Was Apple right to refuse to make an iPhone ‘master-key’ for the FBI

So, it appears the encryption on our IOS devices is so good that the US government can’t hack into it. And government officials are asking Apple to create a master key so they can get into the devices as needed. Would you be willing to give up your info on your device? Would you feel safe knowing there is a master key out there?

Personally, I don’t want Apple to create or have a master key. I have so much info on my device that I am so glad the encryption is really good. For those that tells me Well, what about having to save the lives of future attack? I say isn’t that why we have an agency called FBI that spends millions on technology each year? Are they not doing their job? If they can’t break into a simple device like an iPhone, how can I expect them to break into devices that are better encrypted from the Russians or Chinese? No, I don’t use iCloud so I know my info is safe.

What are your thoughts?


I see both sides, but ultimately I don't want a master key

Let's be honest: 9/11 happened because we were lax on our security for airlines and other things: so now we go overboard. The reason a lot of this stuff is happening is because you are choking our freedoms one at a time. We can't go on an airplane without emptying our pockets, taking off shoes, not carrying liquids over 3 ounces, now you want to infringe yet again on our devices? If apple does ever get the idea to create a master key, I will delete everything to do with Apple. The person used the device, because he knew no one would get into it, and if it's created, you'll just end up forcing others to want to break into others. Identity breeches, nude photos, other things that people keep private, will become public knowledge. We already have awful reality shows, do we want to expand that? I don't.

I stand with Tim

Tim is on point. It is aweful what happened in Cal, but as far as Data I am sure Verizon or AT&T gave up phone records. I am also guessing Apple released Icloud info or possibley who records they would have of Facetime and what not. As far as the device what if he distroyed it or they never found it? Basically I am find with no master key what good is that info anyway? We learn his mindset? Who cares. We get so fasinated with why, but I want to feel my data is going to be protected. With health companies putting info online i do wonder when someone will hack in and get info and make things public? I commend Tim and I support it. There are far more important are gov could be focusing on than this.

Master Key

Well the reason FBI is having problem and probably also the NSC which they are good in braking in with PC. Apple has done a brilliant job in creating a program that protect our iPhone compare to other smart phone. If apple can creat a key and put it away from any PC that is connected to WIFI or network, I have no problems if the FBI along with a court order explaining why they need the data in the iPhone for apple to make it accessible to them. They need to balance our privacy with protecting our US from those who want to hurt our interest.

Let me tell you what will

Let me tell you what will happen. If Apple gives the gov't a master key, one of the agents will go home, get drun, tell their friends and so on. Now I'm not saying that agents are bad people, but hundreds if not thousands of them could possess this key, and either for intoxication or bribery, one of them, and it only takes one, will tell the wrong people. I personally do not have anything whatsoever to hide on my phone. I mean, after all, braille porn? Yet, I know some feel differently, and because of the first reason I gave, I disapproove strongly of Apple's making a master key. It only takes one snitch, remember that.

I see both sides, but

I see both sides, but I think that it would be a bad idea to have a master key. After all, how do you know if someone in the government of the US is being corrupt and only wants to hack into other peoples iPhones, for his own personal gain? Besides, what would be the benefit of it. I mean, who knows how many people in this world are corrupt… It would definitely be a bad idea. Not to mention, if that were the case, and there was a master key, we wouldn't have our privacy. I mean, it would be like having someone watching over our shoulder all the time.


Well the key will be with apple. If they want an iPhone unsecure, they can take to apple and they can give them info. The US government does not need to have the key. As long they get the info that should be enough. However it probably will not happen.

Keep this door locked.

I fully agree with the sentiments expressed here so far.

Of course, I understand why people want the government to have the information stored on the phone. If it was that simple, I would, too. But it just isn't as simple as taking the information and 'locking the door'. Once such a master key is created, it is 'out there', once this door is opened, it cannot be closed again.

