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  • Black Lives Matter Activists Cite Civil Liberties Risks in Apple-FBI Case

    In a recently submitted friend of the court filing, activists supporting the Black Lives Matter and other civil rights movement causes argue Apple's ongoing encryption duel with the FBI has serious free speech implications.



    The open letter to Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym, posted to Apple's website, warns of the negative repercussions that could arise from a U.S. government effort to force Apple's aid in unlocking an iPhone used by San Bernardino terror suspect Syed Rizwan Farook. As argued by Apple, the creation of a passcode workaround ultimately weakens digital protections built into iOS, an ecosystem currently used by millions of users worldwide.

    "No party should wield the power to force private companies to weaken the security of all in order to investigate a few," the letter reads.

    The amicus brief was written last week and signed by Beats, Rhymes & Relief, the Center for Media Justice, The Gathering for Justice and the Justice League NYC. Individual signatories include New York Daily News Senior Justice Writer Shaun King and Opal Tometi, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI).

    Judge Pym in February issued an order compelling Apple to assist the FBI in its ongoing San Bernardino attack investigation. The Department of Justice request requires Apple to build and deploy a flawed version of iOS that can be used to break into Farook's passcode-protected iPhone.

    Those in agreement with the government say perceived threats to national security trump consumer data protections, but the rights advocates offer a counter argument in their letter, citing a history of past abuse.

    "As Rev. Jesse Jackson recalled last week, one need only look to the days of J. Edgar Hoover and wiretapping of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to recognize the FBI has not always respected the right to privacy for groups it did not agree with," the group says.

    In particular, the FBI's politically-fueled COINTELPRO initiative, created in the 1950s to ferret out Communist sympathizers and later broadened to cover other deemed-derisive social movements, directly violated First Amendment rights. The effects of that program reverberate across the years to today, as civil rights advocates who were once unlawfully surveilled warn that the same missteps can be made in the digital age.

    "The FBI's historically questionable surveillance procedures do not bode well for setting a precedent that allows the agency universal access to private smartphone data," the group writes.

    The letter takes specific aim at the FBI, as the agency is leading the charge to enlist Apple's help not only in the San Bernardino case, but multiple investigations nationwide. Perhaps more troublesome is that the government's legal strategy hinges on the All Writs Act of 1789, a statute granting federal courts sweeping authority to issue orders if no other judicial instruments are available. Precedent might be set if Apple loses the encryption fight, opening the door to wider application of AWA and stripping the public of modern digital protections.

    Last week, United Nations free speech watchdog David Kaye filed a similar brief in support of Apple, saying, "Secure communications are fundamental to the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age, permitting the maintenance of opinions without interference and securing the right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Black Lives Matter Activists Cite Civil Liberties Risks in Apple-FBI Case started by Caiden Spencer View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. Albut's Avatar
      Albut -
      All lives matter!!! Not just black ones. They're no more important.
    1. tridley68's Avatar
      tridley68 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Albut View Post
      All lives matter!!! Not just black ones. They're no more important.
      Agreed when will people get this threw their heads.
    1. Rakim's Avatar
      Rakim -
      Quote Originally Posted by tridley68 View Post
      Agreed when will people get this threw their heads.
      Quote Originally Posted by Albut View Post
      All lives matter!!! Not just black ones. They're no more important.
      Guys, I'm Pretty sure this article was simply about the APPLE v. FBI topic and it just so happened that the Black Lives Matter Group was weighing in w/ support for the stance that most people including Apple is taking regarding this. That: a breach or violation of rights is just that, be it civil,human or whatever. I think more focus should be paid to the fact that the whole idea of rights being violated is "not a good thing".....

      I think the frustration with the #blacklivesmatter movement moniker is the misconception that it somehow implies that Black lives are more important than others when it simply means that they are not more important than, but rather JUST AS important....

