back to article Apple fans take iPhone unlock protest to FBI HQ

As the Apple versus the FBI row rumbles on, demonstrators will take to the streets today in support of the American corporation. "People are rallying at Apple stores because what the FBI is demanding of Apple is going to make all of us less safe, not more safe," said Evan Greer, campaign director of activist hive Fight for the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    This isn't just about one iPhone...

    This is about ALL iPhones...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This isn't just about one iPhone...

      This is about ALL mobile phones...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It is not just about phones

        They will want WhatsApp to provide them a way to view messages for certain "persons of interest" - maybe just to make it easy require them to keep six months' worth of records. They will want access to Amazon storage, to location information encoded in photos uploaded to Facebook, and on and on.

        This is what they've been talking about for some time with their comments about how encryption is impeding their investigation. They chose this high profile terrorist incident, involving the world's most valuable company, for a very good reason. They wanted to set a precedent, despite what they claim. It is obvious to anyone with half a brain.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It is not just about phones

          They will want WhatsApp to provide them a way to view messages for certain "persons of interest" - maybe just to make it easy require them to keep six months' worth of records. They will want access to Amazon storage, to location information encoded in photos uploaded to Facebook, and on and on.

          That's not hard for WhatsApp - that's how it more or less started, and there is no other reason for Facebook to buy it then information acquisition so I can't imagine it having changed much.

          If I were the FBI, I'd love "free" apps like WhatsApp from an intelligence perspective. It is actually rather hard to legally intercept SMS because you need to serve the suspect's provider, which means you have to manage a massive amount of telco contacts, even worse when abroad. Because everyone is now using free message apps, it becomes a data stream which is FAR easier to focus and tap. In the case of WhatsApp I am actually wondering of Facebook doesn't already have a rack full of intercept kit mounted, which means that adding a WhatsApp tap should not have been hard - notice that he's been rather careful in his comments on Apple vs FBI..

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This isn't just about one iPhone...

        Don't break my phone

        Or what? OR WHAT???

        This is a waste of time. If these protests do not blame the Man in Charge, Barack Obama, then without a political target this is just an empty threat.

        FBI employees will go to their jobs as normal, laughing. Without a specific political target there is no threat, no consequences to the FBI. They will continue to flout the law.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This isn't just about one iPhone...

          What good does it do to blame Obama? He'll be gone in less than a year. What are you going to do, threaten to impeach him? Do you really think that the FBI is going to change its stance on this when a new president takes office? Nothing changed the last time we got a new president - all the secret spying that Bush's administration started continued under Obama.

          If any of the four candidates that still have a shot have said "if I win I'll order the FBI to stop this overreach of power" I must have missed it. Not that campaign promises are worth anything, just look at what Bush and Obama promised they would do versus what they actually did...

    2. redpawn

      This is about all devices' security

      It starts with sensational cases. Clear and present danger or sensational crimes will be used to justify opening all devices to law enforcement. OnStar has been used to spy on alleged criminals. So smart cars become vehicles for government spying. Smart TVs, game consoles, computers and phones microphones and cameras can be used to target terrorists and pedophiles real time. Being able to lock down these things protects the worst of people. A quick look in on you is the price of security. You understand reason. Reasonable people will comply.

      Our governments want to be able to access and store all data we access or produce. No device is safe from government attempts at intrusion and demands to companies for that access. It is not a slippery slope. It is a cliff.

    3. Aniya
      Mushroom

      Re: This isn't just about one iPhone...

      This shouldn't even be "just about phones." This should be about all computing devices in general. Not only do many mobile phone users synchronise their devices to their personal computers or even to the cloud (thus increasing the number of attack vectors), there are users like myself who consider the desktop at home the final destination for secure computing.

      Now of course this is all pointless if the authorities decide that they need to start injecting zero-day exploits en masse to users either by forcing webmasters of popular websites to serve said zero-day exploit to clients or by compromising the websites themselves. These are resources that are definitely within their reach if it is within their desires to take advantage of said resources.

      It would not surprise me one bit if this has already been attempted. The need to compromise the computer of a suspect arises and the authorities subsequently request from the service provider a list of all websites the suspect is known to visit. Thereafter it's a matter of either finding a cooperative webmaster or vulnerable website and then it's time to serve up malware en masse.