Even if you believe the government is (always) well intentioned, what about incompetence? There might always be some incompetent official who might missuse the technology in a way the government did not intend.
And even if you trust this government, what about the next government, and the one after that? And anyway, it is unrealistic that governments would remain in control of this 'key'. Sooner or later, others would have it, too.

The often quoted 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' argument is beside the point. I might have 'nothing to hide', but I don't want to live in a society where there is no privacy, where everyone is a potential suspect, where the state has access to the citizens' most intimate information – because that's the way of the 'modern societies', millions of people all around the world put their private information on their smartphones and computers.

Ultimately, this is about what kind of society we want to live in.
Do we want our privacy to be even further compromised? Do we want governments to (potentially) have access to our private data?
And what about governments who target individuals because of their political views?
Or what if, for example, say, I don't like big multinational seed manufacturers and have lots of content critical of such companies on my phone/Mac. How could I be sure that this 'key' would not be used to access that information – whether by a government influenced by the companies' lobbyists, or whoever has an interest – to then somehow use it against me and people critical of such companies? This may sound ridiculous, but it is an argument that cannot be disregarded.
And what about all the personal information on our devices? Notes, health data, emails etc.? How could we be sure this 'key' would never be used – whether by governments, or private companies or individuals – to access this information, for example for advertising purposes?

You might say: But this is (possibly) already happening. Yes, but the point is: Do we want our privacy to be even further compromised than it already is – all in the name of security?
Fear can be very useful. When people are afraid (in this case of terrorism), it is easy to make them agree to things they would otherwise not agree to – all in the name of security.

Think of it like this

Hi. Glad so many don't want a master key. I don't have anything to hide, but as Ken said, it just takes one. Plus, if you really are happy with apple, why would people already have jail broken? because they wanted control that Apple has said they wouldn't give, to control your device as you see fit. i'm fine not jail breaking, but the point is very simple. If people were happy with how Apple created an IOS version, they wouldn't have challenged themselves to come out with each subsequent version and proud of that fact. All this is to say that Apple shouldn't create the key, and if you do get access to the phone, and you have no messages because the person probably used I-message then what have you done/ gotten screwed, forgive my language but there's only so much PG i can use before less then polite language is needed to convey my point.

I too, agree that there

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I too, agree that there should not be a key. In addition to all the things mentioned by earlier posters, if you are a business owner or medical professional who handles private data, this master key could put you and anyone referenced on your device at risk from both government searches and hackers. If you live in an environment where everyone is treated as suspect, a national security investigation could implicate you and others referenced on your device, through their names, phone numbers, and financial and medical data. That could get out of control fast if you wind up in the wrong place at the wrong time. If the master key got out and your device was hacked, your data as well as your contacts and customer's data could be compromised, potentially leading to data theft and greatly hurting your business.

As I said

As I said before, this is not a good idea. Not to mention, it is not only a matter of privacy that we are talking about here. If Apple should create a master key which I hope that they don't, if the worst were to happen, and they did, they would also have to take this into account. On one hand, it could improve our security a lot, but it would also lower it by much. If this master key where to get out, which would certainly happen sooner or later, as all these things do, there would be a greater risk and a greater number of hacked iPhones. I mean, of people getting into your phone, and stealing the data. Not to mention, Apple would probably get a huge backlash on this.


OK. What other suggest? Suppose importamt data need to be get ASAP to prevent another 911 or after a crime evidence need to be collect and can not be access? Now what? I do believe in privacy but as an US citizen I also feel strong about safety for the US. This topic will not have a good respond because we already made of choices.of a

We had more privacy then we do.

