Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently launched its much-awaited iPhone 6 duo, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with an advanced encryption mechanism that even government and state-sponsored hackers can’t break. However, on the flip side the security agencies cursing as it will become an effective tool for criminals and terrorists to go under the radar.

Apple promised not to keep any data or keys that can unlock the user’s device, and has claimed that even the company itself cannot decrypt it. Whereas, Speaking at a news conference FBI Director James Comey showed his concern about the company’s encryption techniques. He effectively criticized the encryption as it takes “more than five-and-a-half years to try all combinations of a six-character alphanumeric passcode with lowercase letters and numbers,” as Comey said.

Comey said that there are times when people come to them and ask ‘Why you cannot do it,’ Apple’s latest encryption mechanism adds a lot to it by making it impossible to decrypt. There can be a number of cases that includes seizing the device to extract evidence, and encryption techniques like these can effect the process to a significant level.

“There will come a day — well, it comes every day in this business — when it will matter a great, great deal to the lives of people of all kinds that we be able to, with judicial authorization, gain access to a kidnapper’s or a terrorist’s or a criminal’s device,” Comey said Thursday. “I’d hate to have people look at me and say, ‘Well, how come you can’t save this kid?’ ”

However, on the other hand, spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said, “It does make it challenging. But we’re not in the business of dictating policy for private companies, Although it could impact investigations; there are other ways to obtain information.”

Apple latest mechanism to encrypt the device will help a lot to protect its users from prying eyes of spying agencies, whereas on the other hand it comes handy for criminals and other anti-social people to go undetected.

About The Author

Abby is fun loving yet serious professional, born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD. She has a great passion for journalism, her family includes her husband, two kids, two dogs and herself. She has pursued her Mass Communication graduation degree from the Augustana College. She is currently employed at TheWestsideStory.net, an online news media company located in Sioux Falls, SD.

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57 Responses

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    Reply
  2. Frankenstu

    You can’t possibly think this is going to be any kind of a problem for the NSA to crack in about 3 seconds.

    It’s not new, just automatcaly turned on. They’ve had years to work on it.

    Anyway they don’t want your password. They want the encryption algorithm to hack any phone.

    Reply
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  6. Duh

    awww they throwing out the criminal and terrorist card cause now they cant perv peoples info, poor government, who is watching you?

    Reply
  7. John

    First of all unless Apple releases the source code of its encryption software for public inspection, you can only take their word for it that this software actually does what they say it does. Apple still denies participating in PRISM, despite the fact that the NSA’s secret documents clearly implicate them. But what else are they going to do but deny it? Not only would it be bad for their public image to say anything else, it would probably be illegal. The ONLY way to know that there is not a back door in a program that the author is legally or otherwise obliged not to tell you about is to be able to look at the source code, period. That they apparently think that we should take their word on this in a world where the government in the country where they’re headquartered has been caught forcing tech companies to do what they want and legally barring them from telling anyone about it is crazy. This is just another case of Apple trying to cash in on ignorance by making claims that they think their customers are too stupid to really analyse.

    Secondly, the idea that people can do bad things in private is a significant downside to allowing people to have control over their own privacy is completely ridiculous. This is obvious if you make the same argument about the physical world, rather than the digital one: By not allowing the police to install security cameras in every room of every house, we’re all making it easier to plan and commit crimes in private homes! Think of the horrible, violent, scary crimes that could be planned in the privacy of a residential home! Consider that we could prevent them by allowing police to watch and listen to everything that goes on in everyone’s home! Obviously, it would be much harder to scare people into thinking that something like that might be a good idea, but the two ideas are only really different in that one involves personal computers and one does not. Having your computer activity spied on reveals far more about you than being physically watched ever could, though. If you think being watched is creepier than having your computer activity spied on, it’s only because you haven’t fully considered or do not understand just how much your computer activity reveals about you.

