Apple vs. The FBI: What You Should Be Asking

Could the justice department be using this case about hacking into an iPhone so the majority of the people will be sympathetic to its cause about taking another shot at breaking encryption technology?

With all of the drama surrounding the dispute between the FBI and Apple, and Apple’s heroic and customer-centric stance to not create any back door into its products, a number of other questions have occurred to me that folks don’t seem to be asking - or at least that aren’t being addressed broadly.

Let’s take a look at some of them this week given the news that the Senate is working to put Tim Cook in Jail.

I’m pretty sure we don’t have to worry about Cook being a terrorist. (This does suggest that Apple may want to increase its lobby funding).

Why Wasn’t This iPhone Monitored?
Generally, people believe that the phones their employer gives them are monitored. That is likely why the terrorists in question had personal phones which were destroyed.

Monitoring software is designed to circumvent phone security so the firms, or in this case government departments, that own the phones can make sure they aren’t misused or used for some illegal activity.

It is not atypical for a security audit to want to be able to assure that company/government assets are being used properly and we know that, in the past, government assets like this have been used for thing like viewing porn for instance.

In addition you would think, given the possibility of inside attack that any government service employee would have had a background check and that alone should have triggered monitoring.

Finally the NSA has spent billions setting up monitoring on virtually everyone so why isn’t that used in this instance? Why do they need Apple?

Maybe they should just phone the NSA? Wasn’t the 9/11 problem that these agencies didn’t talk to each other?

Rather than pounding on Apple, maybe fixing that would make more sense.

Apple likely to invoke free-speech rights in encryption fight

Apple Inc will likely seek to invoke the United States’ protections of free speech as one of its key legal arguments in trying to block an order to help unlock the encrypted iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, lawyers with expertise in the subject said this week.

The company on Thursday was granted three additional days by the court to file a response to the order. Apple will now have until Feb. 26 to send a reply, a person familiar with matter told Reuters.

The tech giant and the Obama administration are on track for a major collision over computer security and encryption after a federal magistrate judge in Los Angeles handed down an order on Tuesday requiring Apple to provide specific software and technical assistance to investigators.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook called the request from the Federal Bureau of Investigation unprecedented. Other tech giants such as Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google have rallied to support Apple.

Apple has retained two prominent, free-speech lawyers to do battle with the government, according to court papers: Theodore Olson, who won the political-speech case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010, and Theodore Boutrous, who frequently represents media organizations.

Government lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department have defended their request in court papers by citing various authorities, such as a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld an order compelling a telephone company to provide assistance with setting up a device to record telephone numbers.

Source: Reuters

Why Are They Making This So Public?
The advantage to something like a back door only works if no one knows about it. If they are successful in getting Apple to create a back door, then everyone who isn’t living under a rock will know that iPhones can’t be trusted, meaning the very tool they want created will become worthless.

Even for this one phone, anyone that is connected to the attack can see the investigation getting closer and closer to them and likely took off some time ago. So even if there is information on this phone it’s not likely to yield anything worthwhile.

This all seems designed more to hurt Apple than to help law enforcement and Apple products are used by a huge cross section of American citizens including the First Family. So why is the FBI so hell bent on hurting Apple and its customers? What is the real goal here?

Apple and Google have been fighting for some time and we know Google is now deeply connected to the Obama administration. Could this be Google’s attempt to critically hurt Apple using its contacts in the Obama administration? If so are Trump and Cruz, who have come out in support of this FBI attack, then Obama/Google Patsies?

Whatever is going on here is not what we think.

How Is A Government Office Justifying iPhones?
The terrorist was a government employee. This was a government phone, and iPhones are considered luxury phones, and the government is supposed to operate frugally. Why then did this terrorist government employee get an iPhone in the first place?

This is like seeing an authorization for a luxury car for a government field employee. I can certainly see if this phone was purchased by the employee and then the phone service paid by the government but this phone was bought by the government during a time when revenues are down and government offices are supposed to have deployed austerity measures, so how did they authorize a luxury phone for a low level government employee?

