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FBI director insists Apple request was not to set a precedent
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Mar 24, 2016, 04:06 PM
 
The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is continuing to insist that the pressure applied to Apple through the courts over encryption has nothing to do with setting a precedent, one that could allow law enforcement to effectively break a device's encryption when needed. In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, Director James Comey claims the request and subsequent legal wrangling was solely to complete the San Bernardino investigation.

In the letter about an editorial published in the Journal on Tuesday, one that suggests the Department of Justice may have lied in order to get the case into court, Comey writes "You are simply wrong to assert that the FBI and the Justice Department lied about our ability to access the San Bernardino killer's phone." Comey goes on to seemingly suggest it was more an attempt to try and get assistance from outside the bureau to sort the problem.

"It stimulated creative people around the world to see what they might be able to do. And I'm not embarrassed to admit that all technical creativity does not reside in government. Lots of folks came to us with ideas. It looks like one of those ideas may work and that is a very good thing, because the San Bernardino case was not about trying to send a message or set a precedent; it was and is about fully investigating a terrorist attack."

Comey's insistence that it is just for the San Bernardino case is somewhat consistent with his testimony in front of a House Judiciary Committee, at the time claiming it was not about the FBI, Apple, or Congress. "Nothing more than doing a competent investigation in a criminal case." When asked if the FBI would then return to the court for more assistance in future investigations if a precedent is set in the current case, Comey admitted the FBI would be open to taking that course of action.

Since that committee meeting, many prominent companies and individuals have sided with Apple and the need to keep device encryption secure, even from the FBI. The bureau has also seemingly given up on going through Apple to get into the device, with reports suggesting it is working with Cellebrite to try and extract data from the iPhone 5c at the center of the debate.
     
sunman42
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Mar 24, 2016, 04:45 PM
 
A statement of this seriousness and gravity should be responded to in kind. Liar, Liar, pants on fire.
     
Flying Meat
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Mar 24, 2016, 04:46 PM
 
LOL! Riiiight.
If you can't trust the government to tell you the truth, who... Oh wait.

"Comey goes on to seemingly suggest it was more an attempt to try and get assistance from outside the bureau to sort the problem."
So rather than use the US intelligence communities resources, as one might well do (as I'm sure he's heard of the very reason DHS was SUPPOSED to exist), you leapt to the tactic of force, to compel a private company to weaken security on it's products.

"Nothing more than doing a competent investigation in a criminal case." Seems they got off to a bad start in that regard, and continued that trend. Competence? Not so much. :/
     
chimaera
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Mar 24, 2016, 05:56 PM
 
And I thought government types didn't have a sense of humor. With Comey telling more whoppers, what do I know.

Lying to Congress is a felony*. Government employees lying to the public should at least be a misdemeanor, and go on their permanent record.

* only applied to regular people.
     
Makosuke
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Mar 24, 2016, 06:31 PM
 
So the FBI suddenly became aware that Cellebrite was able to do this after weeks of public media posturing and decided to use them instead of forcing Apple to do it.

And it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that with the entire technology industry and every major civil liberties organization up to and including the UN filing public briefs against them and it looked like they were going to lose and blow the chance at setting precedent even when it seemed like a lock thanks to the "terrorism" card.

A precedent they said they weren't trying to set, but Comey admitted they were going to use once it was set.

Right. I'm sure Comey is being totally honest here, just like the FBI was being honest about that "latent cyber pathogen" claim that vanished, or any of the other misdirections, distortions, or outright lies they resorted to.

Also, I'm sure that some private security company can do a better job hacking this phone than the NSA. It has nothing to do with the fact that if you admit you're only going to the NSA weeks later and they knew how to do it all along, it proves your stated reason for the entire court case was a lie.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Mar 24, 2016, 07:24 PM
 
I don't think we're done.
     
ruurd
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Mar 24, 2016, 07:31 PM
 
To think that such a double tongued snake is part of a government that has the gall to tell us that the FBI and DOJ are best equipped to protect the best interest of the people... What a blatantly unpredictable opportunist is this person. You know how that proverb goes: fish starts to rot at the head.
     
zehspoon1
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Mar 25, 2016, 08:20 AM
 
Great replies above. I will stick with the simple reply.

Male Bovine Excrement
     
   
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