FBI Stories August 22

AAPL: 108.51

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It’s just ten days since I pointed to a Microsoft security leak as proof of my point that any iPhone master key created by Apple would inevitably fall into the wrong hands in time – and even more powerful support for that position now exists.

It was revealed last week that powerful hacking tools created by the NSA have been leaked, and are now being auctioned to the highest bidder. Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist with the Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, summarised that argument in a single tweet.

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FBI Stories August 12

AAPL: 108.18

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Update: Steve Gibson has taken issue with the ‘golden key’ term used by Ars, arguing that it overplays the significance of the vulnerability.

I wrote an opinion piece predating the San Bernardino shootings on why Apple was right to stand firm on encryption even in the face of terrorist attacks, and another one afterwards explaining why it would be too dangerous to give the FBI the iPhone master key they demanded.

My main argument was that something as powerful as a master key to unlock an iPhone would eventually fall into the wrong hands.

So soon, the FBI would hold the key. Then other law enforcement agencies. In time, that key would be held in every police precinct house. We would then be trusting more than a million people with access to that key to abide by the rules. Government agencies don’t always have the best of track-records in doing that.

And Microsoft has just proven my point, even with code that was never intended to leave the company’s possession …

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FBI Stories July 25

AAPL: 97.34

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A second federal judge has ruled that a suspect can be compelled to unlock their iPhone using their fingerprint in order to give investigators access to data which can be used as evidence against them. The first time this ever happened in a federal case was back in May, following a District Court ruling in 2014.

The latest case involves a suspect accused of particularly unpleasant crimes, reports Ars Technica.

A Dallas, Texas man accused of prostituting underage girls was secretly ordered by a federal judge to unlock his iPhone using his fingerprint, according to federal court documents that are now unsealed.

The legal position of forcing suspects to use their fingerprints to unlock devices won’t be known with certainty until a case reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, but lower court rulings so far appear to establish a precedent which is at odds with that concerning passcodes …

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9to5toys 

FBI Stories July 20

AAPL: 99.96

0.09
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FBI Stories May 20

AAPL: 95.22

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The fallout from the standoff between Apple and the FBI in the San Bernardino case continues. Following the introduction of one bipartisan bill in the House of Representives in February, seeking to protect encryption against any state-level legislation that might compromise it, a new bill has now been introduced in the Senate ,,,

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FBI Stories May 19

AAPL: 94.20

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Something that has been bugging me for some time is that my iPhone, normally unlocked with Touch ID, asks for my passcode way more often than it ought to. That mystery has now been solved by a bullet-point that Apple added to its iOS Security Guide earlier this month – though the behavior has been there a lot longer.

Previous versions of the document said that iOS devices should only ask Touch ID users for their passcode in one of five circumstances. I found I was frequently asked for my passcode when none of these applied, but a sixth, recently-added bullet-point explains it …

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