Friday, March 25, 2016

Apple and the FBI

I stand with Apple and when my current phone dies, that's it. I'm not upgrading or anything. I'm going to go without. Humans have lived for centuries without cellphones. I think I'll survive.

"Tim Cook opposes order for apple to unlock iPhone, setting up showdown" by Katie Benner and Eric Lichtblau New York Times  February 18, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple said Wednesday that it would oppose and challenge a federal court order to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the two attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., in December. 

I will be taking a second look at that shortly.

On Tuesday, in a significant victory for the government, Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym of the US District Court for the District of Central California ordered Apple to bypass security functions on an iPhone 5c used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who was killed by the police along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, after they attacked Farook’s co-workers at a holiday gathering.

Pym ordered Apple to build special software that would essentially act as a skeleton key capable of unlocking the phone.

But hours later, in a statement by its chief executiveTim Cook, called the court order an “unprecedented step” by the federal government. “We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” he wrote....


Globe's second bite:

"Why Apple’s Tim Cook shouldn’t crack the iPhone for the FBI" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Columnist  February 18, 2016

America is in a populist frame of mind this election year, making it a lousy time to root for Apple Inc.’s chief executive, Tim Cook. He’s a millionaire a few hundred times over, a Silicon Valley liberal whose company has parked about $200 billion in profits outside the United States to avoid paying taxes on them. In short, Cook’s the sort of guy that Republicans and Democrats alike can merrily despise.

Worse yet, Cook is the sort of guy who says no to the FBI, as it investigates last year’s brutal terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif. His refusal to allow investigators to look at the data locked in the cellphone of a terrorist could undermine the security of Apple’s flagship product, the iPhone, but it also could deprive the FBI of vital evidence.

It’s the latest in a series of showdowns between the feds and the tech industry over when and how the government should get access to data we don’t want anyone to see. 

Actually, there are some they don't mind seeing, the perverts!

By taking a stand now, when it hurts, Cook could go a long way toward protecting Americans’ privacy for a long time to come.

And this guy is braying that such a thing makes him unpopular? 

Uh-uh. Makes him more popular. He's one of the few corporate titans to oppose this government, and I cheer him.

On Tuesday, a federal magistrate judge in California ordered Apple to help the FBI break into an iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife murdered 14 people in San Bernardino in December. The massacre was reminiscent of the far bloodier November 2015 Paris rampage, carried out by supporters of the radical group Islamic State. But so far, there’s no evidence of a connection to the Islamic State or any other terrorist group.

Still, the FBI wants to make sure by reviewing passcode-protected data locked in Farook’s iPhone. Investigators might find e-mails, photos, maps — a horde of documents that might reveal direct links to other bad guys, here or abroad. 

Some have suggested they want to plant "evidence."

The judge also wants Apple to add software that lets the FBI rapidly feed multiple passwords into the phone. Apple would retain a fig leaf of credibility, because the company wouldn’t actually crack the iPhone’s encryption, which scrambles data so that it can’t be read by hackers. Instead, it would lower the phone’s passcode defense, so the FBI could launch a “brute force” attack — trying millions of possible passwords until something clicks.

In an open letter published on Apple’s website Wednesday, vowing to appeal the court order, Cook never denies that Apple is capable of doing what the court demands; he merely warns that such a program is “something we consider too dangerous to create.”

And Cook is right.

Does anybody believe that this tool will be used just this once? The USA Patriot Act, created to fight terrorism, was deployed against all manner of common criminals. Create an iPhone hacking tool, and every police force in America will want a copy. Why would any judge refuse?

For years, US technology companies have resisted demands from thuggish nations like China that want backdoor access to their products, so they can spy on subversive citizens. If companies give in over here, expect similar pressure from over there.

Has everyone forgotten Edward Snowden and the data collections going on for decades now?

If Pym’s order stands, every US tech company is one court order away from sacrificing its customers’ privacy. American firms could lose billions in sales as consumers worldwide seek out alternative products from companies that US courts can’t touch. The popular secret-message program Telegram, for example, comes from Germany; the file encryption software maker Silent Circle is based in Switzerland. Good luck with those subpoenas.

That's the real problem.  

In its rush to justify pure propaganda and cover story crap, the FBI could destroy the U.S. tech industry. Only Amurkns will be forced to buy their products (like the GMO corn and pork products).

The files on Farook’s phone may or may not contain valuable evidence. But the phone has already told investigators who Farook called and when, as well as the Internet sites he visited. That data, which could identify other terrorists, is on file, unencrypted, at the phone company, available to any police officer with a court order.

The Apple-FBI clash looks like the biggest pitched battle yet in a decades-old conflict between tech innovators and police. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration tried to outlaw encryption altogether, giving up only when it saw that such a ban wasn’t enforceable. More recently, the FBI has begged Congress for laws requiring “back doors” in encryption software, to let the agency monitor suspicious communications that would otherwise be indecipherable.

But the techies rightly reply that back doors swing both ways. They’re open to police, but also to vandals, criminals, even terrorists.

What do you do when the authorities are the criminals, because that's what we have here.

The biggest hackers in the world are the United States government, the Jewish Mafia, and security software firms. 

Then they have their controlled propaganda organs blame the enemy of the day.

A court order forcing Apple to crack open its system would make iPhones less secure. And legally, it could set a precedent from which our digital privacy may never fully recover.

Which is why I'm seemingly intransigent on so many of the agenda-pushing issues placed before us.

So much for populism. This time, I’m rooting for the rich guy....


The two are not exclusive!


So who got to him because he backs off the next day:

"Has Apple picked the wrong time to make its stand on smartphone encryption?" by Hiawatha Bray, 02/19/2016

Let the precedent be set?

Apple Inc. is refusing on principle to help federal investigators obtain locked data files from an iPhone used by a mass murderer. But has Apple chief executive Tim Cook chosen the wrong hill to die on?

While many technologists and privacy activists back Apple’s bold stand, at least one computer scientist says the company should comply in this case, while continuing to fight other efforts to weaken smartphone security.

“I do think that Apple should go along with this,” said Clifford Neuman, director of the Center for Computer Systems Security at the University of Southern California, “but it’s based on my belief that doing so does not further compromise the security of other phones.”

US Senator Edward Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, shares Neuman’s view. “Apple should try to find a way to work with law enforcement in terrorist cases, and it should work in a way that helps to get the information off of this phone without compromising the privacy of every other iPhone in the United States,” said Markey, a longtime Internet privacy advocate.

And how long until it expands to everything like the aforementioned tyrannies passed by Markey, et al.?

On Tuesday, a federal magistrate judge ordered Apple to assist the FBI in cracking encrypted files stored in a phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife murdered 14 people in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., in December. The FBI hopes the files will provide additional information about whether Farook and his wife were aided by accomplices, in the United States or abroad....

I'm wondering who their case handler was.


"Justice Department wants tool to unlock iPhone immediately" by Eric Lichtblau New York Times  February 20, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department, impatient over its inability to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino killers, demanded Friday that a judge immediately order Apple to give it the technical tools to get inside the phone.

Behaving more like Nazis every day they are.

It said Apple’s refusal to help unlock the phone for the FBI “appears to be based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy,” rather than a legal rationale.


This whole society, including this government, is about image and illusion.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reported that during a secret meeting at the White House around Thanksgiving, senior national security officials ordered agencies across the US government to find ways to counter encryption software and gain access to the most heavily protected user data on the most secure consumer devices, including the iPhone, the marquee product of one of America’s most valuable companies, according to two people familiar with the decision.


What a STINK of a PSYOP! 

The very event they need all of a sudden pops up!

The approach was formalized in a confidential National Security Council “decision memo,” tasking government agencies with developing encryption workarounds, estimating additional budgets, and identifying laws that may need to be changed to counter what FBI Director James Comey calls the “going dark” problem: investigators being unable to access the contents of encrypted data stored on mobile devices or traveling across the Internet. Details of the memo reveal that, in private, the government was honing a sharper edge to its relationship with Silicon Valley alongside more public signs of rapprochement. 

