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Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter To Back Apple With Legal Filing In FBI Case ( 129

An anonymous reader writes: Google plans to follow Microsoft in throwing its legal support behind Apple in its increasingly contentious dispute with the federal government around the iPhone connected with the San Bernardino terror attacks, according to sources.

At a congressional hearing on Thursday, Microsoft's legal chief, Brad Smith, said that the company plans to file an amicus brief next week in support of Apple's resistance to helping the FBI hack the phone. Google will deliver its own supporting brief 'soon,' according to sources familiar with the company.

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Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter To Back Apple With Legal Filing In FBI Case

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  • by liqu1d ( 4349325 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @08:49PM (#51588325)
    Who's really got the power corporations or government.
    • Both and Neither. The government gets its money from the corporations. The government tells the corporations how much to pay and how to act. The corporations pay the government extra money when they want to act different than expected. The government likes it when someone gives it extra money so it ensures that the corporation gets to do what it wants. This is called a shell game in order to enact some other shit on the only thing left to control...the citizens.
    • Who's really got the power corporations or government.

      Anyone can hold mere power. This may be a bit larger than that.

      What will be defined here is Control.

      Those who fought and died to establish our country over 200 years ago didn't make any mistakes when starting our founding document with We the People.

      And if we relinquish that, then Ben Franklin was right. We deserve neither.

      Take special note to the age of the People noted here, for that is exactly how fucking long We have been concerned about who truly retains Control.

      • And, it is important to note, that what Apple is saying is that they don't have control in this case. It's not like they have some super-key that would unlock the phone and they are refusing to give it. They have no access to the phone. The government is requiring Apple to assert control over the phone while simultaneously try to assert their control over Apple. If the government wins, it will be Government > Apple > Users. If Apple wins, it will be Users > [Apple | Government]. There will st

    • Corporations have the financial and legal "power" to delay the inevitable significantly, and I can understand why they would wish to do so, however they may just force governments to find solutions that do not require cooperation. Is that not a worse outcome? If a court stands between the government and a citizen's data you still have some rights, but if the government is forced to develop a universal methodology for compromising a seized system's security they may not even bother going through the courts,
  • Microsoft may be behind Apple, but Bill Gates isn't. []

    Can't say I'm a fan of his rationale, he of all people should know better.

    • Re: Heh (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You should probably look up Bill Gates' follow up to that article you linked, in which he says that Financial Times mis-quoted and misled readers by taking his statements out of context.

      • Do you have a link handy? I wasn't aware of that.

    • Gates claimed his quotes were taken out of context.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Well, the only things BG had to contribute was a lot of luck and some sales talent. He never had any real engineering skills or any real understanding of what was going on. (No idea why people think different. You can be a primitive cave-man and get rich in the US. Just look at Trump.) No wonder BG is no longer relevant.

      Incidentally, his retraction (done since then) reads like somebody with a clue explained to him what is actually going on.

  • Having wetted and raised their fingers, guess who has now determined which way the wind of public opinion is blowing.

    I suspect the direction of the wind is related to the realization that within a year, President Trump/Clinton may be relishing all the available phone access.

    • Apparently only 38% agree with Apple. Most people seem to side with the FBI on this issue.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        38% in this context is HUGE. Fucking good thing we aren't a democrazy.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Apparently only 38% agree with Apple. Most people seem to side with the FBI on this issue.

        Millions of Americans also think the Earth is around 6,000 years old. It's a good thing we're a (somewhat) representative democracy.

      • That 38% is a rather misleading number. You imply that, therefore, 62% are on the side of the FBI. But the very article you cite shows only a 51% commitment to the FBI's argument; leaving plenty of people as yet undecided. And the more clueful the population segment, the more the numbers shift toward Apple, ending at 47% FBI, 43% Apple, 10% undecided. And Apple's barely had a chance to begin to make its case; where the TLAs have been bludgeoning the population with "FEAR THE TERRORISTS!!!" for a decade

  • All the corps whose services and devices you should never use.

