When The State Isn’t Wrecking The Technology Industry It’s Begging It For Help

Do you know what’s especially funny about the fight between Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)? While one part of the State is trying to destroy computer security another part is begging for help:

Carter will visit a Pentagon outpost in the heart of Silicon Valley, speak at a cybersecurity conference in San Francisco and go to Microsoft and Amazon headquarters in Seattle to highlight the risks of cyberattacks and the need for greater digital cooperation with the Pentagon.

His visit to the West Coast — his third in less than a year, more than he’s made to Kabul or Baghdad — marks the latest effort by the Obama administration to recruit telecommunications, social media and other technology companies as partners in national security operations despite deep suspicion in Silicon Valley about government surveillance.

Statism in a nutshell. When computer security stands in the way of the State’s power it attempts to crush it mercilessly. But when it needs computer security to solidify and maintain its power it comes crawling back to the very people it tried to execute only a short while ago.

In the end the State wants the best of both worlds. It wants a world where its networks and devices are secure but nobody else’s are. Why should security professionals provide the State any assistance when it constantly tries to bite their hands?

3 thoughts on “When The State Isn’t Wrecking The Technology Industry It’s Begging It For Help”

  1. Well put. I hope Bruce Schneier reads this; he’s still into calling the FBI the “good guys”, even as he supports Apple in their recent and ongoing battle.

  2. I believe that Apple should cooperate with the FBI in a situation where lives are lost. I understand that Apple must protect its technology, however I believe in the interest national security there should be full cooperation

    1. The problem is Apple isn’t protecting it’s technology, it’s protecting every person who uses an iOS product. What the FBI is demanding is a customer version of iOS that disabled several key security features and includes the ability to brute force the set password.

      Here’s the problem, the firmware would be signed so it could be loaded onto any iPhone 5C (the iPhone model in question) at the very least. That means Apple has no way of controlling it once it gets out and the United States government has a long track record of failing at computer security, meaning the firmware will fall into other hands as well.

      Imagine the number of people potentially put at risk in foreign countries where political dissidents are treated even more harshly than here. Being able to bypass the iPhone’s security features would put any political dissident using said device at a very real risk of greatly bodily harm, imprisonment, or even death.

      Basically, if Apple cooperates with the FBI it means the end of security on the iPhone 5C. That’s not an acceptable tradeoff for anything.

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