It's pretty simple: one person ruined our world of privacy, ok more then one but you get my jist, now because we are under a microscope, with the racial influences, the cops being shot at, we're screwing outselves over rather then being honest. True we got very much attacked on 9/11 but after there were reasonable restrictions put in place, things should have calmed down. Instead, media is focusing on other places, because the world is so sick of countries fighting with one another. So we take it out on our own, having nowhere else to release the agression. Someone wants an alternative, there isn't one. How can there be when malicious people will somehow some way, take advantage of it. Whtether the person leaves it in a bar, or the ex girlfriend takes her boy's new ipHone and publishes the back door, somewhere someone will use it to screw with us some more. As i said, if Apple creates a key, they are asking for trouble backlash, and loss of sales of upcoming products. Either the governement backs off our phone conversations, texting, probably Net surfing habits, or this is going to get so much worse before if, and that's a large if, it gets better. Trust us, to maintain our privacy, when you come after us to release something, we suspect you. If the NSA and other organizations don't get a clue and understand to g back to infiltrating what they have to instead of suspecting us all utnil shown otherwise, they have no one to blame but themselves, the governement caused this paranoia and are feeding off of it.

Out of curiosity, who, "One

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Out of curiosity, who, "One person," do you consider responsible? How I see it, it goes back to immediate post 9/11 restrictions with the USA Patriot Act allowing warrantless surveillance of anyone the government considers a threat. This all seems to be a product of the large US security apparatus and military complex that has guided these policies.

Also, what, "Racial influences," do you see? While I see the issue of people of certain races being publicly profiled at airports, stores, and the like, I don't see how the government could establish fast facts about someone, especially through the method of random traffic monitoring of bits of data being sent and received by internet nodes.

I didn't say one in particcular.

I wasn't saying one person in particular was responsible, simply because of one act, which i should've clarified, was the reason the government went into al they are doing now. As for racial influence, that's pretty easy to discern. You had nonEnglish speaking high jackers, you had a normal day that went to hell really fast, and you had the government understanding that certain profile should be put out. Race is even more of a factor considering that African Americans are now challenging any authority they can to get their version of justice for whatever happened to one of their own. The end result is still the same: whether or not race, or profiling, or how many people did what, none of the restrictions would be so heavy if after a certain timeframe, things eased up. Instead the nuse is tighter then ever with no hope of loosening. If it is at all, I invite anyone to prove to me that you can get on an airliner feeling secure when things such as a laser is being pointed, loaded guns are still being smuggled and caught, and all of this revolving around a back door that will just what, add more fuel to the lut of control fire? I see no reason to give any organization what they want if the company knows in good faith it jepoardizes customers as a whole not just helps out one or two cases that yes, might stop another horrific attack, but it might not.

another thing to keep in mind

hi guys. there is another point to keep in mind here. it's one thing to have the USA government asking for this permission, but then, ... what about all the other governments? after all, if apple were to do it for the US government, to be fare, they have to give that same level of access to all powers in control. now, lets say for argument sake, me here in Australia. no, I don't have anything to hide. how ever, I do not want the US government having potential access to my device. to listen in. to spy. bad enough if my own government did so, but to have a foreign one do so, would be worse. take it a step more. even if you are in the US. lets say this key does get made. it then has to be given to all in power around the world. or the access for apple to provide such information or what ever. now, you say, this might give you better security. .... what happens, when somebody connected with terrorism in the middle east, gets hold of said access, because they gain power. suddenly, the same people the US government is supposedly securing you from, has access to spy on all of the millions of people in the US that have iPhones. does that sound like it's going to provide better security? ... no. it doesn't. ultimately, I stand with Tim here. to provide such access, to anybody, let alone do it fairly, means you have opened up the system to all who are in power. not just the US. and as has already been stated. it only takes one, no matter if they are in the US, or another country, to miss use this back door, to spy on us all.
Oh, and by the way. if apple should do this, so should systems like firefox. microsoft. all the password managing utilities. so then, every thing you have stored in password managers and such systems, can be used to spy. so they can access all your sites you log into. spy on everything you post or receive. they should, by that point, be aloud to install microphones in your house. cameras. so they can spy on you more fully. ... see the point? where does the slippery slope end.