    Reply
  8. jjmfe

    I don’t doubt that spying and data collection are an important part of homeland security, the point is, we citizens don’t just “roll-over” and hand them our phones, computers and gps devices and say, “have at it.” We resist, and they work to get back in, and we resist some more.. Sept 11’s events, or even Pearl Harbor, are evidences that even knowing things in advance doesn’t eliminate the need to correctly parse the information we can acquire. It is a “push-pull” relationship. The boundaries are fixed by law… Privacy should be an inviolable right, but the need to catch the bad guys means law enforcement should be pushing the boundaries, and then proving by law, in court that the need and the evidence were there and the risk sufficiently compelling, to validate the intrusion. Than we “spank their hands” hard, if they can’t prove compelling need to violate those privacy rights. You never never give business, or law enforcement a “blank check.”

    Reply
  9. cmmnsns

    Privacy for law abiding citizens should not come at the expense of convenience for law enforcement agencies. Sorry FBI, but our rights trump yours!

    Reply
  10. Fluggermcbuttertits

    Just saying, hackers can do anything they want. some are more skilled than others. The encryption will be cracked by the NSA.

    Reply
  11. Bob Lee

    And the News Headline tomorrow will read, “NSA Does Not Need To Break Encryption, They Found a Backdoor.” Probably a cheap China part specifically created to send your key directly to the NSA.

    Reply
  12. Rick FromTexas

    For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The NSA and all of the other agencies here and around the world made it necessary for Apple and Google to encrypt data.

    So now we enter the next phase, where the very same agencies race to break the encryption. Lather, rinse, repeat. It never ends.

    Reply
    • ajl7579

      Well, if it ever comes to life, quantum computing is the next big step. I’m sure the NSA will make good use of it if it does.

      Reply
      • All American-Equal-O-Basher

        Why not “Distributed Computing”..the power of exponential.

    • Oathbreakers

      What makes you think that this has been some kind of epic
      struggle over the years between the NSA and Apple/Google? I’m curious,
      seeing as the NSA can use FISA courts to essentially turn any company
      into their sock puppet, and all the evidence indicates that Google and Apple were complicit with PRISM. Google even played along with the whole “surprised” routine when it was “discovered” that the NSA was intercepting traffic between their data centers, when they already knew the NSA had root certs with the ability to split all internet traffic at major backbone points via the telecoms that Pelosi gave retroactive immunity to earlier in the Patriot Act. Pelosi, now there’s a real American hero. So, enlighten me…
      What a joke. It’s not even remotely close to the form of Government imagined by our founders. Can you imagine a bigger waste of resources at the expense of our liberty and freedom? Imagine what would happen if those funds were poured into R&D in the sciences? What if those monies were used to fund cancer research grants or was used to fund a re-write of our tax code? What if we used those funds to research thorium or pebble bed reactors, or to build a national electric refueling infrastructure? How about to rebuild our power grid?

      And these people swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, yet they blow through all of our tax dollars so they can spy on us without warrants? They are literally all a bunch of oathbreakers. Traitors. It’s not a stretch to call them traitors. They should be jailed.

      Reply
      • Bob in Amherst NH

        100% agree. There are hundreds of federal agencies that aren’t authorized by the Enumerated Powers clause of the Constitution and they should all be abolished, but the NSA, whose primary purpose is domestic spying, should have all of its high level officials imprisoned for violating their oaths to uphold and protect the Constitution. And don’t tell me that we need them to protect us against some imaginary “terrorists”. You know what stops a guy with a box cutter from taking over a plane? An armed pilot, flight attendant, or even armed passengers with special frangible ammunition that can’t penetrate aircraft skins. Your best protection is yourself and your fellow citizens – when the government does it they create more problems then they solve – we wouldn’t even HAVE people using terrorist tactics against our country if we hadn’t invaded multiple countries in the Middle East. (terrorism is a tactic, not a people – there are no “terrorists)

