe no windows phones after all. Perhaps Arizona can step back a decade and bring back Blackberry. They're pretty happy to roll over and put in backdoors for governments to spy on their citizens.

      • Re:Government Idiocy (Score:4, Informative)

        by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @02:16PM (#51584547)

        Well if you want to talk about idiocy, look at how Maricopa County got it's name. It comes from the name of an Indian tribe who called themselves Piipash, but when the conquistadors came in they heard about them from another tribe who called them "Kokmalik'op" which means "enemies in the big mountains", but since the Spanish (as in from Spain; not Mexicans who didn't exist at the time) tend to mangle every single word that doesn't include phonographs in their own language (which itself has a relatively small set of phonograms) they rendered "kokmalikop" as "maricopa" (sounds like "mod-ee-copa") that's what we call them today, and how Maricopa County has its namesake.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @12:01PM (#51583061)

      The whole notion of lumping Apple in with this classification of criminal is just batshit crazy.

      The Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio [wikipedia.org] has built his entire political career around being batshit crazy. This is just another political stunt to get his name in the news. If you think the people are too smart to vote for such a shallow egotist, then you have obviously never been to southern Arizona.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        While I agree with you about Joe, you might want to read the article and see that it's the county *attorney*, not the county sheriff. In fact Arpaio's not mentioned in the article at all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by macs4all ( 973270 )

      I wouldn't recommend iphones to anyone but certainly not for this reason. The whole notion of lumping Apple in with this classification of criminal is just batshit crazy.

      I've noticed that, starting today, there is a drumbeat of "Apple is siding with the Terrists!" in news-story after news-story.

      The Farce is strong in this issue.

  • by Steve1952 ( 651150 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:05AM (#51582355)
    Good thinking Maricopa County! Cue the lawsuits regarding disrespecting grand jury confidentiality in 3, 2. 1...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I live in Maricopa county, and I've emailed Montgomery a few times to complain about how corrupt he and the AZ government is in general.

      I get back replies that amount to "nu-uh!"

      He's a perfect example of someone with low IQ working hard and getting a law degree, right wing enough to get elected in AZ, and dumb enough to think we won't notice that this is just a sad publicity stunt.

    • by pla ( 258480 )
      Cue the lawsuits regarding disrespecting grand jury confidentiality

      How does this in any way relate to grand jury confidentiality?
  • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:06AM (#51582359)

    A government agency wants to use, factually, LESS secure phones in its office to make a political statement.

    Is the point that government agencies should always use less secure phones so the public can access their salient details? In that case I agree but I don't think that's the point he's trying to make.

    • "...puts Apple on the side of terrorists instead of on the side of public safety" says the lawyer who one would think wants to keep his business private.

      How long ago was it that lawyers were outraged by the TSA's policy to "search" laptops at the border? They adopted a clean hard-drive policy and the lawyers would download content via "the cloud" after arriving at their destination.

      But this lawyer wants his phone to be searchable. Interesting indeed. Please define Public Safety.

      My concern is around unl

    • A government agency wants to use, factually, LESS secure phones in its office to make a political statement.

      Did you notice what county it is? They've become famous for political grandstanding lately.

  • Just a stunt ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:08AM (#51582379) Homepage

    This is a publicity stunt, but Americans should be terrified that it is now considered un-American for a corporation to refuse to assist the government to spy on citizens and bypass protections.

    I would at least expect some of the Republicans to be howling about this, but it seems like all sides of American politics have pretty much said "refusal to comply with the government demands to spy on people is wrong, we need more government spying".

    Holy crap, guys, really?

    Papers please, comrade. You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MitchDev ( 2526834 )

      America has fallen, not to any invader, but to its own government...

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      All sides of American Politics? As someone not from the US, is this satire or sarcasm?

    • So be fair, this is not about 'spying on citizens'. This is about cooperating with a criminal investigation. That said, I'm completely on the fence with this one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:08AM (#51582381)

    Apple's refusal to cooperate with a legitimate law enforcement investigation to unlock a phone used by terrorists puts Apple on the side of terrorists instead of on the side of public safety

    Apple isn't refusing to cooperate. They are filing an appeal to a novel ruling. There is a difference.

