iPhone encryption Stories January 14

There’s a lot of publicity right now about the FBI’s request for Apple to help them unlock two iPhones owned by a murder suspect who opened fire at a Florida navy base.

However, what has gone underreported is the fact that the two iPhones in question are actually old models, an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 7.

As noted by the Wall Street Journal today, these devices are so old that their security has already been compromised. Plenty of security firms on the gray/black market are available to unlock older iPhone models, so why does the FBI need Apple?

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iPhone encryption Stories February 17, 2016

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A security firm says that while Apple may fight hard to resist a California court order to help the FBI to break into an iPhone, it would be technically able to do so.

Apple had so far seemed to be in possession of the ultimate trump card in this situation: since iOS 8, it has been able to simply shrug and say that iPhones are encrypted and Apple doesn’t have the key. Even if a court ordered it to break into an iPhone, it would be unable to do so.

But while this is correct, security company Trail of Bits has described in a blog post how Apple could still make it possible for the FBI to hack into the phone …

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iPhone encryption Stories February 10, 2016

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Attempts by states like California and New York to ban the sale of encrypted phones could be overruled by federal law. The Verge reports that a cross-party bill is being introduced today in Congress by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX).

The ENCRYPT Act of 2016, or by its longer name, the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights of Your Private Telecommunications Act, would preempt state and local government encryption laws. The two men said today they are “deeply concerned” that varying bills surrounding encryption would endanger the country as well as the competitiveness of American companies. The argument is that it wouldn’t be easy or even feasible to tailor phone encryption capabilities for specific states.

New York last month kicked off the attempt to ban the sale of encrypted phones in the state unless the manufacturer built in a back door, with a virtually identical bill proposed in California later the same month. The moves – which would effectively outlaw the sale of current iPhones in both states – followed similar proposals in the UK last year …

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iPhone encryption Stories October 12, 2015

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A New York federal judge has indicated that he is likely to refuse a government request to compel Apple to unlock a customer’s iPhone, but will first ask Apple to explain why decrypting iPhones would be “unduly burdensome.” The iPhone concerned is apparently not running iOS 8 or 9, and so Apple would have the technical ability to decrypt it.

The Washington Post reports that Magistrate Judge James Orenstein of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York is an activist judge who is believed to be attempting to open up public debate on the issue of privacy versus law enforcement …  expand full story

iPhone encryption Stories January 7, 2015

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Bloomberg reports that a Manhattan District Attorney is challenging recent moves by Apple, Google and other tech companies by suggesting government pass laws that prevent mobile devices from being “sealed off from law enforcement.” In an interview this week, the government official called it “an issue of public safety.” expand full story

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