February 19, 2016

Justice Dept. Bizarrely Condemns Apple's Privacy Stance as a "Marketing Strategy"

In the continuing battle between the FBI and Apple over access to the secured data of an iPhone, the Justice Department has today taken the bizarre tack of claiming that Apple is only trying to attract customers and doesn't really care about privacy at all.

Background info on this battle is at:

"What the FBI Really Wants from Apple -- and Why Apple Has Said No":


This twisted government logic has also surfaced from a number of pro-DOJ sources over the last 24 hours or so, and it's so Kafkaesque in nature that it almost takes your breath away.

Because what kind of idiot would want to entrust their personal data and communications to a firm that didn't care about their privacy and security?

Of course it's a good marketing plan to put your users' privacy first and foremost.

That's why Apple, Google, and various other firms put such enormous resources into developing and supporting these privacy and security systems, with some of the most brilliant teams on the planet. They aren't just great policy folks and engineers, they personally really care about these issues themselves. They have loved ones too!

It would not only be terrible marketing, but also ethically unacceptable not to put users' privacy first.

So yes, good marketing and good privacy and good security all go hand in hand -- win-win-win.

Or to put it another way, the DOJ is blowing smoke.

And they know it. They also know why this case is different from previous situations where Apple has helped them access iPhone data in the past -- revealing as a lie another DOJ argument, their claim that this is just about a single phone.

In fact, what the FBI is demanding in this case is something entirely different. Now they want Apple to create essentially a new phone cracking tool that has never existed before, specifically for the FBI to use.

That's what the government is really after right now. It's not really about this one phone at all -- it's about creating the legal precedent going forward that will allow the government to demand that tech firms create new methods specifically to try subvert the very security ecosystems that have been created to protect users in the first place!

The level of DOJ disingenuousness in play is simply staggering.

I almost feel sorry for the officials who have to trot out these self-humiliating arguments, that are so obviously facades.

No matter how this specific case turns out, we're on the cusp of data privacy being crushed like a bug -- at the hands of GOP and Democratic politicians alike.

Oh, and by the way Donald Trump, who today called for a boycott of Apple until they knuckle under to the FBI ... you're not just a dangerous racist, you're a fascist enemy of freedom. But Donald, do feel free to let me know if you disagree.

And that's the truth.

Be seeing you.

I have consulted to Google, but I am not currently doing so -- my opinions expressed here are mine alone.

Posted by Lauren at February 19, 2016 12:58 PM | Permalink
Twitter: @laurenweinstein
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