      As for the innocent bystanders? Fuck'em, right? Unavoidable collateral damage, right? That's always the fucking excuse to justify laziness and incompetence, right? And this is all inevitable, right?

      Fucking bullshit. Sorry for the rant, needed to get this one out of me.

    4. Ole Juul

      There's a dozen other iPhone cases

      And it is not just about one case either. Apparently there are a dozen other current cases where the government is trying to get Apple to break iPhone encryption. See Wall Street Journal.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This isn't just about one iPhone...

      TIKEDURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "the FBI ... its politically expedient, but shortsighted, approach"

    I doubt there's anything shortsighted about it at all.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is an very worrying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What we need is an hero.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Iphone

    The preferred choice for terrorists. Well done apple

    1. redpawn

      Re: Iphone

      ... and the preferred choice of patriots.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Iphone

        Patriots and terrorists deserve each other.

        One should cordon off a large desert, then they can go there and play.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Iphone

          But I thought patriotic types claiming large sections of desert was a reason for a large number of terrorist groups existing?

  5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Good trend so far, I hope the protests will gain an even larger momentum over time and get at least some of the members of the legislature thinking. It's about time.

    1. Captain DaFt

      "get at least some of the members of the legislature thinking."

      Yeah, "Which side of this debate will keep me office?"

      I've never known evidence that politicians think anything else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > I've never known evidence that politicians think anything else.

        but, but, but... David Cameron and, and, and that bushy fellow on the push bike, Boris-Mad-Johnson, they both are there for you, for me, for the country, innit?! At least that's what I heard them say over and over again on the telly, last 4 days or so?! I'm sure they're both the men of principle, not some (...) liars?

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Why the Apple stores?

    That will restrict business to the store and surrounding stores. I think they should have picketed the local FBI office only. That would probably draw more support and more media attention. This does go beyond Apple. It's not about "if" there's a next time, but "when"

  7. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    Meanwhile...

    ... Donald Trump has called for the US people to boycott Apple products until they give in to the FBI.

    He tweeted this from his iPhone...

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile...

      "... Donald Trump has called for the US people to boycott Apple products until they give in to the FBI.

      He tweeted this from his iPhone..."

      Well there you go, chaps and chapesses, from America. You know what to do: don't buy a phone from Apple. That'll show the man. errr, who the hell is the man now and why is he using an iPhone?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is why Apple is a successful business

    They don't have customers, they have devotees!

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: This is why Apple is a successful business

      "They don't have customers, they have devotees!"

      Grow a pair, AC.

    2. John H Woods

      Re: This is why Apple is a successful business

      "They don't have customers, they have devotees!" --- AC

      I don't think I've much positive to say about Apple (apart from I like the hardware) for a decade until now.

  9. Rusty 1

    "Rallies in spport of..."

    "spport"? Really? Did you forget to put tuppence ha'penny in the "what the chuff am I writing" meter?

    I sppose you did.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RIPA

    What does it matter to Brits. They don't have any right to encryption.

    2 years in the slammer if you refuse to give up the password.

    1. mrjohn

      Re: RIPA

      in this case the guy that knows the password is dead

    2. DainB Bronze badge

      Re: RIPA

      Oh, that's cute. In other parts of the world they'll just put a soldering iron in your ass and turn it on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RIPA

        Oh, that's cute. In other parts of the world they'll just put a soldering iron in your ass and turn it on.

        I am waiting for the moment that someone commissions a study that waterboarding is eco friendly because you can even recycle the water. I mean, we're seriously heading into lunacy land here.

        This is the land where you can buy a gun with few questions asked, but soon you will not be able to buy a mobile phone without a permit..

        1. Chez

          Re: RIPA

          >This is the land where you can buy a gun with few questions asked

          Apparently you've never tried to purchase a gun before. You've got to fill out ATF form 4473, and go through a full NICS background check, unless you're purchasing privately - and in that case it's still illegal across state lines, and illegal to sell to someone who you know can't own. Only reason you're not forced to do the same paperwork for a private sale is that it's simply impossible to enforce.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon

            Re: RIPA

            or buy one at a gun fair, apparently.

            1. John 104

              Re: RIPA

              @Sir Runcible Spoon

              Contrary to alarmist activist groups misleading statements, you can't just go buy one at a fair (gun show). You still have to pass a background check or possess a concealed weapons permit (which requires an even more thorough background check).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: RIPA

                Background check, background check, is that what you call checking if someone has a phone up their rear?

