Thursday, September 18, 2014

Apple iPhones, iPads will have encryption that can't be unlocked even with a warrant; more on cloud surveillance; more on Yelp


Craig Timberg has a startling story in the Washington Post Thursday, September 18, 2014, “Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants”, link here. The story appears in print on the front page.  This has to do with new encryption technology on new Apple devices.

One very obvious question is how this would affect law enforcement in fighting “real” crime or intercepting domestic terrorist plots, the back side of the NSA surveillance debate.
  
Timberg also writes that Apple’s technology won’t interfere with police access to iCloud data. 
   
I’ve noted before, that I’ve wondered if police could troll cloud data for certain illegal activity, especially child pornography.  I haven’t heard that this is done, but presumably any item more than 180 days old could be viewed.  The main possibility could be to look for images with digital watermarks that match known images on the NCMEC database.  It’s hard to imagine, however, however police could make sense of much of anything else, encrypted or not.  Cloud surveillance, if it were to start, doesn’t have the mathematics behind it that tracing “networks” of cell phone calls has. 
  


There is also more development in the review site area.  The Ninth Circuit has ruled that Yelp is acting within the law if it allows the purchase of ads by businesses to affect ratings, even though Yelp denies the practice anway.  USA Today has a story by Jessica Guynn here. The Post today has another story on Yelp by Cecilia King on p A14, “Did adult liars get Yelp in trouble? Grown-ups give fake ageism it says of fine for poorly screening minors”, link here
  
I have to add that I get emails from Angie’s List for deals and to rate things all the time (I did become a member).  But I have never written a review on these services (I have on Amazon).  

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