It is understandable that federal investigators want to unlock an iPhone used by one of the attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., in December. And it’s understandable that the government would turn toApple for help. But Apple is doing the right thing in challenging the federal court ruling requiring that it comply.
In an order issued on Tuesday, Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym says Apple must create new software that would bypass security features on the iPhone used by the terrorist, Syed Rizwan Farook. That would allow theFederal Bureau of Investigation to unlock the device and retrieve the pictures, messages and other data on it. Her ruling was based on the All Writs Act of 1789, which is used to require people or businesses not involved in a case to execute court orders. Another federal magistrate judge in New York is considering a similar request to unlock an iPhone in a narcotics case.
Law enforcement agencies have a legitimate need for evidence, which is all the more pressing in terrorism cases. But the Constitution and the nation’s laws limit how investigators and prosecutors can collect evidence. In a 1977 case involving the New York Telephone Company, the Supreme Court said the government could not compel a third party that is not involved in a crime to assist law enforcement if doing so would place “unreasonable burdens” on it. Judge Pym’s order requiring Apple to create software to subvert the security features of an iPhone places just such a burden on the company.
Apple has already given the F.B.I. data from the phone that was backed up and stored on its iCloud service; the last backup was made about a month before the attacks. But the company’s chief executive, Timothy Cook, has said that requiring it to create software to bypass a feature that causes the phone to erase its data if 10 incorrect passwords are entered would set a dangerous precedent and could undermine the security of its devices. The Department of Justice has argued that the software would be used on that phone only and notes that Apple has previously helped law enforcement unlock phones. The company changed how it encrypts phones after the surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden.
But writing new code would have an effect beyond unlocking one phone. If Apple is required to help the F.B.I. in this case, courts could require it to use this software in future investigations or order it to create new software to fit new needs. It is also theoretically possible that hackers could steal the software from the company’s servers.-
There are certainly other ways for law enforcement agencies to collect evidence. They already have the power to get data stored on online services like iCloud and Google’s Gmail through search warrants. And they can get records of phone calls and text messages from companies like Verizon and AT&T. A recent study published by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society concluded that the proliferation of Internet-connected sensors, cameras and other devices provides the government ever-expanding opportunities to collect information about people.
Even if the government prevails in forcing Apple to help, that will hardly be the end of the story. Experts widely believe that technology companies will eventually build devices that cannot be unlocked by company engineers and programmers without the permission of users. Newer smartphones already have much stronger security features than the iPhone 5c Mr. Farook used.
Some officials have proposed that phone and computer makers be required to maintain access or a “back door” to encrypted data on electronic devices. In October, the Obama administration said it would not seek such legislation, but the next president could have a different position.
Congress would do great harm by requiring such back doors. Criminals and domestic and foreign intelligence agencies could exploit such features to conduct mass surveillance and steal national and trade secrets. There’s a very good chance that such a law, intended to ease the job of law enforcement, would make private citizens, businesses and the government itself far less secure.
The New York Times
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Fintech Company, Grey, Unveils New Look to Support its Global Expansion Strategy
Grey, a leading cross-border fintech company, has embarked on a significant global brand rebranding initiative, revealing a fresh logo and website design.
This strategic move aligns with the company’s dynamic plans to expand its footprint in the global market.
The company’s transformation was unveiled on its social media platforms on Monday, November 27, 2023. Grey aims to leverage this fresh identity to reach a broader audience and solidify its international presence. The updated brand assets visually represent Grey’s commitment to innovation, excellence, and global connectivity.
The rebranding initiative follows closely on the heels of Grey celebrating a milestone achievement of surpassing 500,000 users. The company’s rapid growth and expanding user base have spurred this bold step towards rebranding, symbolizing success and underlining its dedication to remaining at the forefront of global fintech innovation. Furthermore, the previous logo was not usable in some foreign markets due to trademark conflicts with another company.
Idee Obong, The CEO and founder of Grey, shared insights into the rationale behind the rebranding, stating, “As we chart our course toward serving a global audience, we recognized the need for trademarks and related processes. We identified similarities with existing marks during this evaluation, prompting a deliberate rebrand. The new logo and website signify our forward trajectory, emphasizing global connectivity and our commitment to creating a more interconnected world. Our focus remains on being people-centric and cultivating a lasting community.”
Grey’s brand evolution is occurring at a crucial juncture for the fintech industry, which is positioned for significant opportunities despite recent economic uncertainties. The fintech sector has faced challenges in the past year; notwithstanding, Grey has rapidly scaled, adeptly responding to the heightened demand for its services.
The company has also established key partnerships across both B2B and B2C sectors across Africa over the past months, solidifying its reputation as a trusted and reliable cross-border payments company.
Femi Aghedo, Co-founder of Grey, emphasized the strategic timing of the brand evolution, stating, “The timing simply felt right to evolve our brand. Our growth and evolution as a business needed to be reflected tangibly. We are dedicated to ongoing innovation, adapting our services to meet the dynamic needs of our customers. Our core mission is to provide seamless and secure cross-border payment solutions, empowering businesses and individuals in the global economy. We eagerly anticipate the future of fintech and the opportunities it presents for us to impact the industry positively.”
Furthermore, customers can expect a more innovative and interconnected user experience when engaging on their platforms. As Grey ventures into this exciting new chapter, the team remains committed to providing cutting-edge and secure cross-border payment solutions, fostering global connectivity, and contributing to the evolving landscape of the fintech industry.
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