                No? Carry on then.

            2. Chez

              Re: RIPA

              >gun fair

              Still requires the same background check and paperwork.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RIPA

        OMG, soldering iron in me ass for two years?!

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: RIPA

          There's probably a small number of people who would pay good money for that!

          1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            Re: RIPA

            A small number?

            How about most Politicians because they must have somthing up'em. How else would they keep on speaking so much crap. It has to leave the body somehow..

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm just glad...

    That there are still some /real/ patriots out there who can see through the lies and mudslinging. When politicians (want-to-be's) start to make weird comments about "unpatriotic companies" then you know that something weird (and stupid!) is up.

    I mean: I'm not an American myself so the whole "patriot thing" eludes me a little bit, but I can still use my imagination. And what could be more patriotic than to stand strong for what you believe in? Especially if that also helps out a lot of others?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm just glad...

      I have developed a rather aggressive allergy to the "patriot" word because it has become a sentiment that is only used when someone needs a strong emotional argument to make people do something they would not even consider without the emotional override. You typically find it in close proximity to "terrorist", that other "please don't check too carefully what we are really asking for" word.

      In my experience, the very SECOND someone abandons the lines that logic draws you can be sure that something is going on you really do NOT want, and you're facing a distraction or coverup.

  12. Field Commander A9

    Meanwhile in socialist China

    Any public gathering like this must first be approved by the local government before they actually happen, otherwise they become "unlawful gatherings" and the police force will come crushing 'em down.

  13. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    I plan to protest right at the source~!

    I pledge that I will NEVER use the services of the FBI

    There!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I plan to protest right at the source~!

      you might never use their services, but they might use your service(s)...

  14. VulcanV5

    As if Apple needed the FBI to be its PR department when it's already a religion to all The Faithful now busily congregating outside the several Temples of Jobs. At least here in the UK we don't seem so gullible as to believe (a) in religion (b) in 'patriotism' and (c) in Jobs. We have that nice Mr Cameron instead.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it wasn't for "the faithful" as you appear to need to label them, Apple would not have the funds to fight this to the bitter end. You may want to guess why the FBI is not after Android users...

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      You may want to guess why the FBI is not after Android users... YET

      there fixed it for you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No need, that already is an open door..

  16. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Remember Waco, remember Ruby Ridge!

    The FBI are definitely not shining or helping their case as usual.

    They lie like a rug.

    It's actually sad.

    One might actually agree with them for once, but then ... nah, they just can't get ever behave differently than an entitled federal shit outfit.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't help but thinking what exactly are they going to get off this phone?

    Firstly most "terrorists" know phones can and will get hacked and secondly it's a work mobile meaning it's under extra scrutiny from your employer such as itemised billing etc...

    also there is this,

    http://cdni.wired.co.uk/620x413/o_r/PRISM-Companies_1.jpg

    Maybe Tim Cook could write an open letter about that one and how they slurp all the data anyway and have done since Oct 2012.

    Why not protest about that instead of some stupid public debate that won't change anything?

    1. John H Woods

      "Why not protest about that instead of some stupid public debate that won't change anything?"

      Why make a fuss about a seat on a bus when there were a lot more significant issues? Debate has to start somewhere, and here is as good a place as any, and perhaps a better place than most.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have I missed something?

    phone is encrypted right?

    FBI not asking for the encryption to be broken but they are asking for the "10 tries and its borked" feature to be turned off?

    With this turned off the FBI can then try as many times as they like until they guess the right 4 digit code?

    Is this correct or have I not really understood?

    If the above is correct, then apple should really be enforcing the use of very strong passcodes that would make brute force attacks very difficult/impossible (or not market the device as a secure).

    The whole time apple allows simple passcodes and the ability to allow brute force attacks on the phone is possible, then your data is not secure?

    Sorry if I have not understood the whole picture (most likely...)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want to be safe. Roll on the flames

    The need to keep me, my loved ones, my country and the world safe outweighs my "right" to keep my information secret. I consider this to be a "cost" of living in a society that is generally safe

    Caveats

    1) only legally entitled law enforcement bodies have access

    2) no automatic access, they must apply for access to independent judges

    3) requests must be recorded, validated, etc, etc

    4) access only to law enforcement agencies in **basically** "decent" and well intentioned countries such as US, UK, etc.

