Think about it: Apple’s gift to the government*

What a favor Apple is doing the government.

* The House Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing yesterday ( The Encryption Debate). It posed questions to the FBI, Apple, prosecutors and experts. The videos are long but there is also a narrative on the page summarizing much.

Expert Susan Landau testified suggested the FBI should use this situation to develop the capabilities it seeks from Apple.  (It has just asked for an extra $38 million appropriation.)

But the big Apple gift was to the government as a whole.  Cyber security has been neglected, both encryption and decryption.  Key government agencies could have protected their files as Apple protects its devices. If they had, 20+ million people would not have been hacked.

Many parts of the government have not yet taken the protection of their data seriously.  Apple is showing them they can make it damned near impossible for anyone to get information to which they have no right.  Yes, the agency would need a key for administration.  It could be highly secured.

Let me make clear, throughout this dispute, my sympathies have been with Apple.  How can access for the good guys be protected from the bad guys?  No one ever says.

In fact, we don’t know that some US government agency or someone else hasn’t already built exactly what the FBI wants Apple to build.  If you think it is sad we don’t know whether other agencies have already done what Apple is being asked to do, well, I do too.)

Just More Outrageous Bi-Partisan Agreement: “CIA nominee John Brennan to face tough questions in Senate” – latimes.com

Just note that the headline might lead you to think he was going to have a rough time being confirmed but that is not what it says, nor what it means.

In effect, it means that (1) a few senators exercised over his not having paid them due deference by reading a report he plans to ignore before meeting with them, (2) a few more concerned about killing citizens abroad without according them their rights and explaining themselves, and (3) a few worried about leaks (not worried about why there aren’t more and why so many resources are applied to finding them unless they favor the administration, but about why there are any that do favor the administration).

And it means he will get through the hearing and confirmation this time despite significant opposition leading to his withdrawing his name from consideration last time for the questions his prior conduct had raised.  Now, after compounding his earlier sins and presumably his rationalization skills, he can expect confirmation.

After all, we all agree that torture and unconstitutional intrusions on individual rights are acceptable, don’t we?

CIA nominee John Brennan to face tough questions in Senate – latimes.com.

The most dangerous “state” belief–I’m sure it is sincere

Convincing oneself that one is following a valid process, to do something one’s own lawyers believe to be legal, to achieve something  appropriate that others in the future will confirm by following this example must surely be one of the most common and self-deceptive journeys upon which the human mind can embark.

“For an administration that is the first to embrace targeted killing on a wide scale, officials seem confident that they have devised an approach that is so bureaucratically, legally and morally sound that future administrations will follow suit.”

via Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists – The Washington Post.