New York Judge: US cannot make Apple provide iPhone data in drug case
Fox News, with help from the Associated Press, has just announced (Tuesday, March 01, 2016) that a New York Judge has ruled for Apple in a non-related drug case in New York. Bear in mind as you read this that two different activities are involved and the article may be tricky to read at first. This article is basically about a drug case in New York, while its implications will affect the FBI’s demand that Apple let the FBI into an iphone used by one of the shooters in the San Barnardino, Calfornia, mass shooting. Below the teaser passages which I will place here will be two other reports focused on the iphone from San Barnardino, one by The American View and the other by Ron Paul.
Story at Fox News
The U.S. Justice Department’s efforts to compel Apple to provide the FBI with access to a locked iPhone in the San Bernardino terror investigation could set a precedent for future cases, FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday.
Comey, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee about the encryption debate, acknowledged that other prosecutors and lawyers would likely look to the outcome of the San Bernardino case.
“Any decision about a court is particularly useful to another court,” Comey said.
He also disputed that the Justice Department was requesting a “key” to open the iPhone, one which Apple has argued could not remain secure.
“There’s already a door,” Comey said. “Take the vicious guard dog away and let us pick the lock. I have a lot of faith in the company’s ability to secure their info.”
Comey’s testimoney comes a day after the Justice Department suffered a setback when a federal judge ruled Apple could not be forced to provide the FBI with access to a locked iPhone’s data in a Brooklyn drug case.
U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein’s written decision provided support to Apple’s decision as it fights a California judge’s order to create specialized software to help the FBI hack the San Bernardino phone.
Read that whole article at Fox News
Regarding the subject at hand, Ron Paul issued his weekly column on February 28 2016 in which he talks about the Apple-FBI contest. I would like to place that article here to expand our perspective on this issue.
First They Came For the iPhones…
by former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas
The FBI tells us that its demand for a back door into the iPhone is all about fighting terrorism, and that it is essential to break in just this one time to find out more about the San Bernardino attack last December. But the truth is they had long sought a way to break Apple’s iPhone encryption and, like 9/11 and the PATRIOT Act, a mass murder provided just the pretext needed. After all, they say, if we are going to be protected from terrorism we have to give up a little of our privacy and liberty. Never mind that government spying on us has not prevented one terrorist attack.
Apple has so far stood up to a federal government’s demand that it force its employees to write a computer program to break into its own product. No doubt Apple CEO Tim Cook understands the damage it would do to his company for the world to know that the US government has a key to supposedly secure iPhones. But the principles at stake are even higher. We have a fundamental right to privacy. We have a fundamental right to go about our daily life without the threat of government surveillance of our activities. We are not East Germany.
Let’s not forget that this new, more secure iPhone was developed partly in response to Ed Snowden’s revelations that the federal government was illegally spying on us. The federal government was caught breaking the law but instead of ending its illegal spying is demanding that private companies make it easier for it to continue.
Last week we also learned that Congress is planning to join the fight against Apple — and us. Members are rushing to set up yet another governmental commission to study how our privacy can be violated for false promises of security. Of course they won’t put it that way, but we can be sure that will be the result. Some in Congress are seeking to pass legislation regulating how companies can or cannot encrypt their products. This will suppress the development of new technology and will have a chilling effect on our right to be protected from an intrusive government. Any legislation Congress writes limiting encryption will likely be unconstitutional, but unfortunately Congress seldom heeds the Constitution anyway.
When FBI Director James Comey demanded a back door into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, he promised that it was only for this one, extraordinary situation. “The San Bernardino litigation isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message,” he said in a statement last week. Testifying before Congress just days later, however, he quickly changed course, telling the Members of the House Intelligence Committee that the court order and Apple’s appeals, “will be instructive for other courts.” Does anyone really believe this will not be considered a precedent-setting case? Does anyone really believe the government will not use this technology again and again, with lower and lower thresholds?
According to press reports, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. has 175 iPhones with passcodes that the City of New York wants to access. We can be sure that is only the beginning.
We should support Apple’s refusal to bow to the FBI’s dangerous demands, and we should join forces to defend of our precious liberties without compromise. If the people lead, the leaders will follow.
Copyright © 2016 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Addtionally, let’s hear it from another hard-working patriot: Jake MacAulay over at The American View
The American View is an extension of the —
Apple’s Message To Their Customers: http://www.apple.com/customer-letter/