    I will likely be flamed as a naieve boy scout playing into the hands of the big, bad nasty government who only want to upset a bunch of sad geeks who think they are special and above the law, etc, etc.

    No one individual, and certainly no corporation should be able to stop law enforcement agencies doing their legitimate work.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: I want to be safe. Roll on the flames

      "No one individual, and certainly no corporation should be able to stop law enforcement agencies doing their legitimate work."

      No-one is stopping the FBI from doing their job. What the FBI is doing is trying to compel someone to do work for them that they morally object to.

      If the governments hadn't been so monumentally retarded, and the spooks so outrageously duplicitous, people might still trust them.

      They were warned what the result of their actions would be back when they introduced the Patriot Act/RIPA - but they went ahead regardless.

      Now no-one trusts them. Why do you?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I want to be safe. Roll on the flames

        @ AC

        1) only legally entitled law enforcement bodies have access (It's already been demonstrated ala Snowden that this is not going to be the case. Info on your phone can end up in dozens of agencies across multiple countries once it is cracked.)

        2) no automatic access, they must apply for access to independent judges (Secret courts like the FISA courts, which have turned down the NSA a number of times that can literally be counted on one hand. And the FISA courts are fairly transparent compared to what is going on in other U.S. allies, like France or Britain.)

        3) requests must be recorded, validated, etc, etc. (National security letters with attached gag orders in the U.S.. Warrants signed by the Home Secretary without recourse to the courts in Britain. Cross the Channel to France and it gets worse. This battle was already lost long ago.)

        4) access only to law enforcement agencies in **basically** "decent" and well intentioned countries such as US, UK, etc. (Nope, once your device is cracked, info on it could end up at a wide variety of intelligence agencies, and in a wider variety of countries with whom data is shared. Some of these countries will be unsavory western allies like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, etc.)

        It was a nice dream though!!

    2. John H Woods

      Re: I want to be safe. Roll on the flames

      "The need to keep me, my loved ones, my country and the world safe outweighs my "right" to keep my information secret. I consider this to be a "cost" of living in a society that is generally safe" -- AC

      The need to keep me, my loved ones, my country and the world free outweighs state organisations' "right" to my secret information. I consider the tiny risk of terrorism to be a "cost" of living in a society that is generally free.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I want to be safe"

    Then address the root causes and stop surrendering your soul to governments that don't have your best intentions at heart. Learn your real enemy, and negate their influence. "I want to be safe". Build it. "*basically decent*", have you really looked at the evidence? WMD lies? Abuses of the most vulnerable in society? Debt through the roofs? And you put the UK Gov in the "basically decent" category. Your post is a logical fallacy, sorry.

    I once read a document about "democracy" and the puppets that you seem to think are "decent"...let me find a link.. http://www.realityinfo.org/news/?p=165

  21. nilfs2
    Gimp

    How long until...

    ...iTards come up with a political party? Donald Trump's campaign would be nothing compared to iTards's in terms of stupidity and hilarity.

    Cook for President 2020!!!

  22. kmac499

    And the reverse is

    The sight of Apple Corp becoming a conscientious objector, to defend the human rights of their customers, grates a little with their past policies for their outsourced workforce and their rapacious pricing policies.

    Presumably the next time Apple tries to defend one it's spurious patents by insisting that the defendent hands over any data on an encrypted device.

    I hope the judge gives them short shrift.

  23. John 104

    Safe

    @AC

    We all want to be safe. But we all (at least in the US) also have a constitutional right to privacy, due process, and personal freedoms. (kind of why those patriots gave the queen the finger a few hundred years ago). Your statements on the surface seem fairly straight forward and well reasoned. However, when the government you place your trust in becomes untrustworthy then it is a greater risk to society to forgive these rights in the name of safety than to stand and protest.

    Recall that the NSA was slurping data with secret court orders hidden from the public. Why hidden? Because they knew that if the public ever got wind of what they were doing there would be outrage. You know the rest of that story.

    We are already being slowly boiled alive in the U.S., lets not ask them to turn the heat up.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    (kind of why those patriots gave the queen the finger a few hundred years ago).

    George the III was a king. Unless of course this is one of those revisionist, "Yes, but he was a closeted homosexual in a time that wasn't open to such things" episodes.

  25. Stevie

    Bah!

    Wouldn't these protests be more effective outside FBI offices?

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