Signaling the commencement of the post-Snowden era, the New York Times reported today that the new Apple iphone6 locks out NSA snooping – and the snoops are pissed.
The article may be seen here:
The phone is the first generation to disrupt government listening and investigation.
“The phone encrypts emails, photos and contacts based on a complex mathematical algorithm that uses a code created by, and unique to, the phone’s user — and that Apple says it will not possess.”
“The result, the company is essentially saying, is that if Apple is sent a court order demanding that the contents of an iPhone 6 be provided to intelligence agencies or law enforcement, it will turn over gibberish, along with a note saying that to decode the phone’s emails, contacts and photos, investigators will have to break the code or get the code from the phone’s owner”
Breaking the code, according to Apple, could take five and a half years; others think the codes could be broken sooner – but not like this week.
Already the FBI, probably speaking for other government snoops is up in arms – what about kidnapped babies? What about the terror threats from the Islamic State?
The marketing of this product is “something expressly designed to allow people to hold themselves beyond the law.” Oh my!
FBI Director James Comey “cited kidnapping cases, in which exploiting the contents of a seized phone could lead to finding a victim, and predicted there would be moments when parents would come to him “with tears in their eyes, look at me and say, ‘What do you mean you can’t’ ” decode the contents of a phone.”
At Apple and Google, executives point out that the government has brought this on themselves. Buyers of their products in Germany, Brazil and China insist that there be no “back door” into the iphone which would allow the US government to snoop.
And in the post Ed Snowden world, no one is for expanding government snooping; Current law allows for wire taps but does not cover the content of a smart phone.
The NSA trampled on privacy rights with unlawful spying – now technology is gonna make it more difficult. And getting a warrant from a secret FISA Court is not like getting a real warrant from a real court anyway.
Bravo Apple. And bravo Ed Snowden.