Geoff Lichy

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Category: Technology

Apple vs the FBI: the end?

Yesterday the FBI withdrew from their fight.

“The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that investigators were able to use a new technique to hack into an iPhone that was used by San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook. As a result, the government ‘no longer requires the assistance from Apple’ to break into the phone — and is dropping its efforts to compel Apple to crack its own iPhone encryption against its will.” (Mashable)

Edward Snowden sums it up:

https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/714580910448971776 (“Journalists: please remember that government argued for months that this was impossible, despite expert consensus.”)

The FBI’s entire argument was that they couldn’t break into the iPhone. They argued that Apple had to be forced to write unique code to open their own product. From what I saw, few experts believed the government.

The skeptics were right all along.

Your Kindle Needs You

Kindle users may need to update. The deadline is 22 March 2016.

Amazon is changing a few things – and certain models of Kindle could stop being 100% functional.

They’ve been sending out emails to Kindle owners. I already updated my Kindle and it was pretty easy. I just connected to my Wifi and the update was automatic. Depending on what model Kindle you own, this process may vary.

Business Insider and Snopes posted articles about this, in case there were doubts about authenticity. (Some people are skeptical.)

In case you can’t get the update for some reason, don’t panic! It can be done manually. For more details, see Amazon: www.amazon.com/ku2016

List of Kindles affected:

  • Kindle 1st Generation (2007)
  • Kindle 2nd Generation (2009)
  • Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009)
  • Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010)
  • Kindle 4th Generation (2011)
  • Kindle 5th Generation (2012)
  • Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011)
  • Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012)

The newer Kindles, like the Kindle Fire 10, are not impacted.

Apple versus the FBI: which side is right?

The truth is, no one really knows. It’s a complicated situation and every side has their points. I think an FBI victory could set a dangerous precedent that makes Americans less safe.

If you’re unfamiliar with what’s going on, here’s a basic explanation: A terrorist in San Bernardino had an iPhone and the FBI wants to break in. The FBI is demanding that Apple write a program that would allow the FBI access to the iPhone. For more details Sophos has a good article.

In this case, it’s unlikely the FBI will find anything of value. As admitted by the San Bernardino police chief. The shooters destroyed their personal phones beyond repair. The FBI wants to get into a work phone that was left behind. This brings up an important question. If the shooters were careful and disposed of relevant evidence, why would they leave any other evidence? I doubt they forgot about the work phone. Realistically, they didn’t bother to also destroy the work phone because it was irrelevant.

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