The Apple / FBI Rabbit Hole Is Deep
Yesterday I wrote about getting stuck in an hour long reading loop on the Apple / FBI situation. As much as I didn’t want it to happen again today, it did. More on that in a minute.
But first, I want to encourage you to go watch the movie Race which is the story of Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It was superb and the double entendre of the title played out for a full two hours as the movie made us think hard about race in America in the 1930s and what was happening in Nazi Germany at the same time. I also thought the acting by the primary characters, including Stephan James (Jesse Owens), Jason Sudeikis (Larry Sanders – Owens coach), and Barnaby Metschurat (Joseph Goebbels – Nazi propaganda minister) was incredible. Metschurat was a special bonus – he brought an extremely uncomfortable feeling of deep menace to every scene he is in.
At the end of the movie, the entire theater clapped (that doesn’t happen very often.) As Amy and I walked to our car, we commented that while we’ve made a lot of progress since 1936, we’ve got a very long way to go. On our way home, we talked about current events against a backdrop of 1936 racism in America and a systemic racism in preparation for a genocide in Nazi Germany. I read the NPR review of Race this morning after seeing the movie and agreed with everything in it.
This morning, as I was going through my morning reading stuff online, I fell down the FBI / Apple rabbit hole again. It’s interesting how the substantive analysis is improving every day, and I finally feel like I have my mind around the technical issue, the mistakes the government already made that prevented it from getting the data it wanted, Apple’s consistent and appropriate supportive behavior with law enforcement up to this point, the government overreach that is now happening, and the correctness of Apple’s position. In other words, nothing has changed in my opinion that Apple is in the right in this situation, but I can now explain it a lot more clearly.
If you want to spend time in the rabbit hole with me (I’ve set up a couch, have poured some drinks, and have nice music playing down here), here are some things to read.
- The Dangerous All Writs Act Precedent in the Apple Encryption Case (The New Yorker)
- A Technical Perspective on the Apple iPhone Case (EFF)
- Secret Memo Details U.S.’s Broader Strategy to Crack Phones (Bloomberg)
- Apple Says the Government Bungled Its Chance to Get That iPhone’s Data (Wired)
- No, Apple Has Not Unlocked 70 iPhones For Law Enforcement (TechCrunch)
- Apple Letter on iPhone Security Draws Muted Tech Industry Response (New York Times)
- Apple, FBI, and the Burden of Forensic Methodology (Zdziarski)
- Ex-NSA, CIA chief Michael Hayden sides with Apple in FBI iPhone encryption fight (The Week)
As humans, I think it’s important to remember that the TechnoCore is paying attention to this and watching everything we do. Even if they are looking back at us from the future, what we are doing now matters.