  13. All American-Equal-O-Basher

    NSA has done the maximum harm to the AMERICAN CITIZEN by proving that they are the least TRUSTED Government “Big-Brother” who, have consistently proven that they always are trying to Cover their A*** after the fact, they were caught “Red Handed” spying on the AMERICAN CITIZENS, by intimidation, coercion and plain and simple LYING. Why would anybody in our country believe one word coming out of the bozos., they sleep with companies like Time Warner,Verizon Wireless,AT&T,Sprint,Google,FaceBook,LinkedIn you name it they are there…I think AMERICAN PEOPLE have birthright to be left alone, and if they break any PRIVACY Laws, they need to be brought to justice in the full extent of the law.

    Reply
  14. jjmfe

    The reality is that we cannot trust public or law enforcement agencies or even business entities to have good judgment in deciding when to get into our private lives. It’s an issue of compromised trust, and we need to work to protect privacy… None of us are private in this posting… each of us by our ID, our ISP, and sifting all our other web posts using this ID are discoverable. We need privacy, a safe place.. This only scratches the surface of need. … and yes, I’m sure NSA can crack this too.

    Reply
  15. microrex21

    Some how I get the feeling that this story is B/S. I would bet that the new phone has a direct link to the NSA and this story is a plant for them.

    Reply
    • bsarticle

      I hear the iPhone 7 will actually have it’s data hosted in the NSA Utah data center. Apple figured, why pay for storage capacity when the US taxpayer has us covered?

      Wait… does this mean our shitty government is actually using our tax dollars to pay for better internet access?

      Now I’m confused…

      Reply
  16. Bob Obvious

    Good way to get people to use a device that you can easily get past the encryption, act like it is really good. Clever girl.

    Reply
  17. Al Prazolam

    If the ‘gubmint had not abused the practice of obtaining court orders to begin with, Apple would not feel compelled to secure this level of encryption. It is the government’s fault plain and simple. And I am tired about reading the reason tptb want the key is to save children from kidnappers or stop a terrorist attack on a plane. We all know it will be used to prosecute low level drug crimes and other miniscule offenses that are in no way worth trampling the 4th amendment.

    Reply
    • Diogenes65

      I’d like to see them go after people who post in caps, but that’s just me.

      Reply
  18. Baxter Ross

    The NSA has done more harm to America and the American people than all of “the terrorists” combined

    Reply
    • Michael Rich

      Because spying is just as bad as bombs going off and suicide bombers in 747’s!

      Reply
      • Chad Leach

        Which only came at us because we had been occupying their land and waging wars that need not be faught. The nsa and the government as a whole have proved themselves to be unfit to hold unrestricted access to individual’s personal property.

      • Baxter Ross

        15 years went by between the Lockerbie bombing and the founding of the NSA, without a repeat attack. Furthermore the attack was sponsored by a government which no longer exists against a flight which did not originate on US soil.
        A 26 year old threat doesn’t justify the violation of civil liberties today.

      • Diogenes65

        Try again. NSA was founded in 1952. The PanAm 103 bombing was in 1988. It was sponsored by the Libyan government. True, it didn’t originate on US soil. What is the significanec of that? Does that give them a free pass? It was a flight from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York. Any “violation of civil liberties” is incidental to NSA legitimate intelligence collection activities. The Courts have generally upheld NSA in these cases. The privacy handwringers haven’t had much luck going after NSA in the courts. If you’re worried about your precious privacy, stay off the web.

      • Daniel Freeman

        All that the shoe bomber accomplished was to give Big Brother an excuse to look in our shoes. All that the underwear bomber accomplished was…

      • Michael Rich

        Because a shoe bomb took two towers down.

    • Diogenes65

      Yada, yada, yada… NSA is about the only federal agency where this taxpayer gets his money’s worth.

      Reply
      • Diogenes65

        Did you really need 3 days to come up with that response? Why don’t you take the rest of the week and try again Friday?

  19. mzungu

    Apple didn’t exactly said that the government or the NSA don’t have the keys, and can’t crack it, it just said the company don’t keep it.

    Reply
  20. piscesmike

    Don’t believe it for a minute. Well, maybe a minute. There is nothing that CANT be hacked/cracked given the right tools and enough time.

    Reply
    • tatum635

      yeah they said 5 years is how long it would take with lowercase letters and numbers.

      Reply
      • Chad Leach

        I get a feeling they are exaggerating quite a bit, not unheard of by this lot I might add.

      • piscesmike

        Thats assuming a straight brute force attack, and the correct password being the very last one they tried. Most people won’t pick a password that’s something like zZZzzz, so using a dictionary attack, you can cut that time dramatically. Given the passkey attributes (26 uppercase letters, 26 lowercase letters, and 10 digits) the number of possible passwords come out to 56800235584, so if they did have to try all of those, yeah it could take a while. Since most people use the same password on multiple sites though, they have the ability to get the info from other sources and try variations on it. So, in the long run, I can’t really see it taking more than 6 months to a year. They’re just upset they actually have to work on it now instead of being able to suck up everyones donkey porn habits.

  21. aeather

    I’m honestly not complaining. I say, go Apple. People have been giving them shit for bendgate and stuff but I’m really thinking of getting an iPhone 6. Fuck the NSA

    Reply
    • mzungu

      Might want to read the fine lines. The claim made by Apple does not precludes that there is already an backdoor to access your data that bypass your encryption key. The apple claim also does not prcludes law enforcement access to those data if they have possseing of the phone.

      Reply
  22. mzungu

    There is a secret FISA court order coming Apple’s way, if it wasn’t there already.

    Reply
    • crescentfang

      Perhaps, but the next generation of cell phones will have to have this feature even if that means they can’t be made in the US. If the government was wiling to comply with the Constitution, they wouldn’t have this problem. Sooner or later, big brother is going to get defunded. Secret police exist to protect tyrants, not the public, and most people know that.

      Reply
      • mzungu

        The Android and the Apple OS is made in the US, most of those chips inside the phone is made or design in the USA. So, don’t hold your breath …as long as there is FISA court, don’t expect privacy.

      • crescentfang

        The processors in most portable devices are based on designs by ARM holdings plc. That is a British company. The NSA is finding it harder to get away with things because everyone suspects them and any company that is subject to American laws.

        The problem with having secret courts and secret laws is that everyone understands that your government is engaged in a criminal enterprise. Courts exist to determine the truth. A court designed to conceal the truth has no legitimacy.

      • mzungu

        British have similar secret courts and their NSA equivalents as well…..

        I don’t think you need to access the ARM processor specifically to hack your phone. I would imagine you can do it with any other number of US made/design chips in the phone. Backdooors can also be build into in the software as well, and Andriod and iOS is done here in the US…. So, unless there is another OS in the future from a trusted source, expect no true privacy.

      • Diogenes65

        ” If the government was wiling to comply with the Constitution…”?? What has the government done that was held unconstitutional?

      • crescentfang

        Searching without a warrant, issued by a judge and specifying the place to be searched and the things or persons to be seized.

        I seriously doubt that the FISA “court” would have been considered a court by the founders either. The accusations against the King of England in the Declaration of Independence include things like transporting prisoners elsewhere to get a more favorable jury. They don’t include many of the things authorized by the “Patriot” Act because the King would have lost his head if he had tried any of them.

      • Diogenes65

        What qualifies you to tell anyone what the founders would have thought?

      • Bob in Amherst NH

        Go read the Federalist papers or the ratification debates for the constitution. There is no doubt that the founders would have considered the contents of a person’s cell phone as “papers and affects” and they would be protected from the Government.

    • Joseph Blosch

      Indeed, the NSA made it mandatory. People cannot trust the NSA. They must be stopped.

      Reply

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