      But even that really doesn't have any true relevance to the actual point that this article shared here by Caiden is meant to convey,

      Which simply put was:

      We have YET ANOTHER group willing to stand up for what most of us here feel , and that is the Government is seeking to over reach yet again and possibly set a precedent that would be disastrous in the long term, and another influential group has stood along side APPLE and the CONSTITUTION...
    1. NSXrebel's Avatar
      NSXrebel -
      So the FBI wants Apple to create an iOS with backdoor access to unlock the shooter's iPhone. Wouldn't you need the unlock code on the iPhone in order to update the phone with said iOS/firmware???
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      Hhhmmm I wonder if a bomb goes off in New York and the terrorist had info on his iPhone about it how would you guys feel? What if a family member was killed? What if the fbi could've stopped it? I think it may be a little different if you get a call at 3 a.m. about the death of a loved one. On the other hand yeah what's to keep the f.b.i. from abusing this? Nothing so it's something to be considered but make no mistake terrorists see this and read about this stuff and the Apple iPhone will be their handset of choice because of rumored encryption they hear about. Also keep in mind the founding fathers couldn't have known about mobile devices and dirty bombs. So it's complicated man. So complicated
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      There is not a day or subject matter that goes by without the ridiculous BLM attached to it. If anything we have gone backwards in race relations since this nonsense has started.
    1. Rakim's Avatar
      Rakim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Feanor64 View Post
      Hhhmmm I wonder if a bomb goes off in New York and the terrorist had info on his iPhone about it how would you guys feel? What if a family member was killed? What if the fbi could've stopped it? I think it may be a little different if you get a call at 3 a.m. about the death of a loved one. On the other hand yeah what's to keep the f.b.i. from abusing this? Nothing so it's something to be considered but make no mistake terrorists see this and read about this stuff and the Apple iPhone will be their handset of choice because of rumored encryption they hear about. Also keep in mind the founding fathers couldn't have known about mobile devices and dirty bombs. So it's complicated man. So complicated
      Quote Originally Posted by luvmytj View Post
      There is not a day or subject matter that goes by without the ridiculous BLM attached to it. If anything we have gone backwards in race relations since this nonsense has started.
      Valid Point man, valid indeed, it would be a hard choice but one that would have to be made just the same.... Ultimately it's not so much about any one individual regarding creating a process of decrypting that phone, but more so about making a hard choice in WAR about weighing the good and protection of many on the pains of few... I myself would have to be less than human or a sociopath to NOT feel sympathy for those peoples families and my own had it been me. But for me or anyone else to jeopardize every user of any electronic device with encryption that the government wanted to chain to the new precedent they would set here by forcing Apple to comply. That would absolutely be at best poor strategically and in my opinion morally wrong at its worst......

      Regarding the "Ridiculous BLM"

      I'm taking the stance of the previously quoted poster.....

      What if it were your family, your Brothers, Sisters, Mothers being mistreated, poorly handled and KILLED at an alarmingly and un-ignorable disproportionate rate when compared to other races? Would you still say it's ridiculous? I believe it's still a matter of misunderstanding the purpose behind the movement that spawns such ill will from SOME people, then there are those who are likely harboring some secret or subconscious bigotry..... And truth be told we went backwards in race relations LONG BEFORE the #BlackLivesMatter Movement was ever conceived or became a real force.

      But again that's ^^^^^^ Not what this article was about..... At all...
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      So what race is doing most of the killing in America?
    1. Rakim's Avatar
      Rakim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Feanor64 View Post
      So what race is doing most of the killing in America?
      I guess you still can't find a post to debate the validity of The #BlackLivesMatter movement so... I guess I'll let you have at it here buddy.

