OK, folks, this will be short and sweet. I’m probably totally uninformed about the technology involved, but I haven’t heard anyone explain it to me.
The FBI wants to get into the iPhone of one of the perpetrators of the San Bernardino massacre. Well, it wasn’t exactly HIS iPhone. The thing belonged to his employer, which was apparently San Bernardino County.
Anyway, it was HIS in the sense that he had it and used it, had access to its secrets, etc.
Apple says, No, you can’t have it, indeed WE can’t have it. Our customer’s information is tucked away in a secret place that only the owner (or user) of the phone can get at. The confidential information is buried behind a password. We, (Apple) don’t know the password. Only our customer knows the password.
And, says Apple, we protect out customers by providing that if someone tries ten wrong passwords, the whole device clams up, the hidden information is permanently deleted and lost forever. To everybody. Including Apple.
I have to ask myself why the FBI doesn’t just ask for a new password? They know the guy’s date of birth. They know his social security number. Why don’t they just click the button that says “FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD?”
I’m sure here is some logical explanation, known only to geeks. I can’t be the only person in America who has thought of this.
Having gotten this far into the electronic maze, I decided to bone up on the technology. So I went to a web site called http://arstechnica.com/ There, I found an article by one Peter Bright, who is obviously very bright. He’s the Technology Editor at Ars. He writes about Microsoft, programming and software development, Web technology, browsers and security.
I read his whole article, and danged if I can get anything out of it that disabuses me of the idea that all the FBI needs is a new password.
As someone who solicits new passwords every other day, I have to believe it is not rocket science. Oh, I suppose Apple will want to email the deceased a temporary code, but I should think the FBI has control of the man’s email, too.
Anyway, I am not ready to approve of Donald Trump’s off-the-cuff plea to the American people to boycott Apple until they come around. I should think the more responsible approach would be to let the courts do their work and come to a rational conclusion that protects national security without depriving the citizens of their constitutional protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Funny how the Donald makes everything about him.