Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Derek Weeks, Mark Herring, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Mobile IoT, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Apple vs FBI - The Basics, Explained By @BobGourley | @CloudExpo #Cloud

An update on the ongoing battle between Apple and the U.S. government regarding Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone

#AppleVsFBI – #FBIVsApple – The Basics, Explained, with Links to Original Documents

This post provides an update on the ongoing battle between Apple and the  U.S. government regarding Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone, recovered by police after the horrific massacre in San Bernadino on December 2, 2015.

It is just days before the March 22, 2016, hearing in this long-running, highly publicized dispute between the FBI and Apple, with the FBI’s demands of Apple being variously termed “jailbreak,” put a backdoor into, brute force access, compromise security of, or any number of other descriptors, in the case officially known as In the Matter of the Search of an Apple iPhone Seized During the Execution of a Search Warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203. It is a good time, among all the massive press coverage and legal wrangling, to get back to some of the basics of the legal proceedings.

On February 9, 2016, FBI Director James Comey announced that the FBI was unable to unlock the iPhone and requests Apple to help. Apple concluded it could not help to the extent required to access the phone data. After attempting to resolve the matter out of court, Apple was ordered by U.S. Magistrate (Central District of California) Sheri Pym on Feb. 16 to assist the FBI in accessing Farook’s iPhone. On Feb. 25, Apple filed a motion to have the court vacate the order. Apple’s motion to vacate is supported by a who’s who of the security and tech law fields, in the form of amicus briefs filed last week by numerous influential individuals, companies and NGOs.

General overview of the law
Technology companies have obligations under (and subject to the conditions of) U.S. law to produce data related to criminal proceedings in their possession. However there are statutory obligations (known as the All Writs Act) that put limits on those obligations. Apple argues in its motion, as do the many tech and public interest companies that have filed friends of the court briefs in this case, that the FBI is exceeding the statutory limits in its request of Apple to help the FBI provide access to the potentially relevant data that may be stored on the SB killer’s phone.

In essence, Apple and friends argue, the government’s demands in this case exceed the intent of the All Writs Act.  Apple and its supporters also contend that the government’s request violate the constitutional rights of Apple. Which specific constitutional rights are asserted to be violated differs somewhat among the briefs, and there hasn’t been time to review and inventory the arguments of all briefs.

Below is an outline of the law under which the Government has obtained an order to compel Apple to “unlock” Farook’s iPhone, and Apple’s defense to that Order.

The order

All Writs Act
The order at issue in this case was made pursuant to the All Writs Act, § 28 U.S.C. 1651 (“AWA”). The AWA says that a court may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.” Basically this law has great latitude in its application, and thus has the potential for abuse. That is, it has vast potential to be used to issue writs (orders) that are not “appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdiction” or “agreeable to the usages and principles of law.”

As pointed out in the amicus brief of 32 Law Professors (in support of Apple), “the AWA tasked the federal courts with a role that was “somewhat constrained.” This provision should not be construed so broadly as to essentially endow courts with legislative authority.  Nor should it be used to give the district court a roving commission” to enlist third parties into law enforcement.” This professors’ amicus brief (as well as Apple’s and many others, argue that overreaching is what the court would do if it does not vacate the order.

Specific demands of the Order
The court’s order requires Apple to perform a very specific and extensive set of tasks. By way of example, the first two parts of those orders are the following:

  1. Apple shall assist in enabling the search of a cellular telephone, Apple make: iPhone 5C, Model: A1532, on the Verizon Network, (the “SUBJECT DEVICE) pursuant to a warrant of this Court by providing reasonable technical assistance to assist law enforcement agents in obtaining access to the data on the SUBJECT DEVICE.
  1. Apple's reasonable technical assistance shall accomplish the following three important functions: (1) it will bypass or disable the auto-erase function whether or not it has been enabled; (2) it will enable the FBI to submit passcodes to the SUBJECT DEVICE for testing electronically via the physical device port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or other protocol available on the SUBJECT and (3) it will ensure that when the FBI submits passcodes to the SUBJECT DEVICE, software running on the device will not purposefully introduce any additional delay between passcode attempts beyond what is incurred by Apple hardware.

Those first two specific orders—and the remaining five—go beyond mere technical assistance. The court order is in essence a work order requiring Apple to perform specific deliverables.

Motion to Vacate and supporting arguments of Apple and Amici
In its Motion to Vacate, Apple objects to these directives because it believes them to be unreasonable (and thus outside the court’s powers under AWA) and because no other views on “reasonableness” (in particular, Apple’s) were considered by the court in making its “reasonableness” determination. Apple begins with arguing that “[T]he software envisioned by the government simply does not exist today.”