    • Exactly (Score:5, Informative)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:10AM (#51582417)

      Apple DOES cooperate, when they are able to do things like pull data out of iCloud backups.

      What they are being asked to do is write a custom OS for free. To fix a mistake the FBI made.

      • What they are being asked to do is write a custom OS for free.

        So the problem is they have to spend a few hours, and they're not getting compensation ? It's all about money ?

        • Right because the company that provides the forensic tools used by law enforcement on cell phones would probably gladly help them with that for a hefty fee and a long term contract.

      • What they are being asked to do is write a custom OS for free. To fix a mistake the FBI made.

        Which will be used repeatedly in the future on other phones in other cases regardless of the legality of doing so.

        • Which will be used repeatedly in the future on other phones in other cases regardless of the legality of doing so.

          It would be a simple matter for Apple to write the patched OS so that it only works on one particular phone.

          • It would be a simple matter for Apple to write the patched OS so that it only works on one particular phone.

            If they do it once they will be asked to do it again. There is no putting the toothpaste back in the tube.

            • If they do it once they will be asked to do it again. There is no putting the toothpaste back in the tube.

              But then they would have a chance to verify and appeal the court order every time, and thus alleviating your concerns that it would happen "regardless of the legality of doing so".

    • Apple's refusal to cooperate with a legitimate law enforcement investigation to unlock a phone used by terrorists puts Apple on the side of terrorists instead of on the side of public safety

      Apple isn't refusing to cooperate. They are filing an appeal to a novel ruling. There is a difference.

      Actually, from what I've been reading, the actual ruling hasn't been officially entered by the judge, only a draft of what the judge is planning to order at the hearing on March 22 has been released so everybody can be ready to officially address the judge's order during the hearing.

      Soooo, officially Apple hasn't refused to do anything yet because the judge hasn't officially ordered it...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Managing your fucking iPhones! What dipshit organization deploys iPhones that they do not have absolute control over?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      You would be surprised. The concept of Mobile Device Management is well known within large enterprise, but largely unknown outside of that. And here's why:

      1. Government passes laws that require publicly traded companies to audit and positively manage access control and data safety (Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, etc.) or the companies have institutional requirements for the same or beyond (PCI compliance).
      2. Other companies make products that will allow large enterprises to comply with these rules and regulatio

    • They did manage them. The FBI told them to reset the account password, which locked the FBI out of the phone. Convenient, really, almost like they did that on purpose.

  • The police department definitely wants to be using phones that can be tapped.

  • Use MDM (Score:4, Informative)

    by Henriok ( 6762 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:16AM (#51582477)
    San Bernadino County didn't use a properly applied MDM solution. If they had, this wouldn't be an issue. One would hope that this is a wake-up call for similar organizations.
  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:17AM (#51582485) Journal

    This is exactly how fascism rises up as a 'peoples' movement via propaganda and hysteria. The Trump phenomenon operates on the same principles. It works today as well as it did 90 years ago. It is a fatal flaw of majority rule.

  • The UK government has recently warned local administrations [bbc.co.uk] against boycotts on Israeli firms, on the grounds that if falls foul of anti-discrimination rules in international trade agreements (and, it just so happens, that the UK government is generally supportive of Israeli policy).

    I'd imagine that public procument in the US, even if all the suppliers were also US companies, would likely have to be done on a non-discriminatory basis or the procuring body would run afoul either of competition laws or of l

    • Sort of.

      The way to get around it is to define the parameters tight enough to get what you want. For instance, adding this language: "The device shall feature a 4.3" AMOLED display. It shall be compatible with all CDMA networks, 802.11 a, b, g and n, and LTE bands 25, 26 and 41. It shall use the Android operating system and support one Micro-SDcard. It shall require a SIM for LTE connectivity, but not for CDMA connectivity." will pretty much knock things back to one specific version of one specific devic

    • Yeah, but that doesn't play with the publicity stunt that a "tough on crime" district attorney wants to parlay into a seat in Congress, or a US Attorney seat, or a judgeship somewhere, etc.

      Putting out a press release saying you are doing a thing, and then six months later not doing that thing because the story has faded is how county DAs become mayors, mayors become congressmen, congressmen become governors, etc.