This kind of suggests that - rather than being short on cash - at least one government office isn’t executing the required austerity measures. Maybe it is time to cut taxes and put employees on a cheaper phone.

Wrapping Up: Conspiracy Theories
This kind of leads to a whole bunch of conspiracy theories but and I’ve only touched on a few. One thing that continues to bother me is that these folks destroyed their personal phones making it likely there is nothing on the iPhone that wasn’t destroyed that could be used. They clearly knew they were going to be captured or killed. This seems like an awful lot of trouble to gain access to a phone that likely doesn’t have anything worth accessing.

I also wonder if all of those phones out there owned by the government are now on a short list of phones to get monitoring software because it would be really embarrassing if this all happened again in a few months. Rather than attacking Apple and trying to put Tim Cook in jail, maybe working to make sure another attack doesn’t happen would be the more prudent course of action.

(By the way if you haven’t read the Wikipedia coverage on this, it makes you wonder why these folks were allowed to continue to work in a sensitive area and weren’t on some kind of watch list). Makes you wonder if this isn’t all about getting us to focus on Apple and not wonder, given the massive amount of spying on us they are doing, why the FBI couldn’t prevent the attack in the first place.)

About the Author

Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group

As President and Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group, Rob Enderle provides regional and global companies with guidance in how to create credible dialogue with the market, target customer needs, create new business opportunities, anticipate technology changes, select vendors and products, and practice zero dollar marketing. For over 20 years Rob has worked for and with companies like Microsoft, HP, IBM, Dell, Toshiba, Gateway, Sony, USAA, Texas Instruments, AMD, Intel, Credit Suisse First Boston, ROLM, and Siemens.

Source: TechSpective

Facebook and Twitter Announce Support for Apple in Backdoor Dispute With FBI

Article Topics

Supply Chain Services News & Resources

Peak Technologies and Supply Chain Services to merge
Sole Source Capital portfolio company Supply Chain Services acquires ISG Technologies
Supply chains prove how essential they are
8 Methods to Improve Your Forecast Accuracy
Barcoding expands annual executive forum with Women in Supply Chain luncheon
Fortna celebrates 70 years
Driving Value and Advantage from the Internet of Things
More Supply Chain Services

Latest in Technology

Talking Supply Chain: Co-existing with the robots
Artificial Intelligence to Drive M&A Activity in Supply Chain
Cleo Announces New Supply Chain Management Tools for Integration Cloud Platform
Bank of America Introduces Digital Supply Chain Finance Platform
Talking Supply Chain: Is Generative AI the future of the supply chain?
Logility Acquires Generative AI Supply Chain Planning Firm Garvis
Perpetual Power Comes for AMRs
More Technology

Supply Chain Services is a full service provider of barcode data collection solutions. Supply Chain Services delivers barcode scanning and barcode printing equipment, as well as support services to warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution organizations.

View Supply Chain Services company profile


Featured Downloads

Becoming a Shipper of Choice
Becoming a Shipper of Choice
C3 solutions' scheduling software streamlines the shipping process.
Thinking Differently About Supply Chain Planning
Thinking Differently About Supply Chain Planning
Political landscapes shift overnight, global trade is constantly changing, consumers demand increasingly personalized service and smaller day-to-day challenges hit without warning. If...

Rapidly Improve the Performance of Your Warehouse Logistics
Rapidly Improve the Performance of Your Warehouse Logistics
The Rapid Performance Evaluation identifies opportunities and potential improvements in every aspect of warehouse logistics operations; performance, productivity, service, quality, and systems.
Resource Management System (RMS): How to Effectively Leverage Your Assets
Resource Management System (RMS): How to Effectively Leverage Your Assets
This guide provides an in-depth analysis of the potential of various resources available in a warehouse and how they can be utilized...
Sustainable Supply Chain Insights From PITT OHIO
Sustainable Supply Chain Insights From PITT OHIO
A whitepaper on supply chain insights gleaned at the LEED-certified gold Cleveland transportation and sustainability summit.