Do you like being lied to as the government strong-arms its way to tyranny? 

Of course, who is at the bottom of Silicon Valley and so many companies?

The court battle between Apple and federal prosecutors escalated Friday when prosecutors asked a federal judge to enforce an earlier order requiring Apple to provide the government with a tool to extract the data from a locked iPhone 5c. They are trying to get into the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the attackers in the San Bernardino rampage, which left 14 dead.

“Rather than assist the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack by obeying this court’s order of February 16, 2016,” prosecutors wrote in their latest filing, “Apple has responded by publicly repudiating that order.”

To cheers by citizens that care about their civil and constitutional rights that are being trampled on by power-hungry government that lies.

The Justice Department’s latest filing raised the temperature in what has already been a contentious showdown with Apple and its chief executive, Tim Cook.

On Wednesday, in a 1,100-word letter to his customers, Cook accused the Justice Department of mounting a “chilling” attack on privacy and Internet security. He said that what prosecutors were demanding amounted to forcing Apple to create a “backdoor” to get around its own security protocols.

But Justice Department prosecutors say Apple’s technical help is crucial to unlocking Farook’s iPhone and whatever clues it may hold to his actions and communications both before and immediately after the shootings.

Apple said on Friday that it has already spent a lot of time working with investigators and the FBI to help them obtain information. It sent engineers to San Bernardino to assist investigators trying to unlock the phone. The company suggested the government try to connect the shooter’s iPhone to a Wi-Fi network that it had been connected to in the past, a tactic that would cause the device to automatically back up to Apple servers, where the data could be retrieved.

While it’s not impossible to create special software to unlock the iPhone, it would be an undue burden, an Apple official said.

And it would be wrong, right?

Apple executives said the company will keep up its efforts to increase encryption on its devices.


Yeah, it is all about their business model:

"If Apple cooperates with US, it worries China will be next" by Katie Benner and Paul Mozur New York Times   February 20, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — It took six years for Apple to persuade China’s largest wireless carrier, China Mobile, to sell the iPhone. Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, made repeated trips to China to meet with top government officials and executives to woo them personally.

The persistence paid off. In 2013, China Mobile relented, a moment Cook later described as “a watershed day” for Apple.

Today, China is Apple’s second-largest market after the United States — Chinese consumers spent $59 billion on Apple products in the last fiscal year — and the iPhone, the company’s top seller, has become both a status symbol and a form of personal security, given how difficult the device is to break into in a country where people increasingly worry about hacking and cybercrime.

Apple’s success in China helps explain why it is now in a standoff with the US government over whether to help officials gain access to the encrypted iPhone of one of the attackers in the San Bernardino, Calif., mass shooting last December.

Right, it's all $elf-$erving corporatism. The only altruistic entity that exists is the U.S. government.

The company is playing the long game with its business. Privacy and security have become part of its brand, especially internationally, where it reaps nearly two-thirds of its almost $234 billion a year in sales. And if it cooperates with one government, the thinking goes, it will have to cooperate with all of them.

Won't it?

“Tim Cook is leveraging his personal brand and Apple’s to stand on the side of consumer privacy in this environment,” said Mark Bartholomew, a law professor at the University of Buffalo who studies encryption and cyberlaw. “He is taking the long view.” 

God Bless him!

Cook, who has called privacy a civic duty, said as much in a letter to Apple customers Tuesday.

Maybe business is finally fed up with this fa$ci$t government after all.

He described how the US government was asking for a special tool to break into the San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone and said, “The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices.”

The business advantage Apple may get from privacy has given critics an opening to attack the company. In a court filing Friday, the Justice Department said Apple’s opposition to helping law enforcement appeared “to be based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy.”

Apple senior executives responded that their defiance was not a business choice. They added that there had not been any business fallout and that Cook had received supportive e-mails from customers across the country.

And now he's getting a blog post.

At a conference in October, Cook called privacy a “key value” at Apple and said, “We think that it will become increasingly important to more and more people over time as they realize that intimate parts of their lives are sort of in the open and being used for all sorts of things.”

I've realized that years ago. The NSA and telecoms collected it all and stored it.

For Apple, cooperating with the US government now could quickly lead to murkier situations internationally.

In China, for example, Apple — like any other foreign company selling smartphones — hands over devices for import checks by Chinese regulators. Apple also maintains server computers in China, but Apple has previously said that Beijing cannot view the data and that the keys to the servers are not stored in China. In practice and according to Chinese law, Beijing typically has access to any data stored in China.

If Apple accedes to US law enforcement demands for opening the iPhone in the San Bernardino case and Beijing asks for a similar tool, it is unlikely Apple would be able to control China’s use of it. Yet if Apple were to refuse Beijing, it would potentially face a battery of penalties.

Analysts said Chinese officials were pushing for greater control over the encryption and security of computers and phones sold in the country, though Beijing last year backed off on some proposals that would have required foreign companies to provide encryption keys for devices sold in the country after facing pressure from foreign trade groups.

“People tend to forget the global impact of this,” said Raman Jit Singh Chima, policy director at Access Now, a nonprofit that works for Internet freedoms. “The reality is the damage done when a democratic government does something like this is massive. It’s even more negative in places where there are fewer freedoms.”

What democratic government are they talking about because I don't see one around here? 

They don't even like the candidate we put up for president.

Apple’s shareholders have so far been quiet.

They could really Cook his goose.

In the past, investors who complained that some of Apple’s socially driven initiatives were superfluous to the company’s core business were quickly subdued. At a 2014 shareholders’ meeting, Cook told investors that if they wanted him to make decisions based only on the bottom line, “then you should get out of the stock.”

But data privacy may eventually motivate investors — and ultimately more customers — to vote with their wallets because “it’s an issue that speaks directly to the business,” said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. “Right now people buy phones regardless of encryption issues, but we have to wait and see how bloody this fight gets.”


Hard to believe the U.S. government is worse than the Chinese -- or is it?

Here is the first jab:

"The county government that owned the iPhone in a battle between Apple Inc. and the Justice Department paid for but never installed a feature that would have allowed the FBI to immediately unlock the phone as part of its terrorism investigation into the shootings that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif. If the “mobile device management” technology had been installed, officials would have been able to remotely unlock the iPhone without a court battle that is now pitting privacy rights against national security concerns. 

And you would never have known.

But the only person who knew the passcode is the dead gunman, Syed Farook, who was a health inspector


The iPhone assigned to him lacked a Touch ID feature, meaning the FBI can’t use the dead gunman’s thumbprint to unlock it. 

Like they did putting Oswald's palm print on his pos rifle?

A magistrate has ordered Apple to provide the FBI with software that could be loaded onto the iPhone 5C to help the FBI hack into the phone by bypassing a feature that erases all data after 10 consecutive, unsuccessful attempts to guess the passcode. This would allow the FBI to use technology to rapidly and repeatedly test numbers in what’s known as a brute force attack. Apple is fighting the ruling. San Bernardino had a contract with MobileIron Inc. but did not install its technology on any inspectors’ iPhones, a county spokesman said."

"Bill Gates says Apple should unlock iPhone" by Mike McPhate New York Times   February 24, 2016

Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist and a founder of Microsoft, has injected his voice into the debate over how far Silicon Valley should go in assisting the government on criminal investigations.

There’s no easy answer, he said during an interview with Bloomberg News, but the discussion is welcome.

In an interview published Tuesday morning with The Financial Times, the newspaper portrayed Gates as siding with the government in its attempt to force Apple to help investigators extract data from an iPhone that belonged to an attacker in the December mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.

“This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information,” Gates told the newspaper. “They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case.”

Except it can be put to general use!

Later, however, speaking with Bloomberg News, he said The Financial Times had gone too far in characterizing his allegiances.

“I do believe that with the right safeguards there are cases where the government, on our behalf, like stopping terrorism which could get worse in the future, that that is valuable,” he said. “But striking that balance — clearly the government’s taken information historically and used it in ways that we didn’t expect going all the way back, say, to the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover.”

Given what happened in Belgium, what did Gates know that we didn't?

Elite are always given a heads-up.

Since Apple challenged the court ruling on the phone last week, most technology industry leaders have either lined up behind Apple or stayed silent.

Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, has argued that an order by a federal magistrate judge to assist the government in unlocking the phone would open a so-called back door to consumer phones that could obliterate the privacy protections.

“At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties,” Cook said in an e-mail sent to Apple employees this week.

Also, the Associated Press reported that Apple will tell a federal judge this week in legal papers that its fight with the FBI over accessing the iPhone should be kicked to Congress, rather than decided by courts.

SeeApple calls on Congress to form committee for privacy issues

I'd prefer they don't get involved at all. 

Every time they do, they make things worse. 

What tyranny will be buried in the new bill that no one will read?

Apple will also argue that the Obama administration’s request to help it hack into an iPhone in a terrorism case is improper under the 1789 All Writs Act, which has been used to compel companies to provide assistance to law enforcement in investigations. 

They are using a law from 1789? 

Are you sh**ting me?

Apple is challenging government efforts to overcome encryption on at least 14 electronic devices nationwide in addition to the iPhone in California, according to court papers filed Tuesday in a similar case in New York. Lawyers told US Magistrate Judge James Orenstein in Brooklyn that Apple is opposed to relinquishing information on at least 15 devices in a dozen court cases in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York.

Oh, so it isn't just about the terrorists like they always tell us.

The government has portrayed its request as a one-time demand focused on a single device, the work phone issued to Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the San Bernardino couple who killed 14 people late last year.

Oh, once again this government has either distorted or outright lied. 

And they wonder why we don't want them getting a key to open all out phones!

FBI director James B. Comey Jr., made the case on Sunday. “We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly,” he said. "That's it. We don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land."

I have no comment.

Gates told the Financial Times that society benefits from the government's ability to investigate and thwart terror plots, although he acknowledged some rules are needed to protect information.

Of course, it would be nice if they weren't behind them all.



"In the early days of Microsoft, boss co-founder Bill Gates kept close tabs on his employees’ comings and goings by memorizing the license plates on their vehicles, Gates revealed in an interview with BBC Radio’s “Desert Island Discs,” host Kirsty Young. He was audibly passionate about his current work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “The wealth I had from Microsoft, Melinda and I wanted to give it back in the most impactful way.” “The big thing for us, is getting rid of the diseases that kill children under 5. And over the last 25 years, we’ve gone from having 12 million children a year die to now less than 6 million. We’d like to cut that in half again in the next 15 years.”

Talk about showing fascist tendencies!!

Would you want one of his needles in your arm?

"Melinda Gates warns male-female equity won’t come easy" by Danielle Paquette Washington Post   February 26, 2016

WASHINGTON —Melinda Gates, the philanthropist and mother of three, wrote to high-schoolers Monday in her annual open letter, penned with her husband, Bill Gates.

‘‘This isn’t a global plot by men to oppress women,’’ Melinda Gates wrote. ‘‘It’s more subtle than that. The division of work depends on cultural norms, and we call them norms because they seem normal — so normal that many of us don’t notice the assumptions we’re making. But your generation can notice them — and keep pointing them out until the world pays attention.’’

(Bill Gates, it should be noted, drives their kids to school every other day.)


It must be where you live and nothing more.

Of course, we all think like Bill:

"Poll: Majority of Americans think Apple should submit to iPhone unlock order" by Curt Woodward, 02/22/2016

Apple’s high-profile legal standoff with the FBI is winning the company fans at the highest levels of the technology industry, but most Americans apparently don’t agree.

In a Pew Research Center survey released Monday, 51 percent of people surveyed think Apple should unlock the iPhone which was used by the killer in the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Only 38 percent think Apple should resist the government’s order to unlock the phone, while 11 percent said they didn’t know. The margin of error was 3.7 percentage points.

Amerikans are for their own enslavement; that's how dumbed down this population has become.

The standoff between Apple and the FBI began when a federal judge ordered Apple to help unlock the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook, who was killed in a gunfight with police after he and his wife killed 14 people in December.

The Justice Department wants to retrieve information from the phone as part of its investigation into the attack but security features have locked officials out.

The nonprofit polling organization questioned about 1,000 adults between Thursday and Sunday, just after Apple and the U.S. government’s court battle spilled into the national headlines.

Survey respondents who owned Apple’s flagship device were more likely to side with the company.

Of the 1,002 people surveyed, 333 told Pew they owned an iPhone. Forty-three percent of those iPhone owners said Apple should resist the court order, compared with 47 percent who said it should comply. 

I think Pew polls stink.

Talk about pushing the agenda.

People who owned non-Apple smartphones were much more likely to side with the court. Of the 282 people who said they owned another kind of smartphone, 53 percent said Apple should comply and 38 percent said it should resist the government’s efforts.

Then they won't mind if government takes a look at everything in theirs, right?

On Monday, Apple called for the Justice Department to withdraw its demands in court and have Congress convene a panel of experts to discuss the privacy and security issues that have surfaced in the case.

The Justice Department has said that Apple’s resistance is based on “concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy.”

I already saw that text.

In a public letter to customers, Apple CEO Tim Cook accused the government of overreaching. “While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products,” Cook wrote.

That's where we differ.


"CEO Tim Cook defends Apple’s resistance in FBI iPhone case" by Brandon Bailey Associated Press  February 26, 2016

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple CEO Tim Cook got a standing ovation Friday at his first stockholder meeting since his company’s clash with the FBI unfolded. He defended the company’s stand by saying: ‘‘These are the right things to do.’’

On Thursday, the tech giant formally challenged a court’s order to help the FBI unlock an encrypted iPhone used by a murderous extremist in San Bernardino, Calif.

Federal officials have said they are only asking for narrow assistance in bypassing some of the phone’s security features. But Apple contends the order would force it to write a software program that would make other iPhones vulnerable to hacking by authorities or criminals in the future.

Major tech companies are rallying to Apple’s cause, and plan a joint ‘‘friend of the court’’ brief on its behalf. Facebook said it will join with Google, Twitter, and Microsoft in a joint court filing. A Twitter spokeswoman confirmed that plan, but said that different companies and trade associations will probably file ‘‘multiple’’ briefs.

Apple filed court papers on Thursday that asked US Magistrate Sheri Pym to reverse her order on the grounds that the government had no legal authority to force the company to weaken the security of its own products. The company accused the government of seeking ‘‘dangerous power’’ through the courts and of trampling on its constitutional rights.

No wonder the government considers you a terrorist for such things.

The dispute raises broad issues of legal and social policy, with at least one poll showing 51 percent of Americans think Apple should cooperate by helping the government unlock the iPhone.

Yeah, I saw that.

But it’s unclear how the controversy might affect Apple’s business. Analysts at Piper Jaffray said a survey they commissioned last week found the controversy wasn’t hurting the way most Americans think about Apple or its products. 

So we are for them protecting our privacy even as we are against them protecting our privacy?


Also seeFBI, Apple clash before Congress as encryption fight simmers

Judge made a ruling:

"Judge rules in favor of Apple in New York case involving a locked iPhone" by Ellen Nakashima Washington Post  March 01, 2016

A federal judge in New York on Monday ruled in favor of Apple, saying that an obscure Colonial-era law did not authorize him to force the firm to lift data from an iPhone at the government’s request.

Does that not tell you how megalomaniacal is this government?

They need to reach back 225 years to justify this.

The ruling is not binding in any other court, but takes on an outsize importance as the US government battles Apple in a separate case in California over whether the tech company should help unlock a phone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist attack last December.

The two cases involve different versions of iPhone’s operating system and vastly different requests for technical help, but they both turn on whether a law from 1789 known as the All Writs Act can be applied to cases in which the government cannot get at encrypted data stored on suspects’ devices.

Magistrate Judge James Orenstein in Brooklyn, who sits in the Eastern District of New York, has become the first federal judge to rule that the act does not permit a court to order companies to pull encrypted data off a customer’s phone or tablet. Orenstein made the ruling, having noted that Apple has extracted data in similar federal cases at least 70 times before.


So this San Bernardino thing all a play for the cameras, or is it cover to allow government in the end to have a key to unlock all electronic software?

Orenstein found that the All Writs Act does not apply in instances where Congress had the opportunity but failed to create an authority for the government to get the type of help it was seeking, such as having companies ensure they have a way to obtain data from encrypted phones.

He also found that ordering Apple to help the government by extracting data from the iPhone — which belonged to a drug dealer — would place an unreasonable burden on the company.

‘‘We are disappointed in the magistrate’s ruling and plan to ask the district judge to review the matter in the coming days,’’ a Justice Department spokeswoman, Emily Pierce, said in a statement. ‘‘As our prior court filings make clear, Apple expressly agreed to assist the government in accessing the data on this iPhone — as it had many times before in similar circumstances — and only changed course when the government’s application for assistance was made public by the court. This phone may contain evidence that will assist us in an active criminal investigation and we will continue to use the judicial system in our attempt to obtain it.’’

Nonetheless, Orenstein’s ruling, said Alex Abdo, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, ‘‘sends a strong message that the government can’t circumvent the national debate by trying to manufacture new authorities through the courts.’’

Following Orenstein’s reasoning, Abdo said, ‘‘If the court rejects the government’s request in New York, then the FBI’s request in San Bernardino is necessarily illegal, too.’’

But other analysts say that other courts are just as likely to rule in the opposite direction....

Like playing a game of phone tag, isn't it?


Got a call coming in:

"Apple supporters weigh in, from big tech to a terror victim" by Tiffany Kary and Edvard Pettersson Bloomberg News  March 04, 2016

Apple Inc. drew support for its fight with the government over a terrorist’s iPhone from digital-rights groups, a United Nations official, even a man whose wife nearly died in the terror attack, as a deadline approached to weigh in on the historic privacy battle.

“Neither I, nor my wife, want to raise our children in a world where privacy is the trade-off for security,” said Salihin Kondoker, an information technology consultant in San Bernardino, Calif., describing how his wife was shot three times in the December attacks there but survived.

That is where we are headed, and but fast!

The United States, which says it wants to defend people like Kondoker from such attacks by unlocking the phone to learn its contents, will now face the surprising story of a man who would rather promote what he sees as America’s core values than avenge his wife’s injury, along with other powerful narratives.

This government literally makes you sick when it speaks.

Other arguments cited to defend Apple range from a potential ripple effect on the $120 billion app economy to the difference between life and death under repressive regimes....

I'm at the point where I say shove the economy. 

Let these bastards reap what they sow. 

You wanna constantly sow fear over damnable lies? 

F*** ya' then!


Look who else lined up with Apple:

"Apple is right to battle FBI over iPhone security"  March 04, 2016

Apple doesn’t balk at law-enforcement requests for information about Apple customers or devices. In fact, the company notes on its website, it has a dedicated team that responds to such requests around the clock.

So this kerfuffle really doesn't mean much despite all the time and print?

Nor has Apple balked in the past when it was required by court orders to extract data from iPhones running older operating systems — less-secure iterations of iOS that, in effect, already included a “backdoor.” And both sides acknowledge that Apple has already provided a good deal of help with the San Bernardino case.


What has changed with this latest court order, at least as Apple sees it, is that, for the first time, it would be forced to create software that doesn’t exist and that Apple believes shouldn’t exist: a new version of iOS tailor-made to defeat the security features that are now standard on its phones.

In essence, writes CEO Tim Cook, “The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers . . . from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.”

It's the revolving door of government and the software $ecurity indu$try, and everybody gets rich!

Needless to say, the public has an overwhelming interest in identifying jihadists and preventing further terror attacks.

If you still buy that BS meme from the ma$$ media. Once you know its all straw men and red herrings and that it is government intelligence agencies that create, fund, and direct the "terrorists" that the call quits.

Forcing Apple to hack into Farook’s smartphone may seem a small price to pay if doing so may thwart another murderous plot. All the more so given that the phone’s user is dead, and its legal owner (the San Bernardino County public health department) is raising no objection. If it were possible for Apple to create a workaround that would provide access to just this one phone, the FBI’s demand would be unobjectionable.

But once Apple is compelled to create new security-weakening software, the genie will be out of the bottle. If the FBI gets its way, it will have won a precedent that prosecutors, law-enforcement personnel, and intelligence agents everywhere will invoke. Apple and other tech companies will be subject to escalating demands for “backdoors” to undermine the very customer cybersecurity they are continually taking pains to improve.

And it won’t stop with the FBI and legitimate antiterror investigations. If the US government can compel Apple to undercut iPhone encryption, so can a lot of very bad actors. “Encryption helps protect citizens from identity thieves and hackers,” analyst Scott Shackford notes in Reason, “but also from snooping authoritarian regimes looking for dissidents to imprison.” See under: China, Iran, Russia, Syria.

No technological advance is immune from misuse. But on the whole, more cybersecurity — and more secure smartphones — are very good things....


Looks more like a worm, doesn't it?


"The top human rights official at the United Nations warned the United States authorities on Friday that their efforts to force Apple to unlock an iPhone belonging to a gunman risked helping authoritarian governments and jeopardizing the security of millions around the world. The remarks by Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, came as American investigators continued to press Apple to write software to help them gain access to an iPhone used by one of the gunmen in a shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., in December. Though the F.B.I. says it is a one-time request, Apple and others have raised concerns that the case could set a precedent and could force technology firms to install so-called back doors in devices, potentially invading customer privacy. Mr. al-Hussein said that American law enforcement agencies, in trying to break the encryption protecting one phone, “risk unlocking a Pandora’s box,” and that there were “extremely damaging implications” for the rights of many millions of people, with possible effects on their physical and financial security."

It's getting hard to tell the difference anymore, if there even is one at this stage.

"Head of Britain tech security agency backs encryption" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  March 07, 2016

The director of GCHQ, the super-secret British equivalent of America’s National Security Agency, said on Monday that his country doesn’t want to weaken the encryption features in smartphones and computers, to make it easier to track terrorists and criminals, but Robert Hannigan warned that encrypted computers and smartphones are now routinely used by criminals and terrorists to cover their tracks.

Why do I think this guy is a liar?

He refused to comment on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s effort to force Apple Inc. to crack the security on an iPhone used by one of the killers in last year’s massacre in San Bernadino, Calif. But Hannigan did say that that the tense relations between technologists and intelligence agencies must be replaced with a new effort to find common ground. 

You just hammered out a treaty with the U.S. to spy on each others citizens and then exchange the data!

“We should be trying to bridge the divide, and sharing ideas and building dialog in a less highly-charged atmosphere,” Hannigan said. But he couldn’t suggest any near-term solutions to the problem, and admitted that a simple resolution is unlikely.

Hannigan heads up Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, a direct descendent of the Bletchley Park think tank which cracked German codes during World War II and developed Colossus, the world’s first digital computer.

This current crop of 21st-century fa$ci$ts puts that other misnomered regime to shame.

Today, GCHQ intercepts and analyzes digital communications from around the world, in cooperation with the American NSA and similar agencies in Canada, Australia and New Zealand—an intelligence-sharing alliance known as the “Five Eyes.” 

I knew that, and they have been doing it for decades. Research Echelon.

For security reasons, Hannigan’s visit to the MIT campus wasn’t announced to the public until Monday morning.


Nevertheless, a sizable crowd turned out, including former Boston police chief Edward Davis, who now runs a security consultancy.

His reward for playing along with the crisis drill charade in Boston!

Davis backed the FBI’s demand that Apple help the agency break into the iPhone.

What a shock!

But he warned, “these issues are going to continue.and they’re going to involve companies that are beyond the court’s reach.” Davis noted that US law can’t touch phones or software produced in other countries.

Which is where you should buy your next product, dear readers. 

Whatever you do, never buy AmeriKan. Ever.

If American companies are required to crack their own phones, many people around the world will switch to non-US products, with possibly devastating effects on the US tech industry.

It is something they will have earned given the conduct of this government.

“It’s a business problem, it’s a privacy problem and it’s a legal issue,” Davis said....

Makes you want to turn the goddamn phone off!!



"The British government plans to make telecommunications firms keep records of customers’ Web histories and help spies hack into computers and phones under a new cyber-snooping law unveiled Wednesday. 

Yeah, who are the hackers again?!!!

The draft Investigatory Powers Bill is intended to replace a patchwork of laws, some dating from the Web’s infancy, and set the limits of surveillance in the digital age. Home Secretary Theresa May said the new rules would give security services a ‘‘license to operate’’ in the Internet era, but privacy groups called them a license to snoop. If approved by Parliament, the bill will let police and spies access Internet connection records — a list of websites, apps, and messaging services someone has visited, though not the individual pages they looked at or the messages they sent. Communications companies will be required to hold onto the records for up to a year, and police can seek warrants to look at them as part of criminal or terrorism investigations." 

Yeah, just like the phone calls they never listened to but did.

"Tech giant Apple Inc. will resist the British government’s efforts to get access to encrypted data through a new spying law, chief executive Tim Cook (left) said Wednesday. Last week, Britain published a draft law that seeks to ensure that telecommunication companies ‘‘provide wider assistance to law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies in the interests of national security.’’ That worries firms like Apple, whose iMessage service offers ‘‘end-to-end’’ encryption, meaning the company doesn’t have the ability to read messages sent over the app. Cook told students at Trinity College Dublin that Apple didn’t plan to introduce a ‘‘back door’’ ability to decrypt the messages. Cook said weakening encryption would be bad for online security, because ‘‘if you leave a back door in the software then there’s no such thing as a back door for the good guys only.’’

It's the 21st-century version of the American Revolution.

And just across the channel:

"French legislation would force Apple to unlock data" by Helene Fouquet and Marie Mawad Bloomberg News  March 09, 2016

PARIS — French lawmakers backed a plan to impose penalties including jail time on technology executives who deny access to encrypted data during a terrorist investigation, giving security services and prosecutors the power to force companies such as Apple to cooperate.

An amendment providing the new power was submitted by the opposition Republicans and, while the government hasn’t officially supported the measure, it was included in Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas’s bill to overhaul legal procedures and fight organized crime in the wake of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in Paris. 

Fight organized crime? I thought it was to catch terrorists.

See: Saying Farewell to the French False Flag Coverage

I guess the joke is on you!

The lower of chamber of parliament cleared the bill on first reading by 474 votes to 32.

‘‘The rule aims to force phone makers to give investigators data and it will be up to the manufacturer to use whatever technique is necessary,’’ Republican lawmaker Philippe Goujon, who proposed the amendment, said in an interview. ‘‘The target is to have them cooperate. The aim is not to break the encryption — the principle is that manufacturers should cooperate.’’

Apple is fighting a Californian judge’s order to unlock the iPhone of a dead terrorist who carried out a massacre in San Bernardino in December, with its chief cxecutive Tim Cook saying the ruling is an attack on privacy. In France, phones with encrypted data are holding up investigators working in several terrorism cases, including the Nov. 13 attacks, Goujon said.

Under Goujon’s proposals, a company operating in France would face a $386,000 fine and its executives could be jailed for up to five years if it denied investigators access to data. In addition, every person who refuses to share information relating to an investigation could be sentenced to two years in jail and fined about $16,500.

This in the country that set the template for revolutionary freedom and civil rights in Europe.

About the same time as that Writ Act the FBI cites, in fact!

The US court order involving the San Bernardino iPhone has sparked a backlash from other technology companies and even the United Nations commissioner for human rights. 

Yeah, people tend to take violations of their persons seriously.

Technology giants from Microsoft to Google have set aside rivalries to back the maker of the iPhone while the UN said US courts risk hurting human rights. Law-enforcement groups seeking to join the case said their ability to extract data from the equipment they seize is critical to solving crimes and protecting the public.

That is what oppressive governments throughout history have claimed as they enforced tyranny upon their people. Never mind them being the biggest criminals around.

France’s bill will be reviewed by the Senate once it clears the lower house and the government aims for a final vote in the lower house in coming months.


They also shut up a crucial witness.

Meanwhile, back across the pond:

"Verizon will pay a $1.35 million fine over its ‘‘supercookie’’ that the government said followed phone customers on the Internet without their permission. Verizon will also have to get an explicit ‘‘yes’’ from customers for some kinds of tracking. The supercookies got their name because they were hard, or near-impossible, to block. Verizon uses them to deliver targeted ads to cellphone customers. The company wants to expand its advertising and media business and bought AOL for its digital ad technology in 2015. The Federal Communications Commission said Monday that it found that Verizon began using the supercookies with consumers in December 2012, but didn’t disclose the program until October 2014." 

Yup, this bankrupt, money-grabbing, money-grubbing government looking out for your privacy, uh-huh! 

Apparently, only they are the ones allowed to lie as they collect their kickbacks for allowing the conduct in the first place!

And next time you are driving on the highway and see a billboard advertisement....

"Drive by a billboard, and there is a good chance its owner will know you were there and what you did afterward. Clear Channel Outdoor Americas will announce Monday that it has partnered with AT&T and others to track people’s travel patterns and behaviors via their mobile phones. By aggregating data from the companies, Clear Channel hopes to provide advertisers with detailed information to help them plan targeted ad campaigns. Clear Channel could, for instance, determine the average age and sex of people who see a billboard in Boston at a certain time and whether they subsequently visit a store. Its other partners are PlaceIQ, which uses location data from apps to gauge consumer behavior, and Placed, which pays consumers for the right to track them. The companies say all data are anonymous and aggregated; privacy advocates, however, have long raised questions about tracking mobile devices."

You can take it to the Banksy!

"Scientists have applied a type of modeling used to track down criminals and map disease outbreaks to identify the graffiti artist. The researchers say their art-sleuthing ‘‘demonstrates the flexibility of geographic profiling.’’ Lead writer Steven Le Comber, a mathematical biologist at Queen Mary University of London, said the Banksy hunt suggested geographic profiling could even be used to track down terrorists before they commit an attack. ‘‘Some terrorists will engage in graffiti, banner-posting and leafletting to establish their credibility,’’ Le Comber said. ‘‘You could potentially use the spatial pattern of leafletting to identify the location of terror cells.’’

Welcome to the world of total global surveillance -- in the name of security, of course!

Apple-FBI data debate hits home

Even the White House is divided over Apple encryption


It's his JU$TU$ Department demanding access!

"President Obama said Friday that smartphones — like the iPhone the FBI is trying to force Apple Inc. to help it hack — can’t be allowed to be “black boxes,” inaccessible to the government. The technology industry, he said, should work with the government instead of leaving the issue to Congress. “You cannot take an absolutist view on this,” Obama said at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. “If your argument is strong encryption no matter what, and we can and should create black boxes, that I think does not strike the kind of balance we have lived with for 200, 300 years, and it’s fetishizing our phones above every other value.” Obama’s appearance at the event known as SXSW is the first by a sitting president."

The man is not only delusional, he's a goddamn liar!

The Constitution and Bill of Rights IS ABSOLUTIST, sir! 


That's how you LOSE THEM! 

Of course, I expect him to be playing such games after seven years of an utterly failed presidency (unless you are a totalitarian).

"SXSW addresses online harassment of women in gaming" by Conor Dougherty and Mike Isaac New York Times  March 14, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas — Brianna Wu, a prominent video game developer, is no stranger to threats against her life.

In a panel at the South by Southwest conference here on Saturday, she held up a picture of an Internet troll in a skeleton mask. This person, whose identity remains anonymous, sent Wu a message claiming he wanted to end her life by putting a drill to her forehead.

“The abuse that I’ve undergone has been extreme,” she said, adding that her husband and dog had both been threatened as well.

