Tag Archives: FBI

Apple Sucks

This will probably have been figured out by the time this post ever shows up, but as of this moment, in the middle of February, these are my views.  Recently, there’s been a court order instructing Apple to provide assistance to the FBI in unlocking the cell phone once owned by San Bernardino terrorists Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.  Well, maybe not owned since it was Farook’s work phone, but at least controlled.  We know that Farook turned off the cloud backup feature about 10 days before the attacks and the FBI wants to know what might be stored on the phone, just in case it might point to future attacks or other terrorists living in the U.S.  To this end, they went to Apple for help unlocking the phone.  Apple refused.  Even when the courts ordered Apple to comply, Apple still refused.  They say they’re afraid that unlocking this phone will give the government more access to being able to hack other cell phones, but I don’t buy it for a moment.

Now I’m a big proponent of the right to privacy, but whose privacy are we talking about here?  Farook and Malik were terrorists, but both of them are dead.  Corpses have no right to privacy.  Further, it isn’t even their phone, it is owned by the State of California, which has asked Apple for help in unlocking the phone.  Apple has coded a safety system into their software, if you enter the password wrong 10 times, it deletes all data.  Therefore, they want Apple to make a crack for the phone so  that they can brute-force the phone.

I will say I am completely against handing the FBI a piece of software that they can reverse engineer to open any and all phones.  I know that some in the FBI hope that’s what they’re going to get.  They should never have access to it.  However, instead of suggesting another alternative, that being to turn over the phone to Apple, let Apple unlock it without the FBI ever having access to any software that they could possibly reverse engineer, and turn the unlocked contents over to the government, Apple is just being a petulant child and refusing to play ball at all.  Surely, I can’t be the only one who has thought of this alternative solution, can I?

I’ve seen some suggest that maybe Apple can’t unlock the phone, that they simply lack the technical abilities, that they have made their phones unhackable.  I don’t believe it for a second, especially since we already know that Chinese hackers managed to hack into the iCloud and Apple didn’t even admit to it for a full month.  We also know that there are vulnerabilities in the iOS system that makes it vulnerable to hacks.  If Apple, a well-known control freak company can’t even make their system secure, the idea that they can’t get into their own phones is ludicrous.  Besides, if they were absolutely unable to get into the phone, if it was so secure that Apple couldn’t possibly unlock it, Apple would have just said that.  They would have issued a press release saying that they were incapable of complying with the court order.  That’s not what they did.  Instead, they essentially  told the government “we’re not going to help you, so there!”  I don’t care what excuses they make, it’s the complete lack of helpfulness that proves, once again, that Apple is a bunch of spoiled rotten assholes.

Let’s be honest.  A cell phone is the modern equivalent of a file cabinet.  A judge can issue a search warrant for the cabinet and whoever is in control of the cabinet is required by law to open up the cabinet for inspection.  You wouldn’t get very far if you decided that no, you were not going to allow it because maybe, just maybe, it might make it easier to get into other file cabinets in the future.  At best, that’s civil disobedience and civil disobedience requires that you pay the penalty for your refusal with jail time.  Anyone think some Apple higher ups are headed to prison soon?

So in conclusion, I don’t want Apple to hand over the keys to the farm to the FBI.  I do expect them to comply with the court order and do whatever they can do to unlock said phone.  They can do it at their facility with their own people without the FBI being involved at all.  If the FBI refuses, that tells us something about their intentions.  But for Apple to simply refuse to provide any help at all, under any circumstances at all, that’s a pure dick move.  But what can you expect from Apple anyhow? Dick is what they do best.

40 Bad Reasons for Prison Statistics Pt. 3

Do you agree with Quigley’s ideas about prison?

Two down, here goes #3 in my series on Bill Quigley’s liberal rant about 40 reasons there are so many black and poor people in prison.  He’s failed to come up with anything impressive so far, it’s just empty excuses for why we should ignore the facts and go with emotional platitudes.  Maybe this time will be better.  No, I don’t think so either.

Twenty-One. Lots of poor people plead guilty.

Yup, lots of black people, lots of white people, lots of rich people, lots of poor people, lots of young people and lots of old people.  Again, so what?  Is Bill suggesting that these people are too stupid not to do that?  That they haven’t been advised by their public defender not to do that if they aren’t actually guilty of the crime?  I’m not sure what he’s getting at here.

Twenty-Two. Many are forced to plead guilty.

Forced, huh?  At gunpoint?  I’d like to see Quigley support that one.  Nobody is ever forced to plead guilty.  They do it because they are guilty.

Twenty-Three. Almost nobody in prison ever had a trial.

