March 30, 2016–So the FBI got what it wanted. Now we can all shiver in our boots because they wanted content on one individual cellphone. Just to revisit some of the things I’ve said here in recent posts–
–Access to the San Bernardino phone was not necessary. The FBI had no case to make.
–Much more important was the protection of the programming principles for the devices. By vitiating that the FBI could access anyone’s iphone/cellphone. That was a larger purpose.
The ease with which the phone was broken into, as the Bureau now tells us, suggests its earlier claim– that it had no way to recover the data and therefore required Apple’s help–was bogus.
Now the Bureau should be required to divulge to Apple the specifics of the security weaknesses in its iphone devices that enabled them to be breached. Failing this, the FBI will stand revealed as lying in its other stipulation–that it only ever wanted to discover the contents of this one device, and that it was not seeking a back door to access people’s private information on a whim. If the FBI does not divulge that information, actually it appears Apple will have cause to sue the Bureau.
Public interest should also be accommodated. If FBI obtained this access by fraudulent claim and now refuses to make the public whole, that behavior appears consonant with what the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Practices (RICO) Act (PL 91-452) defines as criminal activity (here including extortion, fraud, robbery [of individuals’ proprietary information], copyright infringement, and obstruction of justice).
Perhaps citizens should bring a RICO Act suit against the FBI. The damage to the public wrought here has been huge and a treble damages award might very well defund the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If the FBI considers itself protected by the Patriot Act and related legislation–then that, too, serves to confirm its true purpose in seeking this access. Just saying.