Re: Master Key

Apple is right to refuse the request to weaken the security on an iPhone. It doesn't matter if Apple holds a master key that it never gives to law enforcement, using it to unlock an iPhone for the law enforcement agency, the mere presence of a backdoor puts everyone at risk. If a backdoor exists, it can be found. This is the one thing law enforcement and governments just do not understand. You can't give access to a backdoor only to certain people, it's available to anyone smart enough to find it, and there are plenty of people smart enough to find it.

Put another way, making a master key for an iPhone is like hiding a spare key outside your house inside something disguised as a rock (I have heard of these). If a criminal is smart enough to look around for objects that might hold a key, they won't need to break a window or break down your door to get in, they can just find the key and walk on in like they own the place.

Now, I don't know exactly how Apple's iPhone security works, but it did occur to me, unless Apple has something in place to prevent it, the FBI could theoretically have deconstructed the iPhone, removed the storage, and used a bruit-force attack on the physical storage itself. There are reports saying that the iPhone they want to access is an older model that didn't have the secure hardware in modern iPhones, so maybe the storage is only encrypted and not protected in any other way.

Creating a back door for law enforcement will only hurt us, and encourage criminals to find something more secure that law enforcement have no chance of unlocking with a court order. Frankly, political leaders and law enforcement agency figure heads are morons.

Going against the general consensus here but...

There are plenty of bad people doing very bad things in this world. I personally don't mind air port security which was mentioned here previously. I'd rather the minor inconvenience and minor privacy invasion than being blown up over the sea. That is a very real risk at the moment. The Russians are bombing, they had a plane taken down last year, the UK and US are also bombing so how long before it happens to one of us? To my mind the government can read my messages if they want. I don't care. There would be such a scandle if it came out that our data was being miss used by government it would hardly be worth doing. Pedofiles are using facebook groups now! If we have nothing to hide, we shouldn't be too worried! Plenty of people do have plenty to hide and how else are we going to have any chance of finding out what they're planning before they do it! Look at those attacks in France! What's the betting half those people had IPhones? If it was a little easier for the highest level of government to gain access to people of interest could they have stopped it? Could they have found messages referencing what they were planning to do?
I agree Apple shouldn't be handing out master keys to everyone who asks, but the option needs to be there. Data needs to be accessed. If you can buy an IPhone knowing the government have no way of finding out what you're using it for, every terrorist will have an IPhone and they'll be laughing at us all! And they'll be laughing at their freedom to plan and carry out whatever they want and we'll be powerless to stop them.
If it takes some government official having a little giggle at my x rated messages to my partner to stop that scenario, so be it.
I wish there were no bad people in the world. I wish there was no need for our privacy to be invaded, but there are, so there is!

Sorry for the rant, that's just my thoughts on the matter.

More Big Brother-itis?

If the key is released then this is just one more way the government can intrude into our lives. We are now even penalized via the IRS if we choose to not have health insurance coverage. America is supposed to be the "land of the free", not the land of big brother is watching my every move. I, for one, am opposed to any more big brother intrusions into my personal life. I do understand the FBI's desire to deal with their case but it could only lead to Pandora's box being opened.


OK. This will not be fix here. We will need to wait for the US Supreme Court to make a decision when this go to them. However since a member died recently and there is fight about who suppose to appoint one, it will probably take several years.

Ethics at the extreme

App Developer

I studied ethics related to IT and information systems in business. Tim Cook stands his ground and I agree with him on this point. What is ethical is legal, but the law is not always ethical. Of course, that statement can be a relative point. Tim's morals and values demonstrated by Apple's choices many implications. For instance, what happens to Apple and Tim Cook if the FBI requires Apple to create a key, but Apple still refuses? Ultimately, I stand Apple.