  • by kbsoftware ( 1000159 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:06PM (#51589087)
    Oh oh looks like the industry is bushing back against the government. Looks like it's time to create another terrorist attack to make the industry look like they are the bad guys. I know what I'm suggesting here is purely conspiracy but I do believe there is more here than what meets the eye.
    • Wouldn't be hard. All they have to do is modify one of their terrorist sting operations, instead of cops leave the promised weapons (and encrypted devices) at the drop-off point.

  • I think this issue puts us at the crossroads for the U.S. How this issue shakes out is going to determine the course of many very important issues in the future with regards to civil rights. Personally, I think that if Apple is successfully strong-armed by the federal government into doing what they want, it'll have a very chilling effect on the future of civil rights, privacy rights, and maybe even human rights in general in this country, and perhaps all over the world. Personally, I don't want to have to
    • by spyfrog ( 552673 )
      And since the public seams to side with FBI - if Apple wins this, then they will loose even more in the future. Then you will have laws forcing these kind of backdoor into the phones. This is simply the wrong case to take the fight with. Protecting the privacy of a dead terrorist doesn't win you a political fight. Roll over in this case and find a better case to take the fight over. One that you can win the public in. This is a loosing fight and winning it will only lead to public backlash and laws that gi
      • Roll over in this case and find a better case to take the fight over.

        See, that's exactly the wrong thing to do because it sets a precedent; then the feds can come back later and say "You did this before, you have no excuse not to do it now", or worse, they'll use the precedent to say "See, they're willing to do it when we ask, so they should just make their products so we can bypass it when we want to without having to ask them to help". From there they'd legislate that all companies provide federal backdoors to encrypted devices; then we're cooked, nothing would ever be pri

  • by erp_consultant ( 2614861 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @01:54AM (#51589635)

    Make no mistake, they are lining up behind Apple on this because if they don't the FBI will come after them next. It could just as easily been an Android phone or a Microsoft phone or a Facebook account that the FBI wants to get its mitts on. And once that door is open it will never close again.

    The FBI could have chose to negotiate with Apple about this privately but they chose to take it public. Why? As Rahm Emanuel famously once said "never let a crisis go to waste". The government is once again using the excuse of "terrorism" to take away individual freedoms and rights. This is not just about getting into one iPhone. This is about getting into ALL phones. It always starts like this and little by little our freedoms erode.

    Even if the FBI gets past the lock screen all of the data on the phone is encrypted separately. It will be useless to them, assuming there is anything useful on there in the first place. We don't know that. The FBI doesn't know that. Nobody knows that. For all we know there is nothing but Angry Birds on that phone.

    But let's just suppose that we give the FBI the benefit of the doubt and let them crack the phone. How is that going to make us any safer against terrorists? It's the same deal with the NSA. Heck, the TSA for that matter. Gigantic waste of fucking time. Maybe if these idiots would spend less time bickering with the CIA I might cut them some slack. But they can't because they are Federal drones, programmed to engage in political infighting, waste, fraud, and general dick-headery.

    I used to do consulting work for the Feds. Every place I went was more or less the same. The managers were almost uniformly stone cold morons. Whose bosses were politicians that wouldn't know efficient business practice if it kicked them square in the nuts. I went in hoping to change things for the better. I left vowing never to return no matter how much they offered to pay me. It was a shock something akin to someone that gets their first hospital bill. You know it's going to be bad but you have no idea until you experience it for yourself.

  • ..but how about paying your damn taxes?
  • Terrorism is spectacular and newsworthy -- but it's spectacular and newsworthy because it's so rare.

    Since 9/11, American deaths by terror have averaged about 12 per year [] worldwide. That puts terrorism right up there with lightning strikes [].

    Even if there were a 9/11 class attack in the US every year, it wouldn't hold a candle to drunk driving deaths. -- but drunk driving deaths don't make the news because they're so common. It's the fallacy of the news cycle -- to be national news it has to be rare. Mor

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