UPDATES: FBI Paid Over $1,000,000 to Hack iPhone of San Bernardino They Deliberately Locked to Force Apple to Engineer Encryption-Busting Software; Agency Additionally “Cracks” New York iPhone by Acquiring 4-Digit Passcode
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the FBI paid an anonymous hacker over $1,000,000 to hack into the phone it deliberately instructed San Bernardino police to lock up in a failed attempt to manipulate Apple into sabotaging its blockbuster smartphone product under the guise of recovering data possibly left behind by deceased San Bernardino massacre architect Sayed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik.
While the exact amount is unknown, CNBC calculated from comments made by shameless FBI head thug James Comey (in a press conference in which he stated the amount was “worth it” to continue eroding Americans’ communication privacy) that the hacker’s ransom exceeded Comey’s remaining, well-padded salary as FBI director and is therefore at least $1,340,000. They’ll bill the taxpayers.
(For those of you good with math, that’s over $180,000 annually to assault your liberties. Go back to your SpaghettiOs, little person.)
This is the highest known mercenary phone-hacking payout to date, according to CNBC, as the communication security company (no irony here at all) Zerodium paid $1,000,000 even to…break into phones. So much more comforting when your own government can outbid any private sector snooper.
At the London conference in which he spiked the football on the iPhone cracking, Comey bemoaned the communication company WhatsApp for recently announcing end-to-end encryption for its users (from WSJ):
“There are a significant number of criminals and terrorists that use WhatsApp, and that’s a problem,’’ Mr. Comey said. Automatically encrypting that volume of communications, he said, “comes at a significant cost,’’ so policy makers and corporations should ask themselves, “Is there a way to address the cost and try to optimize the benefits?”
Apparently no journalists in attendance asked Mr. Comey if he pulled the scientific figure “significant number” out of his sedentary, well-pensioned Federal Government ass or if he just wants more access to all Americans’ instant messaging.
Another wrinkle in Uncle Sam’s corrupt crusade in anal phone sex to better control the little people emerged this past week in a New York case that, like Comey’s ham-handed technique to twist Apple’s arm into betraying the confidence of its customers, hinged on the Department of Justice’s reliance on the All Writs Act of 1789. A little outdated, but clearly the founders foresaw the imperative of the Federal Government to demand you open the wax seal on your letters to family and friends at their whim because security.
Amy Davidson over at the New Yorker points out how this rather abstract demand for companies to create new products on demand if the Federal Government issues such a demand–NOT a subpoena–is a slippery slope (which the mainstream media is ignoring, like the President’s secret drone kill list, because their guy is in the White House right now.)
The Eastern District of New York (the same district from which current Attorney General Loretta Lynch launched her national career by seizing $100,000,000 in assets from largely poor and minority citizens, in an unconstitutional revenue racket Obama re-authorized last month) has withdrawn a lawsuit demanding Apple…unlock another iPhone.
As Emily Pierce, Justice Department spokeswoman, told USA Today, “[T]hese cases have never been about setting a court precedent; they are about law enforcement’s ability and need to access evidence on devices pursuant to lawful court orders and search warrants…[i]n this case, an individual provided the department with the passcode to the locked phone at issue in the Eastern District of New York. Because we now have access to the data we sought, we notified the court of this recent development and have withdrawn our request for assistance.”
Only the Federal Government can tell its employees, the taxpayers, “We got what we wanted, so we’ll leave you alone…until next time.”
The iPhone in question had apparently not been sabotaged, as was Farook’s, by the Federal Government Agency that now demanded assistance in reconstructing unknown data (in a move that would coincidentally further erode 4th Amendment protections). Instead, the Feds just needed a passcode to pry into a convicted drug dealer’s phone.
Jun Feng of Queens, NY, already pleaded guilty to methamphetamine conspiracy last year. But if anyone will go for the throat when you’re on the ground in handcuffs, it’s the government.
This is, after all, New York State, where white NYPD cops were filmed strangling a black man, Eric Garner, to death for denying the State their $5.85 per pack state and local cigarette tax. It’s for your own protection, you ingrate asthmatic.
Just as in the Farook case, an anonymous third party apparently gave the Feds the code for Feng’s iPhone 5s.
Or maybe the code was 1-2-3-4. The FBI isn’t talking. Unlike the iPhones they can now open with their goodies from the Farook manipulation.
In March, Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled the FBI’s demands of Apple to reveal the passcode were illegal.
Justice appealed the ruling. Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie is hearing the appeals case.
Thanks to our sources: