Tag - FBI
Seemingly backing off on statements before Congress, FBI Director James Comey suggested that more court action seeking to circumvent smartphone encryption is likely coming. Speaking with reporters at the agency's Washington DC headquarters yesterday, Comey also claimed that the agency is trying to figure out how to re-utilize the tool that the agency used San Bernardino iPhone 5c in other cases.
This week on The MacNN Podcast episode 61, Mike and Charles briefly discuss how we've structured the leadership of this site modeled on the Dalek hierarchy, and in the tradition of the Daleks, the news is mostly bad -- and that's even before we get to the latest FBI/DOJ shenanigans, this week adding the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to the cast of this drama, sadly on the side of authoritarianism over liberty. The parade of really not-thought-through attempts to modernize privacy laws in the era of digital encryption continues.
The issue of law enforcement gaining access to data on a smartphone has resurfaced, after it was revealed a court ordered an individual to unlock an iPhone seized as evidence in an investigation, by using Touch ID. A Los Angeles court has issued a warrant to the FBI forcing a girlfriend of an Armenian gang member to use Touch ID on the iPhone in question, as it was believed her fingerprint was registered to the device and would provide access to data that could help an ongoing investigation into the gang member move onward.
The FBI may not have spent as much to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5c than previously claimed by the director of the bureau, according to a report. A previous suggestion by Director James Comey that put the price of the hack in excess of $1.3 million dollars is being declared as an over-inflated number, with numerous government sources of a report putting the figure somewhere below $1 million.
FBI director James Comey may have put a price tag on what it cost the agency to unlock the San Bernardino shooters' iPhone 5c. Directly asked at a security conference in London how much the exploit cost, Comey said that the agency paid "a lot, more than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months, for sure" which puts the total at well over $1.3 million dollars.
While the San Bernardino "FBI vs Apple" case may have been dropped, the repercussions of both the FBI's initial aggression in the case, and its ultimate actions there, have had ripple effects; both on the national debate over encryption and privacy, as well as in other court cases where the agency -- along with the US Department of Justice -- continue to try and force Apple to disable or compromise its security. In a new filing arguing in favor of a Brooklyn court ruling that Apple was not obligated to crack its own iPhones, Apple points to the San Bernardino case in arguing that the agency has not "exhausted" all avenues, a key requirement of the All Writs Act the FBI is trying to use to force Apple to cooperate.
Apple and the FBI will continue to lobby for their respective positions on smartphone encryption before Congress next week, reports Reuters. The two combatants have been at loggerheads in a debate that spans both security and privacy concerns. The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will convene on April 19 to hear arguments from Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell and Amy Hess, executive assistant director for science and technology at the FBI.
The FBI, in a new case involving a murder, has applied for a new warrant to renew expired ones in an effort to extract further data from a seized iPhone 5s running an unknown version of iOS which the agency believes has further information than it originally extracted with the help of its contractor Cellebrite. The latter company was able to obtain location data from the iPhone, according to the court filing, but failed to go further, which caused older warrants to expire. The FBI now seems to be planning to use its recently-obtained new tools and its own San Diego forensics facility to unlock additional location information.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has yet to find anything of "real significance" buried within the iPhone 5c at the center of the San Bernardino encryption row, according to a report. The iPhone, unlocked last month, is said to have provided very little data to the law enforcement agency as part of its investigation, which involved attempts to force Apple to cooperate in a very public battle, one the FBI cut short after seemingly finding its own solution.
Recently-revealed court documents show that -- in three similar court cases where the US government was attempting to decrypt seized iPhones by seeking to force Apple's compliance using the All Writs Act -- the score at present is win, lose, and draw. A court in Brooklyn flat-out rejected the US Department of Justice's appeal to force Apple to weaken its security, though the government is appealing the decision. In San Bernardino, the FBI won an initial order, but later retreated from the case; and it turns out that in the Boston gang-activity case, the judge did order Apple to assist the FBI -- but specifically excluded decrypting the suspect's iPhone contents, or developing a way to decrypt, from being part of the order.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE