Business Report: Faceoff between NSA and Apple

Business Report 2/19/16

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - News in the faceoff between NSA and Apple - a memo surfaces that shows the government's strategy.

Last fall the White House said it would not seek legislation to require backdoors into smart phones. Silicon Valley cheered – Washington finally got it, privacy is all-American. Silicon Valley got it wrong – Washington didn't get it, it just got a new strategy.

Around Thanksgiving the White House convened a meeting of security officials to find encryption workarounds. A decision memo from the meeting was obtained by Bloomberg. It shows they agreed to figure out what budgetary and legal changes they needed, to get what they wanted whether Silicon Valley agreed or not.

The court order Apple is fighting is in line with the memo. Citing a law from the 1700s, it orders Apple to develop a way for the feds to make unlimited attempts to guess a password. Techies can debate whether this is a backdoor or merely a kluge but either way, once invented for one iPhone, it can be used on any iPhone.

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