The Table of Contents of Apple’s motion to vacate goes on to very clearly outline Apple’s argument why the order should be vacated. That is, the Motion to Vacate explains in great detail why Apple believes the order requires Apple to provide unreasonable assistance and thus, runs afoul of the AWA. In addition to exceeding the scope of the AWA, the order if not vacated would, Apple further argues, violate Apple’s constitutional rights to free speech and due process.

Apple’s Motion to Vacate the order compelling it to assist the FBI makes the following arguments. In crafting its Motion to Vacate, Apple’s own words are clearer than any third pary (such as mine) summation.

  1. The All Writs Act Does Not Provide A Basis To Conscript Apple To Create Software Enabling The Government To Hack Into iPhones. [because]
    1. The All Writs Act Does Not Grant Authority To Compel Assistance Where Congress Has Considered But Chosen Not To Confer Such Authority
    2. The All Writs Act Does Not Authorize Courts To Compel The Unprecedented And Unreasonably Burdensome Conscription Of Apple That The Government Seeks
      1. Apple’s Connection To The Underlying Case Is “Far Removed” And Too Attenuated To Compel Its Assistance
      2. The Order Requested By The Government Would Impose An Unprecedented And Oppressive Burden On Apple And Citizens Who Use The iPhone
      3. The Government Has Not Demonstrated Apple’s Assistance Was Necessary To Effectuating The Warrant.
    3. Other Cases The Government Cites Do Not Support The Type Of Compelled Action Sought Here.
  2. The Order Would Violate The First Amendment And The Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause
    1. The First Amendment Prohibits The Government From Compelling Apple To Create Code
    2. The Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause Prohibits The Government From Compelling Apple To Create The Request Code

That, in essence, is the core of In the Matter of the Search of an Apple iPhone Seized During the Execution of a Search Warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203.

Of course many other issues are raised in the amicus filings, and ther are additional related filings that have occurred that are relevant to this matter, such as ongoing proceedings in a similar case in Brooklyn, New York, and a recently-released report of the Congressional Research Service that covers the California proceeding (as well as analgous actions if an individual owner of the data/phone is being compelled to provide law enforcement.  I summarize that report here.  There is no paucity of widely available information about this case on the Internet. When in doubt about, it is best to stick to the original documents such as those I have linked in this article.

Apple’s request to vacate the order will be heard on March 22, 2016.

The following are the Amicus Briefs in Support of Apple

  • 32 Law Professors
  • Access Now and Wickr Foundation
  • ACT/The App Association
  • Airbnb, Atlassian, Automattic, CloudFlare, eBay, GitHub, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Mapbox, Medium, Meetup, Reddit, Square, Squarespace, Twilio, Twitter and Wickr
  • Amazon, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nest, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Yahoo
  • American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Northern California, ACLU of Southern California, and ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties
  • AT&T
  • AVG Technologies, Data Foundry, Golden Frog, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the Internet Association, and the Internet Infrastructure Coalition
  • BSA,The Software Alliance, the Consumer Technology Association, the Information Technology Industry Council, and TechNet
  • Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation and 46 technologists, researchers, and cryptographers
  • Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and eight consumer privacy organizations
  • Intel
  • iPhone security and applied cryptography experts including Dino Dai Zovi, Dan Boneh (Stanford), Charlie Miller, Dr. Hovav Shacham (UC San Diego), Bruce Schneier (Harvard), Dan Wallach (Rice) and Jonathan Zdziarski
  • Lavabit
  • The Media Institute
  • Privacy International and Human Rights Watch

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vivint to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. As a leading smart home technology provider, Vivint offers home security, energy management, home automation, local cloud storage, and high-speed Internet solutions to more than one million customers throughout the United States and Canada. The end result is a smart home solution that sav...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Opsani is the leading provider of deployment automation systems for running and scaling traditional enterprise applications on container infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nirmata will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nirmata provides a comprehensive platform, for deploying, operating, and optimizing containerized applications across clouds, powered by Kubernetes. Nirmata empowers enterprise DevOps teams by fully automating the complex operations and management of application containers and its underlying ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. Opsani is creating the next generation of automated continuous deployment tools designed specifically for containers. How is continuous deployment different from continuous integration and continuous delivery? CI/CD tools provide build and test. Continuous Deployment is the means by which...