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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > NYPD counter-terrorism chief: Apple aiding criminals with encryption

NYPD counter-terrorism chief: Apple aiding criminals with encryption
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Mar 7, 2016, 11:31 AM
 
The ongoing debate between the US government, law enforcement, and Apple over encryption has brought another public figure into the fight. NYPD counter-terrorism chief John Miller has warned Apple's decision to prevent law enforcement from being able to access data on a smartphone is actively helping criminals by designing a system that "made [Apple] not able to aid the police" in their investigations into crimes.

Speaking on The Cats Roundtable and reported by the NY Daily News, Miller openly complained about Apple's policies regarding device security. "You are actually providing aid to the kidnappers, robbers, and murderers who have actually been recorded on the telephones in Riker's Island telling their compatriots on the outside 'You gotta get iOS 8. It is a gift from God' – and that's a quote – 'because the cops can't crack it."

Aside from the San Bernardino iPhone situation, Miller notes Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance has "175 iPhones stacked in his office that are subject to search warrants, issued by judges, involved in crimes," that have similar encryption issues. "Behind every search warrant there's a crime, behind every crime is a victim." Miller's comment echoes that of FBI director James Comey during the recent testimony before a congressional committee on the matter, noting district attorneys have large collections of iPhones they could use in investigations, but cannot.

Previously, Vance warned the press "If you're a criminal and you know the information is backed up automatically on the cloud, you're going to turn off the backup device. This has become the wild west in technology. Apple and Google are their own sheriffs. There are no rules." At the same press conference as Vance's statement, police commissioner Bill Bratton commented "There was once such a thing called corporate responsibility. Now, it's corporate irresponsibility."
     
DrSkywalker
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Mar 7, 2016, 12:23 PM
 
My question would be - what did the police do before there was encrypted data on phones? They had to identify a suspect, monitor their activities, and go through a due process to get things like wire taps and other surveillance happening. I don't believe that there is anything in this debate impeding them from doing police work. Are they looking for companies like Apple to do their jobs for them?
     
OldMacGeek
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Mar 7, 2016, 12:40 PM
 
Well, the police's outright refusal (or incompetence) at catching the criminals in the act of committing the crime is providing them MUCH more help than Apple is.
     
prl99
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Mar 7, 2016, 02:10 PM
 
"There was once such a thing called corporate responsibility. Now, it's corporate irresponsibility." Since when have corporations been responsible? What rock did he just crawl from under? Corporations have rarely been responsible. They have treated employees improperly, cheated on their taxes, produced millions of tons of waste products and dumped them in places where it's killed people, and a host of other irresponsible acts. Apple is actually acting responsibly by protecting these citizens from government overreach and hackers. I thought some people in New York actually were intelligent but after the comments in this article, I see I was wrong.
     
chimaera
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Mar 7, 2016, 03:17 PM
 
Behind every search warrant there's a crime, behind every crime is a victim.
I might believe this if they didn't prosecute victimless crimes (vice crimes). Actually, I'm not sure there's a crime behind every warrant either. Mistakes happen. Unlike Chief Miller, I've made a few job-related mistakes in my lifetime.

The police groups feel public rights just obstruct what they want to do. Oh wait, that's what the criminals feel. It's the police who vow to protect the public's rights ... or was it the criminals who vowed to protect our rights? I'm getting confused here, who is protecting our privacy rights? Could it be Apple?
     
jimoase
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Mar 7, 2016, 04:05 PM
 
Search warrants are to protect those doing the search from prosecution if they have complied witht he condititon of the search.

For a judge's directions that force a private company, not convicted of a crime, to perform certain actions or face criminal penalties the judge would have to have the power to nationalize the private company. No level of government was granted that power by We the People. Therefore where does a judge get that power?
     
MitchIves
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Mar 7, 2016, 04:26 PM
 
Mr. Miller is the scariest person I've had to read in a very long time. Maybe a total "police state" would make his job easier?
     
WalterC
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Mar 7, 2016, 04:44 PM
 
There are those in 'leadership roles' who really want a mind-probe that can, by search warrant course, be inserted in to the miscreant's brain to allow a thorough indexing of thoughts and ambitions.
     
Flying Meat
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Mar 7, 2016, 06:09 PM
 
"...who have actually been recorded on the telephones in Riker's Island telling their compatriots on the outside 'You gotta get iOS 8. It is a gift from God' – and that's a quote – 'because the cops can't crack it."

Wholly COW! How did they get that information without defeating the encryption?!! :/
     
nowwhatareyoulookingat
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Mar 9, 2016, 04:19 AM
 
What they are saying is, in the same way that GM is helping people rob banks by not installing live tracking devices on all GM vehicles, including used vehicles, Apple is helping criminals get away with crimes.

Or the way judges throw out illegally obtained evidence from crimes. This also helps criminals get away with crimes. And why the hell can criminals just refuse to incriminate themselves?
     
   
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