FBI Sued For iPhone Hacking Details

FBI Sued For iPhone Hacking Details

Three major news groups are suing the FBI for iPhone hacking details regarding the San Bernardino shooting.
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On Sept. 16, the Associated Press (AP), USA Today and Vice news networks filed a collective lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for details about the FBI's controversially successful hack of the iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino shooters.

The three major news agencies are pressing charges to determine what sources the FBI used to crack the iPhone's code and how much government money was involved. The FBI refused to supply answers and claimed exemption from doing so under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a law which grants every citizen the right to access the records of any federal agency.

The FBI's investigation of the San Bernardino shooters probed for ties to other terrorist groups – namely, ISIS.

However, the lawsuit complaint reveals that "investigators long ago stated that they had uncovered no connection between the shooters and any foreign terrorist groups."

The news organizations are demanding answers for the public, whose taxpayer funds were used to hire an unidentified third-party vendor to hack the iPhone.

According to the lawsuit, the FBI sanctioned the third-party to "retain this potentially dangerous technology without any public assurance about what that vendor represents, whether the vendor has adequate security measures...is a proper recipient of government funds, or whether it will act only in the public interest."

The FBI cracked the iPhone code in late March with the help of unidentified, low-profile "researchers" who were paid a one-time flat fee of over at least a million dollars, reports The Washington Post and Reuters. The Department of Justice then dropped their legal case with Apple on March 28. The legal battle had ensued on the grounds of the All Writs Act which enabled the government to order Apple's cooperation on the basis that there were no other alternative methods to unlocking the iPhone. Apple had and continues to object the request to build a backdoor feature in the iPhone because it would set a dangerous precedent.

But as it turns out, there is an alternative method to hacking the iPhone. CNET suggests possible methods, such as NAND mirroring, software flaw exploits or lasering the passcode chip. According to CNN, the Department of Justice refused to share details of the hack and did not confirm whether this method works on other devices, but it has been established that whatever method was used did indeed crack the code on the shooters' iPhone 5C which ran a version of the iOS 9 software.

And now that the FBI has hacked the iPhone system, what's stopping them from using the same technique on other phones with similar software?

TechCrunch reasons that if the FBI "found a software exploit, this exploit should work with all iPhones running on this version of iOS 9 (and most likely the current version of iOS, iOS 9.3) — even those with a Secure Enclave and a Touch ID sensor. It’s like the government wants to make sure it can ask Apple to unlock other phones in the future."

So it's no wonder the American public is in a panic, especially since the U.S. government hasn't proven itself as all that trustworthy or dependable over the recent years.

From the 2013 National Security Agency (NSA) scandal to North Korea's cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 to China's 2015 cyberattacks on American networks and now this, the government has continually failed to secure and protect the American people's privacy from both dishonest government agencies and foreign threats.

Nonetheless, in regards to the FBI's iPhone hack case, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told USA Today that the Obama administration has "tried to be as transparent as possible," but "given the sensitive nature of the information, we’ve been quite limited in what we can discuss openly."

So for now, the public is still being kept in the dark about the case.

Cover Image Credit: NBC

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Voter Suppression: A Critique Of Democracy In The United States

What kind of democracy prevents its constituents from having a voice?

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The 2018 midterm elections were definitely one for the books. Millennials and Generation-Z voters took the stage by storm, making the young adult voter turnout in 2018 one hundred and eighty-eight percent that of the young voter turnout in 2014. And that's just in early voting. Early voting was five times higher in 2018 than in 2014 in both Texas and Nevada, turning close and contested Senate races in their favor. Ever since the U.S. Census Bureau started keeping track of voter-age data (1978 for midterm races and 1964 for presidential races), 18-29 year-olds have had the lowest voter turnout out of any age group. This election saw such a huge increase in young voter turnout that some predicted that the youth vote would predict the outcome for this year's election.

After the historic results of the 2018 midterm elections, including the two Muslim-American women elected to Congress and 153 LGBT candidates winning their respective races, it would seem that the 2018 elections were a testament to modern democracy in the United States. However, through all of these unforeseen victories, the issues of voter suppression and election tampering during these midterms were overlooked in favor of praising democracy and increased turnout.

Yes, young adult voters made a it a point to make their way to the polls. Was it easy for them? Not even close…

It's been proven that because six of ten millennials supported Democrats in 2016, Republicans are trying as hard as possible to suppress young voter turnout—several of the recent Republican-led voter reforms targeted the youth vote. Since the 2010 midterms, 24 states implemented some kind of voting restriction. 21 of these 24 states were passed by a Republican legislature. In 2016, students trying to vote in purple states, such as North Carolina and Wisconsin, were forced to cast hundreds of provisional ballots or were simply turned away from the polls because their out-of-state IDs did not meet the new identification laws.

Texas removed more than 400 polling locations between 2013 and 2016, forcing students and other young adults to wait for hours in order to cast their ballots. The remaining polling places were scarcely found and inconveniently located, placing young and black voters at a disadvantage to vote due to lack of car ownership.

In Maryland, election officials told students that they could not register to vote if they listed their college as their address of residence—students were told that since their on-campus housing location was not a permanent address, they were ineligible to vote in their school's district. This contributed to the widespread occurrence of misinformation targeted towards college students, dubbed as "systematic suppression." In addition to this, students were also often told that they could lose financial aid and scholarships if they voted in any county other than their home county—another fact that is 100% untrue but was spread by the Baltimore County Board of Elections.

These instances are not restricted to the states of Texas and Maryland—there has been evidence of attempted voter suppression targeting college students in the states of Arizona and New Hampshire as well. It seems obvious that the people pushing for these supposed election "reforms" (*cough* Republican lawmakers *cough*) are afraid of the effect college students and millennials can and will have on the outcomes of elections. They may try to make voting near-impossible for students, but they are not prepared for the sheer willpower that we all have to make our voices heard and make a difference in who is in charge of our country.

America is praised for our democracy (or at least, it used to be), but no proper country claiming to have a democracy can legitimately try to prevent people from making their voices, opinions, and beliefs heard. Everyone has the right to vote (someone please get these lawmakers to read through the Constitution and its Amendments—they might learn a thing or two), and the people who have the most time left to spend living here are definitely not going to be the people who let old politicians prevent them from making a difference.

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