  • Security Theater (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pecosdave ( 536896 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:19AM (#51582513) Homepage Journal

    the FBI has what it needs to unlock this phone any time it wants.

    It just wants to make a big deal out of it to justify legislation. [thefreetho...roject.com]

  • Never mind that while it may, technically, be a legal request at this point, it's STILL legal for Apple to challenge this in court.

    No! Let's pander to the media!

    Asshats.

  • Morons make themselves easier to attack. Please remember this when choosing your next targets...

  • This dispute is the best that could have happened to us. In a couple of months, iPhones will be unhackable, Apple will make sure that they will never ever be in this situation again.

  • This is a GOOD thing! ...because we wouldn't want to let an Arizona County Attorney off the hook for any crimes they might commit in the future just because they dug deep into their wallet in order to afford a smartphone from a company that respects people's right to privacy.

  • Apple's refusal to cooperate with a legitimate law enforcement investigation to unlock a phone used by terrorists puts Apple on the side of terrorists instead of on the side of public safety

    Translation: "Apple isn't letting us run roughshod over civil rights in the efficient manner to which we are accustomed so we're going to throw a juvenile fit instead of having an adult discussion about a complicated problem."

    Law enforcement officers with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement and a lack of regard for civil rights are a very scary thing.

  • According to the article on Ars, the prosecutor had this to say:

    "If the potential for unauthorized access to an encryption key is truly motivating Apple’s unwillingness to assist in downloading information from specific iPhones, then let’s define the problem in those terms and work on that concern"

    If only he really meant that.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-po... [arstechnica.com]

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:33AM (#51582715)
    Is planning a run for office.
  • The OP says "I suspect Apple's public refusal to decrypt, and Tim Cook's strong words in favor of user privacy, have probably triggered an opposite reaction among many would-be phone buyers"

    Based on what exactly? Why do you suspect this? Your opinion? Gut feeling? unsubstantiated rumors? Tea Leaves? Fox news?

    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      Oh come now. Of the millions of would-be phone buyers, you do NOT "suspect" that "many" of them would welcome Apple's reaction? That's actually a statistical certainty, given that there are many millions of such people. Your false intellectual objection is showing.

  • So have these idiots never heard of Mobile Device Management. Anyone distributing any phone, Android, Microsoft, Blackberry or Apple without a central managed MDM system is a fool! If San Bernardino had their phone in a simple MDM system none of this would be an issue. They could lock it change the passcode anything they wanted all from the central system.
  • So wait, the government is ditching phones that are secure to move to phones with lower security? How does this even make sense? Are they trying to have secrets leak? Why not start building their tanks out of glass and bullets out of cotton while they're at it? The USA is going to fall faster than Rome over this stupidity... I hope somebody there comes to their senses soon.
  • Apple has never said that its impossible for the data to be revealed, they have just said that they refuse to assist the FBI.

    But if its possible to write software to decrypt the phone's data, then its not actually cryptographically secured - or at least the key is available. In any case, if apple doesn't do this task for the FBI, NSA/CIA will do it at greater cost.

  • Here we have another outrage from Maricopa county. The simple fact is that our government can not secure information given to them. If Apple develops software to crack the encryption you put everyone at risk and you also damage Apple's ability top do business. And that doesn't reach the summit of the issue either. The government did not offer to pay for the work needed to develop the decryption method. And it also has equality issues as well. If we allow the government to crack encrypted devices how c
    • If Apple develops software to crack the encryption you put everyone at risk and you also damage Apple's ability top do business

      Then you'll be relieved to hear that this is not what this case is about.

  • by Proudrooster ( 580120 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @12:52PM (#51583631) Homepage

    If you buy iPhones/iPads for employees and don't use an MDM (Mobile Device Manager), then you have lost control on the device, period. All of this insanity could be a if San Bernadino would have managed their employee devices. [cbsnews.com]

    This is a giant tempest in a teapot. The FBI was sloppy and locked the phone, even though they deny the screwup, judge for yourself. [recode.net]

    ATTENTION: If you issue iPhones or Android to employees setup an MDM!

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