The experiences of Wu, an Arlington, Mass., resident who works for the gaming studio Giant Spacekat, are not an anomaly. Other women in the gaming community have faced similar online harassment, which, they say, goes far beyond name calling and has moved into the realm of violent threats and rampant misogyny.

I'm glad I've never been part of the "gamer" community.

Much of it has centered on the games industry and is associated with a grass-roots movement called “#GamerGate,” a term used by a group of people who are fighting against what they say are unfair portrayals of video game enthusiasts as antifeminists and misogynists.

But, paradoxically, people associated with the movement have systematically targeted and attacked women online, including women like Wu and Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist cultural critic who focuses often on video games and game culture.

Sorry, but I'm no longer buying the hoaxes.

At the summit’s discussions in the Hyatt Regency Austin downtown, security guards checked attendants’ bags on the way into each room.

A half-dozen police officers milled about in the hours before the events started, scanning the crowds for any potential problems. Each session was attended by a police officer who sat at the back of the ballroom surveying the crowd and looking for unattended bags.

How pathetic!

The sessions, though, were sparsely populated, in some cases with roughly 80 percent of the seats empty....

Game over!


That was a bonus play for you.

"FBI wants Apple to unlock iPhone in Boston gang case" by Dan Adams and Milton J. Valencia Globe Staff  March 15, 2016

Apple Inc. is objecting to a request from federal prosecutors in Boston that it help unlock the iPhone of an alleged member of one of the city’s most notorious gangs, according to court records — a case that echoes the government’s high-profile fight with Apple in the San Bernardino terrorism case.

I was led to believe it was just to catch terrorists!

US Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler approved a search warrant in February allowing investigators to search an iPhone and a second cellphone seized from Desmond Crawford, who the FBI says is a member of the Columbia Point Dawgs and the likely triggerman in the shooting of a rival gang leader.

In an affidavit dated Feb. 1, FBI agent Matthew Knight wrote that he needed Apple’s help to get into a passcode-locked iPhone 6 Plus that he suspected contains contact information for other gang members, associates, and drug customers. Knight also said messages on the phone probably detailed Crawford’s gun- and drug-trafficking activities, plus plans for the drive-by shooting.

Based on wiretapped phone conversations, “I . . . know that Crawford used his [iPhone] to discuss details related to the shooting of a rival gang member,” Knight wrote in his affidavit.

Then he is an idiot.

Apple declined to comment. But in a case involving a drug dealer in Brooklyn, Apple filed documents indicating that it has objected to a request to help unlock an iPhone in a case in US District Court in Massachusetts.

The San Bernardino, Calif., case triggered a raging national debate over privacy, security, and encryption.

Meaning an agenda is being pushed; otherwise, it wouldn't be a "raging national debate."

And the Boston case underlines a key fear of both Apple and privacy advocates: that if Apple cooperates in the San Bernardino investigation, it will be forced to do the same in thousands of more routine cases in which national security is not at stake, effectively creating for authorities a permanent “back door” into every iPhone in the United States. 

Like trying to investigate a gang shooting?

“The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals,” Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, wrote in an open letter to customers.

And we know who they are!

Crawford was arrested in November as part of a yearslong investigation by federal and local authorities into the Dawgs, dubbed “the largest, most violent and most feared organization in Boston” by US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.

Earlier in 2015, simultaneous raids resulted in gun and drug charges against 48 suspects tied to the group, which was founded in the Columbia Point housing development before its demolition in the late 1980s and then spread throughout the city and even to other states. 

I'm sure I could go find the links, but they were all back on the street within six months. 

Who benefits from the revolving door of the law-enforcement and prison-industrial complex and all the criminal chaos reported around us?

When Crawford was arrested, authorities said they also recovered a loaded handgun hidden in the gearbox of his rental car.

In California, Apple is waging a high-stakes fight against the US Justice Department’s request that it help unlock the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook, who with his wife was killed by authorities after shooting 14 people at a San Bernardino County facility.

Both Crawford’s and Farook’s iPhones ran on iOS 9, an operating system that uses automatic encryption to hide the data on the phone from anyone who doesn’t know its master PIN or passcode. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the Crawford case who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed that Crawford’s phone is the one referenced in the New York court records.

Apple won that earlier ruling.

The affidavit filed by Knight seeks to compel Apple “to assist in the execution of the search warrant by bypassing the lock screen” of the iPhone, as well as to help extract and copy the data from his phone or provide his unlock code.

Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, declined to comment on the Massachusetts case. But in a statement, Shaw said that “it is extremely important for law enforcement to have access to digital evidence pursuant to a court order.”

See: Meet Boston's New FBI Chief 

Did you see the messages left on his machine?

In California, the FBI wants Apple to create software that would let the government try thousands or millions of computer-generated passcode combinations to unlock Farook’s iPhone.

That's either not true or what was reported above was a lie. The FBI can already use "brute force" attacks. They want to go beyond that. 

WTF, Globe?

Without such software, an iPhone may temporarily freeze up or even delete all of its data when too many incorrect passcodes are entered.

The company maintains that the encryption technology embedded in the latest versions of its iPhone operating system prevents Apple from hacking into the phone.

In his letter to customers, Cook said the government is asking the company to create a back door that would leaves it its customers vulnerable to hackers.

“Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices,” Cook wrote. “In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.”

Who ever claimed this government was reasonable?

Bruce Schneier, a security technologist at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a critic of the government’s request, said the Apple case raises a keen national question: “Do we want security or surveillance?”

It's only been  the second so far.

“The danger is not whether the FBI submits one request or a thousand, it’s forcing Apple to create the tool,” Schneier said. “Once the tool exists, they’ll use it a million times, and we’ll all be vulnerable.”

In the San Bernardino case, Apple is appealing a federal judge’s order that it help crack the iPhone. Conversely, the judge in the Brooklyn case declined to order Apple to cooperate, which the Justice Department is appealing.

In Boston, the most recent record in Crawford’s iPhone case is the search warrant that was issued Feb. 1.

Crawford’s lawyer, Rudolph F. Miller, of Milton, said he had not heard that Crawford’s phone was the subject of dispute between Apple and the Department of Justice, but said he would inquire about the matter with prosecutors. Crawford is currently in jail, awaiting trial on federal racketeering charges.


RelatedRoxbury raid brings 19 drug-trafficking arrests

Thursday’s raid followed a more than yearlong investigation by federal agents, Boston police, and Boston Housing Authority officials.

And they didn't collect any phone records or do any wiretapping?

"Do gang sweeps reduce violence?" by Milton J. Valencia Globe Staff  March 25, 2016

“The gang sweep is a tool, but if that’s the only tool you have in your toolbox, you’re going to fail,” said Richard Valdemar, who spent more than 30 years battling gangs as a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“There’s always going to be resurgence.”

Federal authorities conducted one such raid at the Lenox Street Housing Development in Roxbury Thursday, arresting 19 people on gun and drugs charges. It follows another high-profile raid in January targeting MS-13 gang members throughout the North Shore.

I'll have to gang up on that later.

The January raid on MS-13 was one of dozens targeting the gang over the last 20 years, when the group first appeared in Greater Boston. After the latest raid, officials expressed concern about the need to stop the cycle of younger gang members filling the void when older gang members are arrested.

As long as we are a sanctuary state with record wealth inequality the cycle will continue.

US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz used a press conference at the courthouse to plead for community members to do more to steer young people away from becoming the next generation of MS-13 members.

Kind of hard when they are recruited in the schools.

“We can’t do it alone in terms of just prosecuting cases,” Ortiz said. “We need to be involved, working with law enforcement, working with the schools, working with the parents, working with the community, to try and provide them with assistance and resources to hopefully veer them away from taking this path, and providing them with real legitimate alternatives.”

Jason Ziedenberg, a research and policy director at the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, has studied the failure of gang suppression tactics and said law enforcement sweeps can be counterproductive because they sometimes ensnare vulnerable youth in the criminal justice system when educational or awareness programs might have been more appropriate.

“What we know is that when we have these suppression tactics, it focuses on broad groups of people, and it doesn’t help them leave the gang and it’s not a structure for them to leave,” said Ziedenberg, who a decade ago co-authored a policy report, “Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies.”