The back door

@Lorna in particular, I completely understand the point you are making but where it falls down, as many have already said, is that if you create a back door, you can't control who wlaks through it. Doesn't matter how many locks you put on it, locks can be picked. Sure, you probably don't mind law enforcement agencies reading your messages and so on to keep you safe. that would be fine if we had the equivalent of a bouncer saying: 'yes, you're a law enforcement agency, you can come through the back door, but you're just a troublemaker and you can't!'. It's that bouncer that you can't implement. Would you be quite so sanguin about a criminal reading your messages? Perhaps using them to blackmail you? accessing your apple Pay details? Accessing the information that goes to the Health app?

There was a great discussion of this on LBC this morning on the James O#Brien show, including the uncle of Fusileer Leed Rigby who was killed by Islamic extremists on Woolwich High Street. if you go to the LBC website or get the LBC app that's worth listening to again. I think generally although we are going the same way as the US, we handle this sort of thing a bit better in this country. Mainly I think this is because we have had to deal with terrorism for a lot longer than you guys have. Terrorism didn't begin with 9/11 and perhaps the FBI would do better working with foreign law enforcement agencies in compiling their own security strategy. Countries like ourselves, France, Spain, ireland (I'm trying to leave the controversial examples from the Middle-East off the list), are countries that have had to deal with terrorism for upwards of fifty years.

Compromising encryption is pointless

Lorna808, I'm guessing you either didn't read my comment or completely ignored it. Apple can not provide a master key for law enforcement to use. Providing a master key for an encryption algorithm opens it up to anyone who can discover the key, and anyone who is determined enough can. While I'm sure you're perfectly happy for a member of law enforcement to have a giggle at your expense in the name of national security, not everyone who wants or needs to protect their privacy is a pedophile or terrorist as you suggest. In addition, anyone who is sufficiently motivated can find a more secure method of communication if Apple is forced to compromise the security of their iPhones. Apple providing a backdoor for law enforcement is a short term solution that has little benefit for the cost. The fact is, a backdoor won't help law enforcement catch the worst criminals, just the stupid ones.

if a key is created, it will be used

I agree with Apple's position on this issue. If the government gets a master key, you know that it will be used. Even worse, it will be abused. The inscription system was made by Apple to protect the private info of customers. Also, the court order was obtained without lawyers of Apple being present, so it might not be a valid court order to begin with. I commend Apple's decision to not cooperate.

Even google agrees with Apple

I read an article last night that even google agrees with Apple, and stands by them on this issue. To me this is rather silly because the US government is more concerned with gaining information from an iPhone instead of taking care of the weapons used in the act itself. You can't do all the terrible things these guys did with an iPhone. In other words, the government has bigger issues than this to deal with.

It is a valid court order

The order was obtained ex parte, which means without the other side present. this does not invalidate the court order. if it did, there wouldn't be any point in obtaining it in the first place. Ex parte orders are used when you want an injunction quickly without telling the other side about it, so you secure yourself the protection of the court order in advance. To take a really simple example: suppose Bloggs LLC is a company that you are suing. Suppose further that bloggs LLC is a company with a reputation for operating dishonestly, even though it is a legitimate company. I want to make sure they have enough money to pay me damages if I win the case aginst them. I want to ensure they don't dishonestly dissipate their assets all over the world. so I will apply for an order freezing those assets. Ah, but if I tell them I intend to apply for that order, they will dissipate the assets and frustrate it. That's why I will apply ex parte, and present them with the injunction, done and dusted. That way, if they try to dissipate the assets then hopefully the injunction will prevent them from doing so, and if it doesn't they will be in contempt of court and the company directors could go to prison. So the order is perfectly valid.

Nevertheless, you have a point, and given that ex parte orders are obtained with oonly one side present, the court has to fix what's called a return date. at the return date, both parties are present and the merits of the order can be argued in the usual way. In this case, I imagine this is exactly what will happen and that Apple will fight this at the return date hearing. If US courts do not fix return dates in cases of ex parte applications, well that is absolutely barking in my view, but Apple would of course be able to appeal the original ex parte order and apply for a stay in the meantime. a stay effectively would mean they wouldn't have to comply with the order until the appeal was decided.

