Cyberculture agenda: Now not only Apple but major tech giants vs. FBI

Forcing Apple to Write and Sign Code Undermining iPhone Security Violates First Amendment

Riverside, California—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and 46 technology industry experts, including inventors of modern cryptography, told a federal court today that forcing Apple to write and sign computer code disabling crucial iPhone security features that protect millions of users violates the company’s free speech rights.

Over the heated battle between Apple and the FBI over the laws and ethics surrounding unlocking the phone of the San Bernadino shooter, many companies have publicly come out in support of Tim Cook and his company’s desire to keep privacy secure at the device level.
Tech Giants Agree: The FBI’s Case Against Apple Is a Joke

Apple gets a little help from its frenemies. The post Tech Giants Agree: The FBI’s Case Against Apple Is a Joke appeared first on WIRED.

NSA Is Mysteriously Absent From FBI-Apple Fight

The Federal Bureau of Investigation insisted that it was helpless.

The bureau told a judge in February that Apple has the “exclusive technical means” to try to unlock the contents of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone — and that’s why it should be forced to do so.

iPhone unlock
Yesterday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent out a lukewarm tweetstorm that tentatively expressed support for Apple CEO Tim Cook’s open letter against the government’s desire to provide a backdoor into iPhones in case of terrorist attacks.

The FBI wants access to the encrypted data on an iphone owned by one of the the San Bernardino terrorists.  The FBI has already gotten access to the data this iphone uploaded to Apple’s cloud. However, the FBI thinks there is more data on the phone that wasn’t uploaded. Here’s a quick recap:

Apple, Americans, and Security vs. FBI

This week’s order by a federal magistrate judge requiring Apple to engineer new security flaws in its iPhone software operating system has prompted widespread and escalating controversy. Legitimate concerns about its implications have driven users around the country to raise their voices in defense of not only their privacy, but also the security of their online platforms threatened by the FBI’s demands.

Apple chief Tim Cook has refused to help the FBI disable the security features of an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernadino attackers. In an open letter he said he would defy a court order to cooperate with the intelligence service. Is Apple right to insist that its mobile phones must not be broken into?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has quietly developed a new way to measure its success in the war on terror: counting the number of terror threats it has “disrupted” in a year.

pirate-clash-fightAdult magazine publisher Perfect 10 has made a business out of suing online services for allegedly facilitating copyright infringement.


Amazon’s Kindle devices run a custom version of Android that, until today, supported full-disk encryption. Now they don’t. (more…)

EFF to Support Apple in Encryption Battle

We learned on Tuesday evening that a U.S. federal magistrate judge orderedApple to backdoor an iPhone that was used by one of the perpetrators of the San Bernardino shootings in December. Apple is fighting the order which would compromise the security of all its users around the world.

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders was willing to pick a side Thursday inthe heated battle between the FBI and Apple over the government’s demand that the company create new, less secure software to comply with a warrant.

The tech giant made headlines on Wednesday with its forceful response to a federal judge’s court order that it help the government break into an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers, Syed Farook.

Apple CEO Tim Cook at 2015 WWDC. REUTERS

“Apple is doing the right thing in challenging the federal court ruling requiring that it comply,” reads a New York Times editorial today on the battle of the backdoors brewing between the government and the iPhone’s maker.

Apple vs. the FBI

Apple is taking a stand. It’s a strong stand, and an inescapably political one. It’s standing up to the FBI, a federal district court judge, and, by extension, the United States government.


In 2005, a former AT&T engineer named Mark Klein walked into the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s offices and revealed that he had helped the phone company build a secret NSA surveillance outpost at the Folsom Street switching station, through which AT&T was helping the US government conduct mass, warrantless, domestic surveillance. (more…)

Danny Yadron in The Guardian today wrote a piece entitled “Why do normal people struggle with Twitter?” that, via a conversation with Mathieu, drove me to write this piece. For Yadron’s alludes to an issue that has not been afforded much attention during Twitter’s current woes – namely the very publicness of Twitter.

Bad Design
If you’ve been on the Web in the past decade, you’ll likely have visited Reddit, Craigslist, Wikipedia, 4Chan, Hacker News, or The Drudge Report at some point. While these sites are all vastly different, they have two things in common: they’re all extremely popular among their audiences and they all look, well, terrible. Web technologies have come so far in the past few years and designers now have a vast array of tools and techniques at their disposal. Yet these sites feature unflattering layouts that have no connection to the modern design philosophies seen around the Web today. Craigslist’s current
Google Voting patent
Google tests and abandons many ideas – but each project it takes the time to look at gives you some window into a future world where it’s running increasingly varied aspects of our lives. Now it’s looking at voting systems. A patent has been filed for a ‘Voter User Interface’ that can be embedded within search results and linked to the social media accounts of relevant “contestants.” The system, the document says, is intended to understand that the search is related to a particular campaign and serves up the relevant poll accordingly. The patent notes that the user will have been ‘authenticated,’ implying this…
Some big names in tech have formed an alliance to make the confusing Internet of Things (IoT) friendlier.
A New Infographic on TPP and Your Digital Rights

Anyone familiar with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may find that it can be challenging to explain to others, in simple terms, how it threatens our rights online and over our digital devices. We often begin by describing the secretive, corporate-captured process of the negotiations that ultimately led to the final deal, then go into some of the specific policies—including its ban on circumventing digital locks (aka Digital Rights Management or DRM), itscopyright term extensions that will lengthen restrictions on creative works by 20 years, and its inclusion of “investor-state” rules that could empower multinational corporations to undermine new user protections in the TPP countries.


Burning questions that you’re desperate for answers to, and their answers, courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. (more…)

According to a study by George Washington University, ISIS isn’t having much luck recruiting new members or spreading propaganda messages on Twitter these days. The report, released today, found fewer than 1,000 easily-accessible English-language accounts and that those accounts had a relatively limited reach, as user activity was limited to mostly interacting with each other. The findings have to be considered a huge win for the US, and Twitter, with the latter removing over 125,000 accounts since the middle of 2015, most of which were linked to the Islamic State. “Suspensions have a measurable effect in suppressing the activity of ISIS…
Twitter has released the latest update of it’s Transparency Report, showing the amount of copyright infringements, takedown requests and tweet removals the platform was called upon to enforce in the second half of 2015.

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