The Wall Street Journal reports that some FBI officials were surprised that Trump's sham attorney general William Barr is exploiting the Pensacola case to punish Apple, because these FBI sources say they believe Apple had already provided a lot of assistance on that case. What's Barr's motivation?
Excerpt from reporting by the WSJ's Sadie Gurman, Dustin Volz and Tripp Mickle:
When Attorney General William Barr returned to the Justice Department last year, law-enforcement officials briefed him on how encryption and other digital-security measures were hindering investigations into everything from child sex abuse to terrorism.
Mr. Barr was surprised and puzzled, according to people familiar with the meeting. The government was struggling with similar problems when he first served as attorney general nearly 30 years ago, he told advisers. Why had they not been solved?
Here's how Business Insider wraps it up:
• Apple appears to be headed toward a legal battle with the Trump administration over its refusal to create a so-called "backdoor" that would let the FBI crack encryption on devices like the iPhone.
• The administration has said it needs that access so it can "better protect the lives of Americans and prevent future attacks."
• But privacy advocates have said that the bigger threat to public safety is weakening the security of people's devices, which could also let in bad actors.
• Apple has defended its position for the same reason, saying that "backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers."
Read more at the Wall Street Journal. [paywall link: 'Barr's Encryption Push Is Decades in the Making, but Troubles Some at FBI']
And at the NYT:
• Does the F.B.I. Need Apple to Hack Into iPhones? 'There are tools to crack into the phones at the center of a new dispute over encryption. But the F.BI. says it still needs Apple's aid.'
And at 9to5Mac:
Here is why Attorney General William Barr is taking on Apple over encrypted iPhones https://t.co/nPO7xbH7nY
— Real Time Economics (@WSJecon) January 17, 2020
Barr views today's encryption struggle as similar to one he experienced in the 1990s, when wiretapping efforts were disrupted by emerging digital technology. Some FBI agents worry his push will hurt their relationships with tech cos. W/ the great @dnvolz https://t.co/IbJB8pXKQ8
— Sadie Gurman (@sgurman) January 17, 2020
this is completely backwards.
barr speaks as though we must protect the rights of police and intelligence agencies to access your information and communications.
there is no such right.
the actual right is to protect your data as you see fit.https://t.co/kCpYEFKoV3
— el gato malo (@boriquagato) January 17, 2020
The fact that Barr aggressively restarted this fight apparently without a real awareness of the battles over encryption in 2015-2016 … does not inspire confidence https://t.co/FZAE08gUAo
— Quinta "Pro Quo" Jurecic (@qjurecic) January 17, 2020
New: Some senior FBI officials have privately said they are worried Barr's sharp tone could undermine relationships with tech firms and were stunned by his rebuke of Apple, believing the Pensacola case is the wrong one to press the encryption fight. https://t.co/9AFPtodmHr
— Dustin Volz (@dnvolz) January 17, 2020