NYT: ‘Apple Letter on iPhone Security Draws Muted Tech Industry Response’

Nick Wingfield and Mike Isaac, writing for the NYT:

The range of reactions highlights the complicated set of factors influencing tech companies’ responses to government demands for customer data in the era after revelations by Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor, of widespread government surveillance. Some companies may be keeping their heads low to avoid becoming targets during the raucous presidential campaign, while others may fear that being too vocal will jeopardize government sales and relationships with law enforcement, privacy experts said.

“The issue is of monumental importance, not only to the government and Apple but to the other technology giants as well,” said Tom Rubin, a former attorney for Microsoft and the United States Department of Justice, who is now a law lecturer at Harvard University. “Those companies are undoubtedly following the case intently, praying that it creates a good precedent and breathing a sigh of relief that it’s not them in the spotlight.”

Henry Blodget’s reaction:

Smart. Shows awareness of other side — impact of unbreakable encryption on law enforcement and Nat security.

This is not smart. We either all get strong encryption built into our devices — including criminals and enemies — or none of us do. And the smart criminals and enemies will just use third-party encryption software for their communication. This whole debate hinges upon a sheer fantasy, that somehow there can exist secure encryption that the “good guys” can break when they want to.

Thursday, 18 February 2016