Monday, March 14, 2016

My View of the Apple Encryption Controversy

Posted more than two years ago.

An earlier version.

And a still earlier one.


At 1:04 PM, March 14, 2016, Blogger Roger said...

The current Apple dispute has very little to do with strong encryption and privacy. Apple has engineered a backdoor into its phone, and it refuses to allow the customer to release info about terrorist contacts.

At 1:53 PM, March 14, 2016, Anonymous Matthew Munoz said...


It'd be more accurate to say that the FBI wants to compel Apple engineers to create such a backdoor, in the form of a new operating system.

But I guess you could still argue it's not about strong encryption since if the FBI thinks Apple can do it, the encryption can't be too strong.

At 6:01 AM, March 15, 2016, Blogger Roger said...

Saying "new operating system" is an exaggeration. Apple has already built in the ability to update the OS with a signature that limits the update to one phone only. The FBI just wants an update, specific to one phone, that disables a couple of security features. In particular, it wants no artificial delay for repeated PIN guesses. Apple just has to change a couple of lines and recompile.

At 10:33 AM, March 15, 2016, Anonymous Matthew Munoz said...

That's true, I didn't mean to imply Apple would be rewriting everything from scratch. But I also wouldn't describe the ability to remove a security feature by excising it from the code as a "backdoor" that Apple engineered.

But again, you're right about the encryption. If it can be bruteforced it's not being protected by "the laws of mathematics", as I think Prof. Friedman put it in one of his books.


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