Ziedenberg said officials realized long ago that “We can’t arrest our way out of the problem.”

Hasn't stopped them from trying, though.

“After the sweep, the fundamental challenges in the neighborhood haven’t been addressed,” he said. “You can have a sweep one year, a sweep the next year . . . but what, fundamentally, has been done differently after the sweep has left?”

But it does make the government and authorities look good and as if they are doing something to address the problems! 

Why spoil the illusion?

Local law enforcement officials, such as Police Chief Kevin Coppinger in Lynn, agreed with those who call for more gang prevention programs, saying his community went without such programs for years because of budget cuts.

Seems like everything but corporate welfare and lavish political lifestyles gets cut.

“It’s a big circle; you’ve got to include the whole thing,” he said.

He added, however, that “Some of these kids are still attracted to gangs, they glorify them, and it’s a tough challenge to combat. We’re going to have to keep an eye on them.”

Because of that, predawn raids — which often yield high-profile news coverage — have become a go-to strategy for law enforcement officials when a community sees a spike in crime or notices a gang starting to take hold. Law enforcement officials say the raids are especially effective when they involve federal law agencies that can levy charges with more serious punishments than state authorities can.

Bill McGonagle, administrator of the Boston Housing Authority, recalls a sweep of gang members in Mission Hill in the 1980s. Residents applauded federal agents as they arrested people who had been terrorizing the neighborhood. The sweep not only was good publicity for law enforcement agencies, but also took bad guys off the street, McGonagle said.

Forget the problems with law enforcement blowing 2+ people away on a given day in AmeriKa.

McGonagle said he was not qualified to speak about long-term solutions to gang violence, noting that affordable housing is a critical component to helping people avoid a life of crime, but, he said, “if we have bad guys in our developments, and they want to come in after them, I’m OK with that.”

What do we do when the bad guys live in mansions?

Any public housing resident convicted of a crime faces possible eviction.

A Globe review of several raids shows most of those arrested on federal charges spend some time in prison.

After a 2006 sweep by FBI agents and local police officers of the Bromley-Heath housing complex in Jamaica Plain, all but one of the 18 people arrested on federal charges were convicted, and most were sentenced to more than five years in prison, according to the review of the cases. Some received 10-year prison terms. 

Of course, I was told a few paragraphs above that was the wrong approach. 

And yet here it is being touted.

A review of the 2013 sweep in Boston’s Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood in Dorchester shows that all but three of the 30 people arrested were convicted, and most were sentenced to at least five years in prison. Some, like Alexis Hidalgo, the leader of one gang from Hendry Street, were sentenced to 12 years. 

Yeah, Globe did a whole series on how it had been cleaned up.

And a review of the 2010 sweeps in Lynn shows that all 35 people convicted in federal court served prison sentences. Some were sentenced to more than 12 years in prison. Lynn police data also shows that gang-related shootings declined during the summer of the 2010 raids to 5, compared to 27 the previous summer. There were 4 people shot the summer of 2010, compared to 13 the previous summer.

Meanwhile, most of the 50-plus people who were targeted in the June 2015 sweep of Columbia Point Dawgs gang members in Boston remain jailed while their cases make their way through the federal court.

David Kennedy, the director of the National Network for Safe Communities at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said that law enforcement sweeps remain the best tool for confronting well-organized gangs such as MS-13.

So when are they going to sweep down Wall Street, and how ironic is it that GOVERNMENT is the BIGGEST GANG GOING?

“That’s when you’ve got a real problem, and a really focused, meaningful law enforcement operation on that gang, that group, can make a lasting difference,” he said.

Kennedy said that cities need to pair law enforcement strategies with prevention efforts, but said it is not uncommon for a city like Boston to see, every few years, a gang “rise to a level where it draws attention to itself. And then the authorities move in.”

“Nobody, anywhere, has been able to make really meaningful lasting reductions in violence without there being an important law enforcement component. Everyone would love to figure out how to do it, but so far nobody has.”


So what happens when the FBI starts unlocking phones to steal business secrets like they did in Seattle in 1997?

What Apple’s fight with the FBI means for Massachusetts

FBI says Islamic State inspired California student in stabbings 


He even left a YouTube video now on T-Mobile.

"If the FBI wins its court fight to force Apple’s help in unlocking an iPhone, the agency may run into yet another roadblock: Apple’s engineers. Apple employees are discussing what they will do if ordered to help law enforcement authorities. Some say they may balk at the work, while others may even quit their high-paying jobs rather than undermine the security of the software they have created, according to more than a half-dozen current and former Apple employees. Among those interviewed were Apple engineers who are involved in the development of mobile products and security, as well as former security engineers and executives. The potential resistance adds a wrinkle to a very public fight between Apple, the world’s most valuable company, and the authorities over access to an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the December mass killing in San Bernardino, Calif."

The FBI smoothed that out rather quickly:

"The Justice Department said Monday that it might no longer need Apple’s assistance to help open an iPhone used by a gunman in last year’s San Bernardino, Calif., mass shooting, leading to a postponement of a key hearing over the issue and potentially sidestepping what has become a bitter clash with the world’s most valuable company. The dramatic turn of events came after the Justice Department said in a new court filing that as of Sunday, an outside party had demonstrated a way for the FBI to possibly unlock the phone."

Just going to break into it themselves now with the help of a hacker they hired!!

"Federal officials have been mum about who came forward and what method they’ve proposed. Here are some of the leading options outside experts think the FBI might be exploring."

I think I have an idea:

"Cyberexperts test skills at anti hacking conference" by Tami Abdollah Associated Press  March 09, 2016

WASHINGTON — The moment a US official pressed a computer key Tuesday, dozens of security experts gathered in an underground control room girded themselves for a cyberattack, a drill meant to thwart the kinds of intrusions that have recently crippled health networks and retail giants.

The weeklong event run by the Homeland Security Department and hosted by the Secret Service is now a decade old. But officials say this week’s exercises are becoming more important as both the government and private sector have reeled from breaches of personal data.

More than 1,000 US cybersecurity professionals are participating in — and testing how well they respond to — a mock attack, said Gregory Touhill, a Homeland Security Department deputy assistant secretary for cybersecurity protection.

It didn't go live, huh?

They’ll be working together for three days in Washington and across the nation.

‘‘Retail and health care have been in the headlines, and, frankly, in the crosshairs for a lot of criminals,’’ Touhill said. Household names like Target Corp., The Home Depot, UCLA Health Systems, and Anthem Inc. have all faced recent cyberattacks that compromised millions of their customers’ data.

So many, and no one caught.

US officials wouldn’t detail the attack scenarios unfolding this week because they said it would tip off the drill’s participants. But they said their event has one, overarching scenario, with about 1,000 smaller events — spurred by a phone call, an e-mail, or a news article — that could be indicators of a looming cyberattack.

Suzanne Spaulding, a top Homeland Security cyberofficial, said the challenge is here and now. She pointed to a nightmare scenario last December, in which hackers attacked the Ukrainian electrical grid and cut power to about a quarter-million people.

During previous US-led tests, officials found what they called areas for improvement.

Recent attacks have also hammered the financial sector, in which a 2014 data breach at JPMorgan Chase affected more than 76 million households and 7 million small businesses. The bank said hackers may have stolen names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses.

Related: JP Morgan Was Hacked by Jewish Mafia

And if it wasn't them it was the U.S. government itself.

Meanwhile, US officials told Congress last year the Office of Personnel Management didn’t take basic steps to secure their computer networks. 

And yet you should trust them with your data!

That allowed to Chinese-linked hackers to steal private information about nearly every federal employee, as well as detailed personal histories of millions who had security clearances.... 

They must have been the enemy of the day at that time.


And in light of the argument between the FBI and Apple, they get hacked?

"Mac ‘ransomware’ attack exposes vulnerability of Apple users" by Daniel Victor New York Times  March 08, 2016

NEW YORK — For the first time, security experts say, a dangerous form of software called “ransomware” has successfully targeted a Mac operating system, piercing an image of safety that Apple customers had long enjoyed.

