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Apple’s software boss writes to the newspaper about dispute with the FBI; UN and former members of intelligence agencies speak out

Apple received a secret national security letter from the United States in the second half of 2016; Brazilian government orders significantly increase

The case Apple vs. FBI just won another important chapter, since Craig Federighi (senior vice president of software engineering at Ma) decided to talk about it. The chosen way was to write an article for the newspaper The Washington Post which was recently purchased by Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon, a company that is alongside Apple in this dispute).

Federighi’s opinion

As Apple’s chief software engineer, I think that nothing is more important than the safety of all our customers.

Like Tim Cook, Federighi made it clear early on in the article that our phones today are more than personal devices. In them, we have sensitive information from family members and co-workers (including possible locations). Even vital US infrastructure data (such as power grids and transportation hubs) can become more vulnerable when such devices are hacked after all, iPhones are increasingly present in companies. This is what criminals and terrorists want to do: infiltrate systems and dismantle sensitive networks. This can start with just one smartphone, from one person.

He made it clear that that is why Apple works so hard to keep its devices safe. But, like all companies, it is subject to errors, after all humans are susceptible to failures. However, while a mistake can become a point of weakness, it is something for malicious people to exploit, identify and correct these problems are critical parts of Apple’s mission to keep its customers safe. And for Federighi, doing anything to hinder this mission would be a serious mistake. to which comes the request from the FBI / government, which precisely wants to hinder this mission of Apple.

They suggested that the security level of iOS 7 is good enough and that we should simply go back to 2013 security standards. But iOS 7 security, even though it was cutting edge in its day, has already been breached by hackers. Worse, some of their methods were produced and are now on sale to malefactors who are less qualified, but often more malicious.

Federighi says he became an engineer because he believes in the power of technology to enrich people’s lives. For him, great software has almost unlimited potential to solve human problems and can spread all over the world in the blink of an eye. But in the same way, malicious codes move as quickly as they do, and when something like this is created for the wrong reason, it has an enormous and growing capacity to harm millions of people.

Yesterday’s best defenses cannot defend against today’s or tomorrow’s attacks. The software innovations of the future will depend on the foundation of strong device security.

Does the FBI really need Apple?

But does the FBI really need Apple? This is the question that Selina Wang, from Bloomberg, made for some people in the area.

According to security experts interviewed by her, there are many ways for the FBI to hack the iPhone 5c that is generating this stalemate. Nobody said that hacking into the device would be trivial or something, but they argue that doing so would be quicker than waiting for courts or the US Congress to decide whether or not Apple should comply with the government’s request.

These experts conclude that the FBI is not even trying to break into the iPhone any more because it prefers to set a legal precedent rather than give agents the power to access phone data «only» with a warrant.

Security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski, for example, said the FBI could do it like that kiosk in China that upgrades internal iPhones memory (going from 16GB to 128GB). According to Zdziarski, they could copy the contents of the device in the same way that the Chinese do to have a backup in case the attempt to «guess» the password failed and the content was erased.

J to Jason Syversen, former manager of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and now head of security at Siege Technologies, all operating systems have flaws, including Apple’s proof that it turns and moves Apple releases updates with several security-related fixes.

Jay Edelson (a lawyer who usually leads lawsuits / lawsuits against tech giants) this time is on Apple’s side, saying that the FBI just wants to score political points in this dispute and that it could unlock the iPhone on its own.

In other words, what was at stake, even for the FBI, was the precedent.

United Nations organization speaks

THE Bloomberg He also informed that, through Zeid Raad Al-Hussein (High Commissioner for Human Rights), the UN (United Nations Organization) also spoke.

For the organization, the authorities are risking opening a ?Pandora’s Box? as it is not a case, a company, in a country. «This will have huge ramifications.»

The opinion of those who have been there

Michael Chertoff is a former US internal security secretary and is on Apple’s side in the dispute. For him, as informed by the USA TODAY, the whole problem in the company creating such backdoor on iOS, this requires not only the creation of the code for the new operating system, but the maintenance of it as it is very likely that several other orders, for other devices, would come after this first one.

After creating the code that is potentially compromising, like (creating) a bacteriological weapon. You are always afraid that she will leave your lab.

The speech is very similar to that of Cook, who said in an interview that this new iOS that the FBI wants to see Apple create would be the equivalent of a cancer.

Mike McConnell (former director of the NSA) said that «ubiquitous cryptography something the country needs to have», even to protect the country against the theft of intellectual property from other countries (especially from China). That is, even some people who have held important positions within the government see reason in Apple’s actions.

More companies next to Apple

We have already spoken here of the various companies, organizations, law professors and others who are on the side of Apple in the dispute. As the list continues to grow and recently, names like Amazon, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Mozilla, Nest, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat and more have entered the cake.

Follow the case

We’ve talked a lot about the subject and, to make it easier to read, we’ve listed all the articles on the topic below:

(via Re / code, AppleInsider, Patently Apple, Cult of Mac)