That’s because they chose to plead guilty.  Nobody forced them to.  They could have had a trial if they wanted.  They just knew that the system had them dead to rights and they were actually guilty of the crime they were accused of.  Actually, in a lot of instances, there’s a plea deal to keep them from actually being convicted of the real crime they committed, rather they get to plead down to a lesser charge.  Personally, I dislike this practice, I think if you commit crime X, you ought to be prosecuted for crime X and if found guilty, imprisoned for crime X.  Only being held accountable for crime X-1 is absurd.   The only reason they do it is because the courts are overcrowded.  Quigley ought to be thankful, not mad.

Twenty-Four. Poor people get jail and jail makes people worse off.

Jail makes everyone worse off.  It’s not supposed to be a holiday.  It’s supposed to suck.  You’re not supposed to want to go there.  Is this news?

Twenty-Five. Average prison sentences are much longer than they used to be, especially for people of color.

Really?  Please show us the sentencing guidelines that give different lengths for people based on their skin color.  This is just ludicrous.  Quigley says that drug crimes now bring longer in prison and that 70% of people in prison for drug crimes are black or poor.  Again, simple solution, stop dealing drugs.  Stop using drugs.  Solved your problem right there.  In fact, if drug use wasn’t an epidemic among the poor, a lot of them probably wouldn’t be poor to begin with.  Yeah, I know, liberals don’t like real world solutions.

Twenty-Six. There is about a 70 percent chance that an African American man without a high school diploma will be imprisoned by the time he reaches his mid-thirties; the rate for white males without a high school diploma is 53 percent lower.

And that’s because blacks commit crimes at a greater rate than whites.  Remember the FBI statistics that I presented a couple of days ago?  Blacks, who make up 12% of the overall American population, commit 49.4% of the murders.  They commit 31.3% of the rapes.  They commit 56.4% of the robberies.  In fact, there are very few categories of crime where they commit less than 12% of the crimes.  Across all categories, they commit an average of 28.4% of all crimes of record kept by the FBI.  This is not a crime-free bunch, being handed a “Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not collect $200” card.  They have earned their treatment by violating the law.  I’d like to present similar statistics by economic class but I haven’t been able to find official sources where the FBI or other group is measuring crimes by income.  I wouldn’t think that it’s significantly different though, although I welcome actual data to examine that says otherwise.

Twenty-Seven. Almost one of 12 Black men ages 25 to 54 are in jail or prison, compared to one in 60 nonblack men.

And… don’t commit crimes.  Yeah, I know, I could just answer that for most of these and take the rest of the day off but that’s too easy.  The fact is, there is a ghetto culture in America that has been adopted, not just by poor blacks but by the poor of many racial groups, that has ruined a lot of people.  It doesn’t value education.  It doesn’t value responsibility.  It pushes people into a life of crime, a life of drugs and gangs and single parenthood.  If  you want to blame anything for the state of the poor in this country, blame that idiotic culture, something that’s pushed by a lot of vocal, and wealthy, black leaders as a means of keeping the poor and downtrodden reliant on them.  Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have made a mint keeping the black man down. It’s their schtick.  Regardless, so long as this poisonous ghetto culture continues, the poor are going to remain victims.

Twenty-Eight. Prison has become a very big private business.

This may be one of the few times in this list I will agree.  I don’t think private prisons ought to exist, if we’re going to hold people accountable to the law and put them away, we ought to pay for it directly.  Society needs to be just as accountable as the criminals.  We need to get rid of private prisons entirely.

Twenty-Nine. The Sentencing Project reports that over 159,000 people are serving life sentences in the U.S. Nearly half are African American and one in six are Latino.

So what?  All that means is that an inordinately large number of people that have committed serious crimes, or a string of serious crimes, are black or Hispanic.  Welcome to reality.  I thought this was supposed to be a list of reasons it was happening unfairly.  I haven’t seen one yet.

Thirty. Inside prisons, the poorest people are taken advantage of again as most items such as telephone calls to families are priced exorbitantly high, some as high as $12.95 for a 15 minute call, further separating families.

If they don’t want their families separated, say it with me, they shouldn’t have committed the crimes in the first place.  Broken record, I know, but it’s the truth that Quigley refuses to acknowledge.  They aren’t taken advantage of, they already screwed themselves over by breaking the law.  It’s called consequences.  I know that word doesn’t appear in liberal dictionaries.

I really thought that by now, he might have something useful to say but I guess not.  All he’s trying to do is make excuses for why black culture and ghetto culture has failed in America.  We all acknowledge it, well except for the liberals who would call everything I have to say racism because I’m not giving these people a pass.  I hold everyone equally responsible.  I expect equal treatment under the law.  If you don’t want to end up behind bars, live a responsible life.  Like that’s ever going to happen.