Wow, what a coincidence, huh?

The attack, while noteworthy, affected a relatively small number of people and doesn’t mean that typical Mac users should panic, experts say.

The software, when installed on a victim’s computer, denies a user access to files unless a ransom is paid: about $400. It targets files that users would most likely find important: photos, videos, Excel spreadsheets, and Word documents.

And this government that collects all electronic communications doesn't have a clue where it is coming from, uh-huh!

Two analysts from the California-based security firm Palo Alto Networks, Claud Xiao and Jin Chen, discovered Friday that the ransomware was infecting downloads of Transmission, a legitimate BitTorrent file-sharing application, they said in a blog post.

About 6,500 users had downloaded the infected software over the weekend, a Transmission official told Forbes. That’s a small fraction of overall Mac users; Apple sold 5.31 million Macs in the first quarter of 2016.

Attackers had compromised Transmission’s website, changing its download link to include both the Transmission software and the ransomware, according to Ryan Olson, the threat intelligence director at Palo Alto Networks. The analysts found it about four hours after it was first uploaded, he said.

Such attacks are more common on machines running Windows, which has far more users, and have grown increasingly common in the past six to 12 months, Olson said. But even though Apple has had a good record of keeping dangerous software off computers, the successful attack could decrease user confidence, he said.

Yeah, Lord knows the fight against the FBI wasn't doing it. Was only increasing. 

I mean, WHO BENEFITS from the RAN$OM!?

“It’s important to be aware that nothing is 100 percent,” he said in a telephone interview. “And every time we find a new one of these, that’s just another signal that 100 percent is not possible.”

Apple revoked a certificate that allowed the software to be installed on Macs, according to Reuters, and Transmission removed the download link from its website Saturday, Palo Alto Networks said.

The ransomware, named KeRanger, would “sleep” for three days after being downloaded before encrypting the victim’s files, Olson said.

Such attacks have had destructive effects, largely because they often work. 

See Chipotle.

In February, a hospital in Los Angeles paid hackers $17,000 in Bitcoin after its computer system was down for more than a week.

Computers running Windows are often infected when users click a malicious link in an e-mail or one hidden in an advertisement. Once their machines are infected, users often have no choice but to meet the hackers’ demands.

Mac users have historically enjoyed more security from malicious applications, said.

“Apple has a lot of gates in the way to prevent that from being successful,” he said.

While Apple and Transmission responded quickly to limit the damage, the episode illustrates the value of backing up important files, Olson said. The effect of ransomware is much like a laptop falling into the river — the damage can be limited if your important files exist somewhere else, he said.

And which company is going to benefit from that?


RelatedFCC proposes privacy rules for Internet providers 

Yes, government is your protector of privacy!

Apple to have next product launch on March 21

Who would want to buy one of those?

"From Apple, smaller is bigger" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  March 22, 2016

Indeed, the closest thing to excitement occurred at the beginning of the event, when Cook reaffirmed Apple’s determination to resist the US government’s effort to get the company to bypass security features on an iPhone used by Syed Farook, the man behind the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., so investigators can search for messages that could identify other terrorist threats. Apple has refused to comply, arguing it can’t be compelled to write software that undermines the security of its products and threatens the privacy of its customers, but later Monday, the US government said it may not need Apple’s cooperation after all. In a stunning disclosure, federal authorities said they may have found a way to unlock Farook’s iPhone with the help of ‘‘an outside party’’ who showed the FBI a possible method during the weekend, according to the filing in the San Bernardino case.

Federal prosecutors asked to delay an anticipated court hearing set for Tuesday, saying they need time to determine ‘‘whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data’’ on the phone. If viable, ‘‘it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple,’’ according to the filing.

In a statement, US Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman said the government was ‘‘cautiously optimistic’’ that the possible method will work....


"The FBI’s second thoughts — and a second chance for privacy" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  March 23, 2016

I’m a born skeptic, even about my own opinions. So not long after I defended Apple Inc.’s refusal to help the FBI decrypt hidden files on a terrorist’s cellphone, I began having doubts.

But I kept my qualms to myself, and a good thing, too.

He did? 

Above I posted two consecutive articles where he flipped then flopped! 

He must have thought we deleted that from our memory. 

Honestly, readers, the disingenuous delusions (or worse) spewing forth from the Boston Globe these days!

After insisting for weeks that Apple must write software to help break into the phone, the FBI on Monday said there may be another way. On the verge of a federal court hearing on the matter, the FBI asked for a two-week delay to try an alternative approach suggested by an unnamed “outside party.”

It was startling news for me, but not for Jonathan Zdziarski, author of several books on iPhone software hacking and developer of iPhone forensics tools used by police agencies worldwide. Zdziarski has long believed that the FBI could access the iPhone 5s of San Bernadino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook without Apple’s aid.

“The tech community has provided numerous feasible approaches,” Zdziarski told me. “So either they weren’t talking to anyone, or were talking to different experts who missed all of this until recently.”

Or maybe the FBI knew there were other options, but saw this horrific case as the perfect opportunity to set a legal precedent, one that could force Apple and other companies to crack open their digital products on demand.

Oh, the FBI would NEVER DO THAT! 

I know because they told us so!

Zdziarski, who often works with police, gives the bureau the benefit of the doubt, but again, I’m a skeptic.... 



Also seeIs your spouse texting -- or cheating?

FBI would know. 

Maybe you can get some money from 'em.


"ACLU wants iPhone hacking case in Boston to go public" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  March 31, 2016

The Massachusetts branch of the American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday asked a federal judge in Boston to unseal documents related to the Justice Department’s effort to break into the iPhone of an alleged member of a notorious city gang.

The motion, filed in US District Court, is part of a broader effort by the civil liberties group to reveal the full extent of the US government’s controversial campaign to make Apple Inc. bypass the security protections of its iPhones.

It’s the latest development in a nationwide controversy that began in February.

“It’s a matter of public interest,” said Rudolph Miller, the attorney for reputed gang member Desmond Crawford, who is planning to file a similar motion by Friday. “Plus my client has an interest in learning about the government’s attempt to obtain his records so he can protect his God-given constitutional rights.”

The national ACLU says it has uncovered 63 cases since 2008 in which the federal government invoked the All Writs Act to demand that Google, maker of the Android smartphone system, and Apple unlock phones running their software. The All Writs Act is a federal statute dating to 1789 that gives courts wide latitude to force cooperation with a government agency’s demands for information or assistance.

In nearly all such cases, the docket sheets invoking the All Writs Act have been made public. But no such filing has been found in the Massachusetts case. The state ACLU and Miller suspect that such a document has been filed under seal, making it effectively secret.

The group’s filing asks the court to open any sealed docket sheets related to the effort to force Apple to unlock Crawford’s phone. If such docket sheets don’t exist, the ACLU wants its petition declared moot “so that members of the public will know that they are not being kept in the dark about this crucially important matter.”

Miller said the motion could reveal whether the FBI has used the same method to access Crawford’s phone as it did with Farook’s, and what information they have gathered.

US Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler approved a warrant in February allowing investigators to search an iPhone and a second cellphone seized from Crawford, who the FBI says is a member of the Columbia Point Dawgs and the likely triggerman in the shooting of a rival gang leader.

Among the few documents that have surfaced publicly in the Crawford case is an affidavit from FBI agent Matthew Knight that said he needed Apple’s help getting into the passcode-locked iPhone 6 Plus. Knight said the phone may contain phone numbers, text messages, and other data related to Crawford’s drug trafficking as well as plans for the drive-by shooting.

Based on wiretapped phone conversations, “I . . . know that Crawford used his [iPhone] to discuss details related to the shooting of a rival gang member,” Knight wrote in his affidavit.

Then why do they need to break into the phone?

Crawford was arrested in November as part of a federal crackdown on the Columbia Point Dawgs, one of Boston’s most notorious street gangs. Crawford is charged with committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering, for his alleged involvement in the shooting of a rival gang member.