I’m honestly glad Tim Cook came out in defense of privacy. I’m not trying to negate that by submitting some counter information. I hope it begets an even larger corporate movement to push back against an all-too-invasive government. I want to trust this is the case. However …

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/17/apple-unlocked-iphones-for-the-feds-70-times-before.html

Also, it would seem at least specialized groups within NSA already have the tools they need for backdoor access (NSA’s Equation Group being the one we now explicitly know about from Snowden’s data dump). DHS/FBI/et al seem to be working on it (if not possess the capability) themselves. For their part, the government, because it has been exposed as possessing surveillance tools rivaling  the Stasi in East Germany, seems to just be going for the jugular and demanding direct backdoor access because the leaks have been so damaging. Regardless, its capabilities are well documented.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2015/02/the_equation_gr.html

http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/02/how-omnipotent-hackers-tied-to-the-nsa-hid-for-14-years-and-were-found-at-last/

“…machines reporting to Equation Group command servers identified themselves as Macs, an indication that the group successfully compromised both iOS and OS X devices.”

“This indicates the exploit server is probably aware of iPhone visitors and can deliver exploits for them as well,” Kaspersky’s report published Monday explained. “Otherwise, the exploitation URL can simply be removed for these.” The report also said one sinkholed server receives visits from a large pool of China-based machines that identify themselves as Macs in the browser user agent string. While Kaspersky has yet to obtain Equation Group malware that runs on OS X, they believe it exists.

And years ago at that. And yes, I recognize newer versions of hardware and software have come out theoretically making it more difficult to obtain access.

Let’s not forget XKEYSCORE though either: https://theintercept.com/2015/07/01/nsas-google-worlds-private-communications/

Some things are just not adding up for me with all of this; Apple, the government, all of it. One can only obtain so much information out there.

On a separate but related note, it’s interesting how multitudes are fighting the 1%’ers in general, desiring the force of government to effectively steal their income, yet easily and explicitly trusting in elitist technocrats like Tim Cook when Apple is one of the largest corporations in the world by revenue and valuation (you know, one of the “evil, giant” corporations exploiting workers in China at Foxconn). Apple has the well-executed-PR-brand-thing down. Tim’s letter seems ultimately to bolster their image regardless of the outcome. Could it be they will still comply regardless of the fanfare? I mean the PRISM program exposed by Snowden seemed to imply Apple’s compliance, no? Apple vehemently denied it, but others were silent.

Just thinking out loud.