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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mr. Obama, you aren't exactly helping your case...

If you are a privacy fan, this should make you cackle...
U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday made a passionate case for mobile devices to be built in such a way as to allow government to gain access to personal data if needed to prevent a terrorist attack or enforce tax laws.
"Enforce tax laws"?

Thank you, Barack Obama, for making sure that Americans turn against your administration's efforts to intrude on our privacy.

By the way: The immediate focus of discussion is an iPhone used by Rizwan Farook, the San Bernardino shooter. Don't most people make computer backups?

Let's get back to heckling the above-linked article:
But he made clear that, despite his commitment to Americans' privacy and civil liberties, a balance was needed to allow some intrusion when needed.
What commitment? The man hopes that by using the words "privacy" and "civil liberties," he can bamboozle you into ignoring what he is actually doing.
"The question we now have to ask is: If technologically it is possible to make an impenetrable device or system where the encryption is so strong that there is no key, there's no door at all, then how do we apprehend the child pornographer, how do we solve or disrupt a terrorist plot?" he said.
Terorists and pedos. Terrorists and pedos. Those are the go-to scare words, heard whenever Big Brother wants to read our mail. Obama must know that these scare words are losing their power to scare, because he felt constrained to add something new:
"What mechanisms do we have available to even do simple things like tax enforcement because if in fact you can't crack that at all, government can't get in, then everybody is walking around with a Swiss bank account in their pocket."
This is outrageous. Swiss accounts became famed for their privacy because a 1934 Swiss law insured that banks could not share information about their customers. American bank secrecy laws are quite different, especially since the passage of the PATRIOT act. Government investigators should talk to the banks, as they have always done; they don't need to commandeer our phones.

By the way, you don't need a phone or a computer to do banking: I can recall a time when all banking was done in person. Is Obama arguing that tax enforcement was impossible in the pre-iPhone era?

Obviously, the government has no need to eavesdrop on our phones in order to collect taxes: The PATRIOT Act is quite enough, thank you. More than enough.
You might have actually hit the nail on the head. This could be the analogue of a false-flag operation. Here's the theory: Obama is actually a believer in privacy (against backdoors), but he keeps getting harangued by the FBI guy and others to support a law requiring backdoors. Obama knows that such a law ain't gonna happen unless the public supports it. He knows that associating backdoor access with tax-law enforcement is a sure-fire way to poison the well of public support and ensure that such a law will never pass. So...


Or, I could be wrong and Obama is, at heart, an authoritarian who just doesn't "get" the Bill of Rights.

Never mind.
Two articles I have read say this is a dog and pony show.

Counterpunch: All the phones have backdoors already because they receive automatic updates, in which any code can be inserted.

Zerohedge: The real reason is there are a dozen other cases in other states that the FBI wants to open, and they have nothing to do with terrorism. They want to set a precedence in order to crack other phones.

And by the way, where the hell is all this NSA stored information? You know they already got what they need in storage. They want real time access.
One claim being made is that FBI is willing to come to Apple, bring the alleged phone in question, have it cracked open, and then the phone can be re-closed. The tax angle is very perplexing, maybe Michael is right, Obama is actually creating more opposition by trickiness.
There's more than one way to crack open those bloodphones folks! Israeli mobile forensic tools like Cellebrite and a Stockholm brand XRY have been peddled to law enforcement for several years now. They even have the ability to remotely grab everything off your spy-in-a-pocket during a traffic stop. They may have learned a trick or two from these Sans classes on offer:

Tim Cook wants to play Mr. Atlas Shrugged against big bad gumint Mr. 1984 as if they have a leg to stand on. Apples deadly business practices in Africa and China have been on display for years while apathetic American consumers are exploited beyond Apples planted backdoors and killswitches that made headlines years ago.

John Galt, I mean Mr. Tim Cook should be arrested for obstruction of justice, interfering with a criminal investigation and tax evasion. Apple HQ should be treated and raided alongside IRS like any other Joe that would try to do the same.
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