It’s not about 1 person. It’s not about 1 phone. It’s about the government being able to snoop on all people, on all phones, on all devices, on your TV, PC, even your HVAC and car. The government wants a skeleton key to unlock whatever it wants whenever it wants. This is dangerous in the extreme.
While the All Writs Act is not used every day, the act has been successfully invoked by the government to compel telephone companies to install wiretaps, for phone companies to hand over call records, and to obtain CCTV footage, handwriting exemplars, and DNA samples. It has even been cited to force a defendant to cough up his computer password.
What’s more, it has played a part in copyright piracy cases. In a forthcoming law journal article,Annemarie Bridy, a law professor at the University of Idaho, writes that “some courts granting broad preliminary orders against non-parties in ‘pirate site’ cases have cited the All Writs Act as a source of authority.”
The All Writs Act was originally part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the Supreme Court, the lower courts, and spelled out the basic powers of the judicial branch of government. In 1990, former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor described the Judiciary Act as “probably the most important and most satisfactory Act ever passed by Congress.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook declared on Wednesday that his company wouldn’t comply with a government search warrant to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardinokillers, a significant escalation in a long-running debate between technology companies and the government over access to people’s electronically-stored private information.
But in a similar case in New York last year, Apple acknowledged that it could extract such data if it wanted to. And according to prosecutors in that case, Apple has unlocked phones for authorities at least 70 times since 2008. (Apple doesn’t dispute this figure.)
“This move by the FBI could snowball around the world. Why in the world would our government want to give repressive regimes in Russia and China a blueprint for forcing American companies to create a backdoor?” Wyden told the Guardian.
“Companies should comply with warrants to the extent they are able to do so, but no company should be forced to deliberately weaken its products. In the long run, the real losers will be Americans’ online safety and security.”
“February 16, 2016 A Message to Our Customers The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand. This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around…
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden hailed Apple for refusing to comply with a federal court order to unlock the iPhone used by one of the killers in the San Bernardino mass shooting.
“Good political leadership and digital innovation explain the Baltic success story.”
If we are going to continue to preserve our right to free speech in the electronic age, then we need to use tools like encryption,” says Ladar Levison, founder of the Lavabit, the encrypted email service used by Edward Snowden prior to the NSA leaks.
Cancer rates are down in America. Lifespans are up all over. Food is more abundant. Poverty is in decline. Critical to this progress is technology. Ronald Bailey discusses how and why to keep that ingenuity coming in his new book, The End of Doom.
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SpaceX plans a third attempt today to launch a space weather satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Liftoff of a Falcon 9 with the $340 million Deep Space Climate Observatory mission is scheduled for an instantaneous window at 6:03 p.m. The forecast is excellent, with less than a 10 percent chance of weather violating…
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Free-enterprise capitalism should be the only kind of capitalism, but manipulation of markets through state power leads to the corruption of markets. New tech, unavailable even ten years ago, levels a slanted playing field: Yelp and Uber wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the smartphone, which helps consumers stay informed anytime, anywhere, tipping the balance…