      Go Apple: Don't give in and Bravo to to anyone who supports civil liberties and the constitution!
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Feanor64 View Post
      Hhhmmm I wonder if a bomb goes off in New York and the terrorist had info on his iPhone about it how would you guys feel? What if a family member was killed? What if the fbi could've stopped it? I think it may be a little different if you get a call at 3 a.m. about the death of a loved one. On the other hand yeah what's to keep the f.b.i. from abusing this? Nothing so it's something to be considered but make no mistake terrorists see this and read about this stuff and the Apple iPhone will be their handset of choice because of rumored encryption they hear about. Also keep in mind the founding fathers couldn't have known about mobile devices and dirty bombs. So it's complicated man. So complicated
      It would be an easy decision for me, I would choose to keep my privacy! That doesn't mean you don't love your family member any less. Especially in this case where the FBI screwed up things in the first place by not taking the phone directly to Apple but instead decide to enter the wrong passcode too many times and locking them out of iCloud. Plus this phone is a WORK phone, do they really think that the terrorist is stupid enough to keep evidence on it? The cell provider already sent them all the text messages and phone records and never found any kind of link to terrorism. This whole thing is ridiculous! We don't want to give up our privacy for something like this.
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      You have an illusion of privacy sir but anyways all I'm saying is when u have American lives at stake suddenly that picture of your dog in a funny sweater doesn't seem so important to keep from prying eyes. Of course the fbi screwed up on this case but what about the next one. Your civil liberties have already been eroded. You guys are too late. When the police stop you at a checkpoint to check license and registration that is a violation of your civil rights. They have been doing this for decades. Welcome to the world we live in. The same people welcoming radical Islamic refugees in this country with open arms and begging for more are the same people defending apple. Think about that for a minute. The government just wants the power. They don't want to go through apple. Which is wrong but inevitable. It will stop when people finally turn off the tv and do something about it.
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by Feanor64 View Post
      You have an illusion of privacy sir but anyways all I'm saying is when u have American lives at stake suddenly that picture of your dog in a funny sweater doesn't seem so important to keep from prying eyes. Of course the fbi screwed up on this case but what about the next one. Your civil liberties have already been eroded. You guys are too late. When the police stop you at a checkpoint to check license and registration that is a violation of your civil rights. They have been doing this for decades. Welcome to the world we live in. The same people welcoming radical Islamic refugees in this country with open arms and begging for more are the same people defending apple. Think about that for a minute. The government just wants the power. They don't want to go through apple. Which is wrong but inevitable. It will stop when people finally turn off the tv and do something about it.
      Just because theyve been taking our rights for years doesnt mean we shouldnt fight for them. By that logic the slaves would still be around because wed already been taking their rights for a few hundred years.
    1. Rakim's Avatar
      Rakim -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiderManAPV View Post
      Just because theyve been taking our rights for years doesnt mean we shouldnt fight for them. By that logic the slaves would still be around because wed already been taking their rights for a few hundred years.
      That's my point exactly. If a guy steps on your foot everyday on the subway because he doesn't like your shoes or for whatever reason,And you allow it to happen for 6 months straight for any reason of your choosing, it doesn't make his actions any less wrong when you decide to to demand that he stops because it was wrong the very first time that it happened...

      The argument of "it's been going on for so long" is the exact reason that there has always been such a large amount of debate surrounding these topics. What is ridiculous to me, is that so many of our civil liberties and human rights as US citizens are abandoned, ignored or completely forgotten here regularly and this phone in my opinion so much more than just that........ It's the key to the house that justified reasoning built, and it will be the same house where the US govt. will store recorded details of all the liberties and rights they've swindled the masses out of... Because at the end of the day they aren't TAKING them, we are GIVING our rights away by not standing up and standing on them because we've grown accustomed and comfortable with the steady feeling of motion as the rug is gradually and without a doubt being pulled out from under us, instead of complaining because a rug ISNT supposed to move...We instead allow it to happen because "it's always been that way".....
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by hivannk2acc View Post
      Hok đc vui, up chuyện cười cho mấy thm vui hơn nh

      Bộ Luật Tnh Yu Điều 9 : "Nếu ai v tnh hoặc cố tnh gy thương nhớ cho người khc, để lại hậu quả lm tan nt tri tim người đ, th phải chịu hnh phạt chung sống trọn đời với người đ". Yu l khng hối tiếc - C lỗ tai m như điếc. Yu phải biết cương quyết - Nồng nn v kịch liệt. Yu l phải chịu thiệt - Xi tiền khng được tiếc. Yu cho tới sức tn lực kiệt - Cho tới khi tứ chi bại liệt. Miễn ci chi cần l khng liệt - Yu dzậy mới l yu...thiệt! ^^!
      Obviously the English is a little broken, but heres a google translation for those interested.

      DC Hok fun, up jokes for some more fun aunt who: D



      Code Love Article 9: & quot; If someone accidentally or intentionally inflicting remember others, consequences shattered heart, then punished living life with that person & quot ;. Love is not regret - Having that as deaf ears. Love to know resolute - passionate and vehement. To love is to suffer - Spending Money is not sorry. Love for remnants of his strength to strength - Until paralyzed limbs. As long as the expenditures need not paralyzed - Love is love ... the damage is fine new! ^^ !.
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiderManAPV View Post
      Just because theyve been taking our rights for years doesnt mean we shouldnt fight for them. By that logic the slaves would still be around because wed already been taking their rights for a few hundred years.
      That's what I said at the end of my post