Didn't apple hire jail breakers?

Just curious, but didn't i read that Apple hired, people that were great at jail breaking? Why? so they could increase security. I mentioned airport security for one reason, you realize that pilots have iPads in the cockpit right? That's why a plane was a hundred miles or so off course because the idiot at the controls was looking at his ipad a while back. I will stand with apple as long as they remain commited to privacy which it seems like they are. I also hadn't realized the court order was obtained without Apple's lawyers present which suggests they know Apple would throw a fit. For anyone who wants to let the government read your text porn congratulations i bet they already are. In reality, do you expect people to communicate on a phone if they're planning something huge knowing there are ways to hack into almost anything? Of course not, they'll either use burners, or meet up and discuss it face to face, a novel concept in our instant gratification society. Paul great points, thanks for the comment :)

The Barn Door is Open

While I am sympathetic to the need to prevent bad things from happening, this approach is akin to closing the barn door after the horses are already out.

Cryptography is just math, and the math is known and readily available. Anyone who wants to secure a device and communications with that device has a plethora of options. Putting a back door into the device will not prevent the ability to obscure contents.

What it will do is make the less security savvy users vulnerable to intrusions from both state and bad actors. It's Security Theatre and will ultimately make us less safe.

the reason the order was obtained ex parte

This is because, I believe, it was obtained within proceedings to which Apple were not a party i.e. the criminal proceedings. If Apple are not a party to proceedings, they can't be represented in those proceedings. Apple has liberty to apply to set the order aside as it was obtained ex parte, even if a return date is not contained on the face of the order.

What will be very interesting is if Apple are forced to comply in the US, that won't necessarily be mirrored across the world. For example, as a concerned citizen I could apply for an injunction against Apple in the UK ordering them not to make this software on the grounds that to do so would infringe my rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. That is a much, much stronger basis for an argument like this. Other countries like Norway have even stricter privacy laws. So actually this US court has started what could potentially be an international legal incident. If I were Tim Cooke I would be making that point. The consequences of this US court order will be profound for people who are outside the jurisdiction of the US, and potentially in breach of other jurisdictions' privacy laws.

I also stand with Tim Cook.

I also am on Tim's side of the dispute
I hope they can win.
With Twitter and Facebook now supporting Apple that might give them a 50 50 chance of winning.

I stand with Apple.

I stand with apple because of one main reason: hackers. I don't want other people getting into my privacy. I know the government wants to get into my privacy, but there a"le times when sometimes the freedom feels like slipping away.

personally i think the FBI

App Developer

personally i think the FBI already has the resources to break into an iOS device and they're just using Apple because they are a tech giant. if Apple creates this software then anybody can steal our information. excuse my language but if that happens we're all doomed. i agree 100% with tim cook. this world already has enough problems without the government invading our privacy.

I agree with Tim Cook

I agree with Tim Cook. We have a right to privacy. They should not take away our privacy.

there's no dispute

Everyone seems to think there's some kind of a dispute, but 99.9% of the people I've spoken to are on Apple's side, so really, that's not a real dispute to me. I look at it like this, it's basicly just something to keep people focused on other things. I figure if the FBI wants information from an iPhone badly enough, they'll get it, master key or no master key. It's pretty ridiculous.

agree with apple

I'm with apple on this one. Also i saw earlier that trump wanted americans to stop using apple devices because they won't cooperate with the FBI's wishes. And yet, here he was a couple hours before that, tweeting from, you guessd it, an iPhone. Just wow.

