Thursday, August 4, 2011

Irony: FBI Says Apple Letting You Remotely Kill iPhones They've Taken Is 'Big Brother-ish'


Specialized points us to a report at Wired concerning a released (via the Freedom of Information Act) report from the FBI as it prepares for dealing with smartphones and faster 4G and beyond mobile data networks. Not surprisingly, the FBI is concerned about what this will mean for law enforcement. Not too long ago, we noted that the feds had been sending documents to local police forces, warning them of the ability of iPhone owners to remotely wipe the devices, using a tool designed to deal with thieves. But the FBI instead describes a future possible addition to this -- using voice or facial recognition characteristics to activate this -- as "Big Brotherish" (you can see it on page 79 of the embedded document below):
In a move that seems Big Brother-ish, Apple has a patent in the works that could use voice and facial recognition technology to activate a "kill switch" on its popular iPhone, shutting it down when hackers "jailbreak" or unlock the phone to install unauthorized programs on it, or try to steal information from an unsuspecting iPhone user.
Apparently the FBI doesn't quite recognize that "Big Brother" is the government.

And, speaking of "Big Brotherish," it seems quite concerning that the feds main issue with LTE 4G networks is that since they can send more data through, it means a bigger "firehose" of data to deal with.
One notable impact is that Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) will need to deal with significantly higher data rates than in current wireless network intercepts.
I recognize that they're just describing the problem, but isn't this effectively admitting that they get way too much info. If you're getting a "firehose" of data, you're doing it wrong (and potentially illegally).

Source Document

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