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Court Orders no longer necessary?
The FBI cracked a San Bernardino terrorist’s phone with the help of professional hackers who discovered and brought to the bureau at least one previously unknown software flaw. The new information was then used to create a piece of hardware that helped the FBI to crack the iPhone’s four-digit personal identification number without triggering a security feature that would have erased all the data. The researchers, who typically keep a low profile, specialize in hunting for vulnerabilities in software and then in some cases selling them to the U.S. government. 

They were paid a one-time flat fee for the solution.
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In the poll from a few weeks ago, most were in agreement that Apple should not comply with a court order to provide software to unlock the phone. It appears that the FBI has found another way in. What do you think of this new tactic?

^R
The researchers came from an ethically murky corner of the hacking world.
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The basics from both sides.

Video via The +Washington Post 

^R
On Feb. 25, Apple filed a motion opposing a court order to help the FBI unlock the iPhone belonging to a San Bernardino shooter. Here's everything you need to know about Apple vs. the FBI.
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Should Apple comply with a US Department of Justice order to unlock the iPhone belonging to the San Bernadino shooters/terrorists?

The court said that Apple must create new software that would bypass security features on the iPhone used by the terrorist, Syed Rizwan Farook. That would allow the FBI to unlock the device and retrieve the pictures, messages and other data on it. The ruling was based on the All Writs Act of 1789, which is used to require people or businesses not involved in a case to execute court orders. Apple has refused.

What say you?
114 votes  -  votes visible to Public
Yes. It's a court order so they have to.
4%
No way!
86%
This time, yes. Special circumstance.
10%
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Internet Freedom Movement's profile photoSascha Schneider's profile photoFrancisco Ramirez's profile photoJason Gruber's profile photo
12 comments
 
It was the Department of Health, where he worked, that changed the code, but it was OK'd by the FBI. And it did FUBAR Apple's best suggestion, taking the phone to his home network in hopes of an automatic sync starting.

Though my understanding is there hasn't been a sync since October so he likely disabled the feature so it probably wouldn't have worked anyway.

The FBI says they are happy to leave Apple keep the backdoor. They would just bring phones and court orders to them and let them go into the back to do the voodoo they do to unlock it for them. Which means this isn't going to be a "just this phone" "special circumstances" singular event as they claim. But rather something that might happen with some frequency.

I could be alright with Apple holding the key... It's to protect us against terrorists, rescue abducted children etc which is all good. But what happens when Apple is hacked and the the key gets made public? Or when a rightly motivated individual figures out a way to reverse engineer their own key.

McAfee claims to be able to decrypt the phone in just 3 weeks. If this is true, I doubt it would take China, ISIS or some other non-friendly group/nation much longer to do the same. With several phones, I would assume they could figure out a key that could unlock any phone their agents might be able to get their hands on.
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Apple Defies Government Order on iPhone Data
Apple is opposing a judge's order to help the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters, calling the directive "an overreach by the U.S. government."

""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."

What say you? Is this "overreach"? Should government be able to access personal data in instances like this, or should it always be off-limits? 

The entire letter from Apple can be found here:  http://www.apple.com/customer-letter/

(Thanks to +The New York Times)

Roger K.
Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief, said the government’s request to bypass security on the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook had “chilling” implications.
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Michael R. Lawrence CISSP's profile photoMatthew Wright's profile photoPer Siden's profile photoMichael Webber's profile photo
8 comments
 
Defies is too strong a word. Disagrees with the lowest level of federal judge is more like it.
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Just for fun...
Check your data speed with CNET's free Bandwidth Meter Test

Is your broadband fast enough? Are you getting what you've paid for? Find out now with CNET's free Bandwidth Meter Speed Test. You can compare your speeds with friends on other ISPs to see whether you're getting the best value you can from your broadband subscription. 


Broadband tips:
For the most accurate results, run the Bandwidth Meter Speed Test a few times. Try it at different times of day to find out when network performance is best.

Make sure your machine is free of unwanted software, adware, or malware -- these resource hogs are often responsible for slowdowns -- either network or in general.

When it finishes, it'll give you a chance to get yourself a new plan with of the big providers... which leads us back to the previous post. :)

I maxed out at 70.28 Mbps. Not bad.

^Roger
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Matthew “Crash McNeal” VandenBerg's profile photoC Oh's profile photo
2 comments
C Oh
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9.22Mbps. A pretty standard, laughably low speed we tend to get here in the UK
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From the Newsroom...
Twitter released its twice-yearly transparency report today, and it shows a surge in government requests for users’ Twitter information.

The report, which discloses the frequency with which government agencies from around the world ask Twitter to hand over data on specific users, said total requests rose by 40 percent, to about 2,871, compared with the company’s last report, in July. 

It includes government requests for account information, government requests for content removal, and DMCA takedown and counter notices.

While 2,871 may not seem like a lot when compared to their total number of users, a jump of 40% over 6 months is a large increase by any measure even though most of the requests are declined.

