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Comment Re:Sometimes the ethical path is very clear (Score 2) 618

Engineer: We can't make this engine pass NOx tests.

Ah, but that wasn't the situation. The engine could pass fine, which is what was happening when the software detected the test conditions. The problem is when running like that the engine didn't have as much power or fuel economy as when operating in dirty mode. This hack was to make the car more appealing to consumers by (in a virtual sense) selling one car to the public, and having the EPA test a different one. This was pure deceit.

Comment Re:Mockery of a trial... (Score 1) 126

That being said, it's weird that nobody has yet targeted Apple, who is certainly an order of magnitude more restrictive than Google, and is as much, or more loaded than Google...

Maybe because Apple isn't forcing a hardware vendor to put their apps on the iPhone against the vendor's wishes. Apple controls both the hardware and the software, and as such by the arguments in this decision, they can dictate what apps are preinstalled. Another possible issue is Android accounts for 65% of the Russian mobile phone market (all phones including dumb ones), while iOS is only 24%.

Comment Re:And they hate open source (Score 2) 108

From the Forbes article, there were many problems, with running the webservers as 'root' just one of them. Another was a pair of zip email attachments could trigger the FireEye software to "open the files for analysis and in doing so open a backdoor on its appliance". It sounds like the researcher heavily redacted his presentation, then presented, which is why we know what we do. It also means a lot of other juicy bits were probably removed and not presented, so the bad we know about (which is bad) is just part of their problems. My guess is they considered what the guy discovered in the process to be revealing of their software's architecture and therefore would be revealing IP.

Comment Re:Is this all just a false flag? (Score 1) 306

A piece of paper with the authority to throw you in jail.

True, but they would have to go to court to accomplish that.

My understanding is that all NSLs come with a gag order. If you go to a lawyer you violate the secrecy gag.

Not true. The EFF says: "Can I talk to a lawyer if I receive an NSL? Yes, you can talk to an attorney for legal advice if you receive an NSL, but the lawyer is then bound by the gag order just as you are."

Also, not all NSLs come with a gag order, just most.

Comment Re:Is this all just a false flag? (Score 1) 306

I'm fairly sure an NSL can compel them to break future updates of hardware and software so that a wiretap is workable, and the gag order will prevent them from telling anyone about the new compromise.

Well, the people doing the biggest attacks against NSLs, the EFF,has this to say:

"While NSLs are unconstitutional, even the government admits that they can only be used to obtain limited information, which does not include forcing anyone to backdoor a product."

Do you believe the EFF doesn't know what it is talking about?

Comment Re:Impossible? (Score 1) 306

If I had said "it's not impossible because you can guess the 256-bit decryption key and be lucky" you'd have a point, but P=NP is not a pragmatic impossibility, it is very possible. Wikipedia reports a poll of 151 researchers in 2012 placing the probability somewhere between 9% and 17%.

No one today has publicly shown a way to decode the encryption method used by Apple, so pragmatically (meaning what is reasonable to expect or demand), it is considered impossible for Apple to comply with giving the FBI "real time access to text messages sent" by iMessage. Whether P=NP or not, until the encryption method is broken, the FBI demand can be considered "impossible" since Apple has no way today to comply.

Comment Re:Is this all just a false flag? (Score 1) 306

An NSL cannot force a company to modify their hardware or software, only to grant access to what they already have. It is just a special kind of subpoena, one that the head of the FBI can issue without going to a court (which is why I think it would fail if brought to the Supreme Court), and can require the recipient not to divulge that it occurred. It only grants access to existing information, and cannot compel them to perform actions beyond pulling stored data or attaching a wire tap. Forcing a company to modify their user software to obtain access to user data has been ruled by courts to be beyond the scope of what a subpoena can compel.

Comment Re:What case is compelling Apple to do this? (Score 1) 306

The answer is in the second sentence of the article: The Justice Department obtained a court order that required Apple to provide real time access to text messages sent between suspects in an investigation involving guns and drugs.

Comment Re:Impossible? (Score 1) 306

You are confusing the literal meaning of impossible with the pragmatic meaning. People would say it is impossible to walk through a concrete wall, but quantum mechanics says it is possible, just so unlikely that it counts as impossible from a practical standpoint.

Comment Re:send it anyway (Score 4, Insightful) 306

Isn't this wonderful? From the Fourth Amendment, we now have a situation where Privacy == Obstruction. How in the FUCK did THAT happen?!?

Because the Fourth Amendment doesn't guarantee you absolute privacy, it grants "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures", meaning until a court has issued an order to grant such access "upon probable cause". In this case the court issues such an order. The question is, given the circumstances, what Apple is legally required to do. Hint: they are not required to change their software to create the ability for the government to get access, only to give the government what they already have access to.

Comment Re:Why not ... (Score 3, Insightful) 306

BTW, this really should shut up all the slashtards that say that Apple secretly colludes with the Gummint; but it won't.

I think your faith in a human's ability to logically think past their biases is overblown. They will just claim it is a PR stunt to fool people into believing Apple can't read the messages while they secretly handing over all the data. Never try to argue with a conspiracist since, no matter how sound your evidence, you will never win them over. As the saying goes, never argue with a fool, lest you are brought down to his level.

Comment Re:Depends on who is the threat (Score 2) 344

If "security" is just protecting against external threats, and she knew of internal threats, then a private email server makes sense for some types of email.

Yes, but the "internal" threats were these pesky things like the Inspector General, Congressional Oversight, Special Prosecutors, FOIA requests, etc.

The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly. They were just the first not to crash.