EFF in the News
“You cannot build a lock that only good guys can turn the key for,” said Cindy Cohn, executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based civil liberties organization.
The federal government has argued that the battle over whether Apple should help unlock the iPhone 5c belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook — one of the shooters in the attack on the Inland Regional Center — is limited to the one particular phone. But Cohn said the constant calls for access from local police agencies actually undercuts that argument and highlights the far-reaching privacy implications of the tilt between Apple and the FBI.
“Law enforcement doesn’t just want this for terrorist cases,” she said. “They want it for every case.”
Cindy Cohn of the Electronic Frontier Foundation also said she supports the company and planned to file an amicus brief in support. “It’s wrong for the government to force a company or a coder” to write code that weakens security, she said. The issue is about “our safety and government overreach.”
"Apple is exactly right to draw attention to the boundless nature of what the government wants," Andrew Crocker, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Ars.
"It can't in one breath claim this is just about one phone but suggest that the All Writs Act places no limits on how much tech companies can be compelled to reengineer their products. You can expect to see these arguments, particularly the constitutional ones, be developed further in the amicus briefs supporting Apple."
According to Mark Jaycox at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Franken is “one of a handful of senators who shows he understands tech issues,” and made it clear he hopes the senator will play a leading role. “I expect [Franken] to speak up on these issues because of his deep knowledge.”
Bloomberg Law Brief with June Grasso. Andrea Matwyshyn, a law professor at Northeastern University, and Nate Cardozo, a lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, discuss the ongoing dispute between Apple and the U.S. Government, which presses on as Apple continues to fight back against a court order requiring it to write software that would help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Now, Apple is planning to argue that the computer code in their devices is a unique creative work that should be protected by First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They spoke with Bloomberg Law hosts June Grasso and Michael Best on Bloomberg Radio’s "Bloomberg Law."
To put it another way, "This is a case about whether a court has the power to order an American company to speak against its will in a way that is fundamentally against its interest," said Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
That might not amount to a backdoor, but it's certainly a security vulnerability, said Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The phone in question in San Bernardino is an older model, an iPhone 5c. But even the latest iPhones have the same basic security problem.
"Apple has said that even in the current generation of devices, that this technique with some modifications would still work," Cardozo said.
Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer Nate Cardozo told Motherboard it was “one of the most forceful briefs I’ve read in a long time.”
“Here we have Apple’s argument calling the director of the FBI a liar, in as many words,” Cardozo said. “And it’s true. What the director of the FBI said Sunday was a bald-faced lie.”
“Apple’s security model depends on all of us knowing that Apple’s key is only used by Apple in its best judgment,” Nate Cardozo, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation told WIRED recently. “And once that security model is broken, that’s sort of it. We can no longer assume that an over-the-air update to iOS isn’t compromised…. Apple being ordered to compromise their code-signing infrastructure undermines trust in the whole system.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation are among the groups preparing their own briefs in support of Apple. The EFF’s filing will argue that the government’s request amounts to a violation of the First Amendment.
“It’s well established that computer code is protected under the First Amendment,” EFF staff attorney Andrew Crocker said Thursday.