For more, visit the interactive world map at the link below, as well as +The New York Times blog post at http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/09/twitter-reports-surge-in-government-data-requests/?ref=technology

^Roger

#Twitter  
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Have them in circles
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They're in
Law enforcement’s ability to now unlock an iPhone through an alternative method raises new uncertainties, including questions about the strength of security in Apple devices. The development also creates potential for new conflicts between the government and Apple about the method used to open the device and whether that technique will be disclosed. Lawyers for Apple have previously said the company would want to know the procedure used to crack open the smartphone, yet the government might classify the method.

The feds received man requests from people all over the world for an attempt at unlocking it. It looks like they succeeded. But will the goverment tell Apple how they did it? Not likely.

^R
The Justice Department announcement, in a court filing, ends an immediate legal battle over the San Bernardino shooting case but raises questions about Apple’s security.
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Who's watching you?
Along with some great background and info on "trackers" +The New York Times tests and reviews four of the best free privacy tools: Ghostery, Disconnect, RedMorph and Privacy Badger. If you use one, we'd love to hear what you think, and if you know of other free (and safe) tools that are out there, feel free to share!

^Roger

   #OnlinePrivacy  
We rated four free tracker blockers that can give you some privacy from ads that seem to follow you around the Internet.
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Suzanne Catty's profile photoInternet Freedom Movement's profile photo
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+Suzanne Catty I've been using Ghostery for a long while too, and I'm pretty happy with it. But, I am going to "experiment" a little with the other 3 that the NYT covered. You're right. More trackers every day.

^Roger
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Google CEO chimes in on Apple v. FBI
"Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy.  We know that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face significant challenges in protecting the public against crime and terrorism. We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders. But that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent. Looking forward to a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue."  - Google CEO, Sundar Pichai ....on Twitter.

Not as strong of a stance as Apple's... It'll be very interesting to see how this all develops over the coming months.

^Roger
 
+Ars Technica  #Apple  
Sundar Pichai takes Apple's side in encryption debate, more or less.
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From the Newsroom... N.S.A. Phone Data Collection Is Illegal

"In a 97-page ruling, a three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a provision of the USA Patriot Act known as Section 215 cannot be legitimately interpreted to allow the bulk collection of domestic calling records."

The bulk phone records program traces back to October 2001. After the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush secretly authorized the N.S.A. to begin a group of surveillance and data-collection programs, without obeying statutory limits, for the purpose of hunting for hidden terrorist cells. Over time, it evolved.

“Without commenting on the ruling today, the president has been clear that he believes we should end the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program as it currently exists by creating an alternative mechanism to preserve the program’s essential capabilities without the government holding the bulk data.”

It is not clear what other bulk data collection programs the government may have... though we can all probably take some great guesses.

#RogerRHK  
The judges ruled that the USA Patriot Act cannot be legitimately interpreted to permit the systematic gathering of domestic calling records.
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A. David's profile photoSakari Maaranen's profile photo
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Also the wording of the act is very telling. It focuses on fear, punishment, and nationalist pathos, instead of crime prevention, protection, and justice. It's little more than an excuse to implement a surveillance society.
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BIG NEWS today from the Newsroom...
The new rules, approved 3 to 2 along party lines, are intended to ensure that no content is blocked and that the Internet is not divided into pay-to-play fast lanes for Internet and media companies that can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else.

Even though it passed, you'll be hearing more in the near future, especially from Congressional Republicans who even after conceding, are trying to find a way to block it.

^Roger

#NetNeutrality #FCC   #Internet  
The agency’s 3-2 vote is intended to ensure a level playing field for Internet content providers, with no so-called pay-to-play fast lanes.
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David Breece's profile photoSteven Caldwell's profile photoJon Melander's profile photoBrad Zonka's profile photo
8 comments
 
What are you babbling about the corporations have bought our politicians.. You literally are spewing nonsense
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#NetNeutrality: The Debate
Via the New York Times, here's an extended four person debate on the topic that is sure to only get more heat as the FCC vote gets closer on February 26th.  Members of Congress are already weighing in (mostly against) and the major ISP providers have promised to sue. 

In Congress, Republicans are circulating draft legislation that embraces the essence of net neutrality by prohibiting content blocking and the creation of fast and slow lanes on the Internet. But their proposal would prevent the FCC from issuing regulations to achieve those goals.

The opponents of utility-style (Title II) rules, led by the cable and telecommunications companies, view the approach as opening a door to heavy-handed regulation that will deter investment and innovation, ultimately harming consumers.

I invite you to give this a click and skim through the four very qualified debaters, and if you have time, dig into it a little deeper. The last thing that should happen is for anyone to be surprised as this all goes down over the coming weeks and/or months.

Just click "Read The Discussion" to enter. Apparently, this is going to get very complicated.

^Roger

#NYTimes  +Ars Technica +Jon Brodkin 
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Internet Freedom Movement's profile photoSherry Winter's profile photo
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+Internet Freedom Movement
that is there claim that they are the regulators...The FTC is doing a fine job..I do not agreee..No to tiltle 2...
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Have them in circles
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The page formerly known as "Stop SOPA"
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A page dedicated  to raise awareness about global issues that are trying to affect and change the Internet as we know it, putting the interests of a few above the interests of all of us. 

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