Master Key Issue

Your and my opinions aside, the government is going to win this dispute with Apple. The process of obtaining a search warrant by court order has been a part of our law for many years. Search warrants allow law enforcement officials to search our homes, offices, storage lockers, bank records, wall safes, automobiles and person when there is suspicion of criminal or terroristic activity and the search warrant has been approved by a court.
. The advent of personal devices like phones and tablets has introduced new vehicles for storing our information, media, photos, and whatever else we feel we need to wag around with us and have available at all times. In 2014 Apple introduce encryption for it’s IOS devices that make them invulnerable to hacking or de-encrypting. I predict that sooner or later, and probably sooner, the legislature and courts are going to rule that iPhones and other IOS devices are subject to search and access just like the contents of your home and other belongings when there is the suspicion of criminal activity as approved by a judge. How Apple will deal with this will be interesting. Sorry to rain on your parade.

Whether Apple wins or not

Whether Apple wins the case or not, there are still going to be just as many iPhone users as ever before. The only reason that Apple is pretending to stand with the consumers is because they want to try to attract attention. I am of the opinion that the 99.9% of Apple users who have nothing to hide will still stick with Apple devices.

It's not that we have something to hide

The issue is not that we are hiding something, but that if there was a master key, hackers would be able to hack into our phones, much more easily, and they could for example steal our identity. So to speak. I am with Apple here.

Hackers won't get people away

I also agree with Apple in what they are saying publicly. But people are still going to use iPhones. Another example is all of the fake emails that people receive from "their bank" which are "informing" them that their account has been hacked. Clicking on the link in the email takes them to a website where their account will be hacked. People know the risks, yet they still stick with Internet banking. The same thing will happen here. The same thing also exists with viruses for Windows. How many Windows uers are there that know they could be the victim of a virus? Yet we still see that 85% of computers in the world are Windows computers.

Apple and the FBI.

Like many others in this thread, I am supporting Apple on this one no matter what the result is. While having nothing to hide, we as law-abiding people have the right to some kind of privacy, which is becoming more and more of a debate in our connected society. Open the back door and your asking for trouble. Even if such a key was used with all sorts of terms attached to the legal documents to say that it only may be used in such a criminal case, it is open to mis-use and a potential cover up. Yes things can and will always be open to hackers, but we shouldn't then give the keys away. Just my view.

search warrants

@Fred sorry to rain on your parade, but a court cannot order the search of something unsearchable and a search order, formerly known as an Anton Pillar Order, does not alter that. There would be no grounds for a search warrant as Apple is not suspected of criminal activity, so it would have to be a search order. Now, search orders are an equitable remedy, and equity does not act in vain. what we mean by that is a court will not make a final order with which there is no possibility of complying. The Court would have to make an order requiring Apple to write the software, and then a further order requiring Apple to unlock the phone. Order 1 has international implications, so if I were Apple I would argue that it could not be ordered to do something that would have an effect outside the jurisdictin of the United States. Why should I, in the UK, potentially have my own interests harmed by a US court order?

search warrant

My point about search warrants still stands. The actual court order Apple received ordered Apple to provide the FBI reasonable technical assistance in opening the terrorist’s phone. Though not a search warrant as such, the court order for tech assistance from Apple is a reasonable request from the government’s point of view based on our laws and the govern’ment’s right to gather and evaluate evidence where a crime has been committed. This is a great P.R. event for Apple. By not complying with the court order, Apple is saying that they are out there protecting our right to privacy. Apple has appealed the court order so we'll see how it goes from here. In the long run, I again predict that Apple will have to comply.

Is that really the order?

@Fred are those really the terms of the order? In that case, could it not be argued that Apple has complied with it? The order only requires them to provide reasonable technical assistance. The argument, then, is that any technical assistance that is unreasonable is outside the province of the terms of the order. There can therefore be no breach. Personally I very much doubt that the order says that. The word 'reasonable' is never something I have used when drafting an injunction for precisely the reason I have just set out. On this point, English law and American law (i.e. the laws of the states that adopt common law jurisdictions so not Louisianna, for example) is pretty much the same.

Is this retrieval of data necessary anyway!

