Sunday, March 6

Threatening To Brick It -

Standoff: Apple vs FBI . . .

The FBI wants and needs Syed Farook's material from an Apple gadget he used before he died. The gadget is a mini-computer which includes a telephone function called an iPhone 5c.

These mini-computers known as smart phones often include other functions and applications such as calendars, cameras and photo galleries, alarm clocks, contact lists, music players or FM radios, space for notes or memos, etc.

I would like to explore this situation and advance the discourse on it here if it's still at all possible.

I think Apple should hoover up all of the material which was stored on that gadget after it was delivered in pristine virgin condition to the purchaser, a local government agency in California. Then, I suggest, Apple strip its proprietary computer code from the material.

Apple's special computer code is their intellectual property which we would not want to touch with a barge pole. The Apple system is the conveyance upon which the Farook material rides and should be separated from this material which the FBI needs.

Then, I suggest, the material could be reformatted into a long-established neutral computer code or markup script. The material on the calendar could be formatted into the simple basic calendar format or a database kind of arrangement. There is a similar basic format for contacts.

The rest of the material such as notes and memos could be formatted into Rich Text Format or some other neutral presentation. All of this Farook material can be ported over to a thumb drive and delivered to the FBI, according to Mr Comey's preference.

I would like to sidestep all this password guessing. My own passwords are often in Hebrew. It seems quite possible to me that Farook's passwords might be in Urdu or even in Arabic. I really believe it would be best for everyone to avoid this issue altogether.

I presume that Mr Farook's right to privacy expired along with him. It wasn't even his mobile phone; it was his employer's gadget. Thus, whatever Mr Farook left on the gadget constitute ordinary business records. Could there be clues to terrorists on there? Perhaps.

Meanwhile, I understand that Tim Cook has gone apocalyptic; viz: he is threatening to turn the phone under contention into a useless brick. If he does that to enough people at least some of them might be charmed into spending another $500 for another iPhone to replace their useless brick.

And when Tim Cook uses the word privacy, why does it seem like he really means secrecy? I don't understand why ordinary law-abiding citizens need so much secrecy on their telephones. I mostly just keep my grocery shopping lists on my smart phone. But since so many young people have been sending pix of their genitals lately, maybe there are widespread feelings of inadequacy in the population.

I hope this exploration and these suggestions encourage people to generate some more creative approaches to resolving this situation.

I am very unhappy that Apple seems to consider itself an autonomous nation state beyond the sovereignty of our government, since Civilization is currently under attack by a group of rogue cult organizations which seems to share Apple's illusion.

Let's try to emphasise more cooperative attitudes!

:: FBI Director James Comey
Comments on San Bernardino Matter

:: I am a former participant
in a Berkman Center group blog.