privacy April 21
privacy April 19
While the FBI abandoned its court case against Apple, the dispute of course still rumbles on in Congress, with hearings today and a proposed bill to force U.S. tech companies to break encrypted devices on demand. But at least one legal expert thinks the Feinstein-Burr bill is deeply flawed, arguing that it is unconstitutional, unenforceable and would harm U.S. investigative capabilities.
And not just any legal expert: you can’t really ask for better credentials in this area than those of Paul Rosenzweig.
Paul Rosenzweig is the founder of Red Branch Consulting PLLC, a homeland security consulting company [and] formerly served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Homeland Security. He is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute. He also serves as a Professorial Lecturer in Law at George Washington University [and] a Senior Editor of the Journal of National Security Law & Policy.
In a blog post on Lawfare, Rosenzweig sets out the three problems he sees with the Feinstein-Burr bill …
privacy April 14
The FBI has so far been ambivalent about whether or not it will reveal to Apple the method used to access the San Bernardino iPhone, but a Reuters report suggests that the agency may not even know – or have the legal right to disclose it if it does.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that it was freelance hackers, and not Cellebrite, who sold the FBI the tool used to access the phone. But the group may not have revealed the vulnerability on which it was based, and the government process that decides which vulnerabilities to share with companies does not apply in this case …
privacy April 7
The White House will not be supporting draft legislation that would allow courts to force tech companies like Apple to help law enforcement hack into encrypted devices, reports Reuters.
The Senate Intelligence Committee in February announced plans to impose criminal penalties on companies that fail to comply with court orders like the one challenged by Apple and finally withdrawn by the FBI. Remarks by President Obama last month appeared to suggest he would support the proposed legislation, but it now appears this isn’t the case …
privacy April 5
Although the battle over encryption between the FBI and Apple has currently subsided, the issue of privacy and security in technology continues. Today, WhatsApp is announcing that all messages, photos, phone calls and videos sent over its messaging app will be encrypted end-to-end. This means that no one can access any communications apart from the people in the conversation. This means if WhatsApp is subpoenaed by government for information, WhatsApp will not be able to help them as it simply cannot help them.
privacy March 29
See italicised updates below, with statements from both the Department of Justice and Apple.
The battle between the FBI and Apple over accessing a work phone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists started as headline news and ended in a rather anti-climactic fashion.
The high-profile congressional hearing was due to be followed by a big showdown in court. Instead, the FBI asked that the hearing be vacated, and later quietly announced that it had, with help, managed to gain access to the phone. Nothing to see here, move along.
But while this particular case may be settled, it’s extremely unlikely that this will be the end of the matter – for two reasons …