Hi! Reading this thread, as well as various articles about this whole dispute between Apple and the US Government, has got me wondering how necessary the whole thing is; I can't give you links to sources, but i read somewhere that the data the court wants can be got to without hacking into the terrorist's iphone, and that it was his work phone anyway, and I would guess that a terrorist wouldn't put incriminating stuff on a phone he uses for his job. If these things i just mentioned are true, it's possible that this whole case is a plot to allow the US Government to make all smartphones searchable, including iPhones; Like many other people writing on this thread, I support Apple's refusal to comply with what the court wants, because, as others have quite rightly pointed out, it could be the start of a slippery slope towards bad security, especially if the means of retrieving private data gets into the wrong hands. Like the rest of you, i have nothing incriminating to hide, but if anyone can snoop randomly on what's on our devices, where will that lead? Good on Apple for standing up for itself against the court in this case!

master key

hi all, i know most of you don't want a quote master key guess what? if you had bothered to read the story it said this was for one phone only. it didn't say every single iphone on the planet. frankly i hope the government rules against tim cook, because I would like to see him lose just because he thinks he is untouchable.

I'm afraid you're wrong

App Developer

You're statement is based on false information. The system that apple has been requested to design is not specific to the phone currently under investigation. This would be impossible. Instead, the request was for a software edition that would allow infinite and automated passcode tests. This would, theoretically, be only installed on this one specific iPhone, but it would also be functional should it be installed on any other device running the operating system.

Brandon, you are so out of your element on your thinking

Try please, to connect your brain cells, to understand this. This is not, only one iphone at stake. You're misguided, in thinking they want only access to one iPhone. What runs an Iphone, any model? What is the software called? I.O.S. for a reason. It runs, every device not just an iPhone. Perhaps if Apple distinguished their devices say ipad IOS iPod IOS you might have a leg to stand on. However, you are wrong. Wanting tim Cook to lose, is absolutely the worst thing you, as an IOs user can hope to happen. You want a key created, and are willing to sell out to do it? I hope this pushes you towards another platform, if only for the reason that you can understand that you're willing to have your rights invaded just to prove a childish point of it's only one iPhone. congratulations on siding with a political candidate who thinks as you.

master key

I'm sorry, but heres the real facts. some claim I'm wrong. guess what/ go dig deep and read the story. it says that this is tied to one specific phone, and one only. not yours, not mine. so how can one get this data you might ask, it's called an IPSW file. it's the same files that beta testers install. it wouldn't work on our phones. so before some of you get definisive and claim I'm wrong, and I need to go to another platform go do some reading, and research. it won't kill the blind community to go and do some of that. some of you just act like doing some reading just kills you. just because tim cook says something, doesn't mean that it's the only side to this story.

Backup your source

You're telling us to "go do some research." Where exactly did you find the "story" you're talking about? With so much bias in the community of who's right or wrong on this issue, how do you explain privacy thieves such as google actually standing with their competitor and saying, don't do this? Back up what you say, give definite sources of information not just one link, maybe then I and the blindness community will believe a shred of your argument. Granted I'm already on life support, seeing as you suspect it will kill me, a member of the blindness community to research this. Because tim Cook says it, does not make it fact, yet he's simply standing by what he's said for more then a year, privacy is a right, meaning he's not changing his stance. I don't claim to believe only what he says, you are argumentative without a shred of proof. What proof am i asking for? Not just a Yahoo! news article, nor a Fx news article, but multiple sources that claim your elements of fact. If you can't put these into circulation on here, then i dismiss your account. We have a right to disagree, I just want actual fact as you are suggesting you have read. If you are unable to prove that, then therein lies the argument and our stances on each side of the fence.

IPSW Files and the master key

I think, in theory, that if you're smart enough, you can make an IPSW file work on any iPhone if you just do a bit of digging. I could be wrong, of course. In any case I still stand with apple.