Apple rejects San Bernardino shooter iPhone hacking order, says FBI seeks 'dangerous' iPhone 'backdoor'
On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI break into an iPhone owned by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, giving Apple five days to object. It took Apple only a few hours to say no.
"We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to customers on the Apple website. But while "up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them," the U.S. government has now "asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone."
Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession....
We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them. Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority. [Apple]
Vice President Joe Biden was on Thursday's Tonight Show, and when Jimmy Kimmel asked him about Monday's debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Biden (a Catholic) crossed himself and joked, "Bless me, Father, for I am about to sin." He said he watched the debate by himself, and "I've never quite seen anything like that." When Fallon asked if he'd ever seen so much fact-checking, Biden replied, "Well, I can tell you what, I've never seen anybody who knew as few facts." "It's not a joke," he added, as everybody laughed. "I mean, it's like, whoa."
Then he got serious. "What amazes me about Donald Trump," Biden said, "he's probably a decent guy, but his lack of sensibilities. I mean, the way he talks about, you know, 'Well, you know, I was rooting for the housing market to fail,' and 'because that's business' — that's not business, that's callous." And Trump's claim that paying no taxes makes him "smart"? "What's that make the rest of us, suckers?" Biden asked. "No, I really mean it. Think about it. Can you think of any president — any president you've read about, studied, or knew — who would say anything like that? Name me one president who would do that. It angers me, quite frankly." And no Biden interview would be complete without some wisdom from his parents. "My dad had an expression, for real," Biden said: "When someone would say, 'You know, Joe, I pay too much in taxes,' he said, 'Look, that's a small price to pay to live in this country.' I mean, just pay your fair share, for God's sake." Watch below. Peter Weber
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte used a speech on Friday to announce that there are "three million drug addicts" in his country, and he would be "happy to slaughter them."
Speaking to reporters after a trip to Vietnam, Duterte said that he has been "portrayed to be some cousin of [Adolf] Hitler," adding that Hitler orchestrated the murder of millions of Jews. "If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have…," he paused and pointed at himself, Reuters reports. While running for president, Duterte took a strong anti-drug and corruption stance, and since taking office June 30, more than 3,100 people, primarily drug users and dealers, have been killed by police and in vigilante killings. "You know my victims," Duterte said. "I would like [them] to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition." Catherine Garcia
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, first shot himself in the foot when, on MSNBC's Morning Joe, he appeared baffled at mention of Aleppo, a Chicago-sized city under siege in Syria. He just had his second self-described "Aleppo moment" on Wednesday — also, coincidentally, on MSNBC — when he was unable to name a world leader he likes — or, really, any world leader. Matt Negrin at Bloomberg Politics took that low-hanging fruit and made it into a delicious crow pie. Watch below. Peter Weber
Gary Johnson, America's worst game show contestant pic.twitter.com/91QjugwfS8
— Matt Negrin (@MattNegrin) September 29, 2016
As a rebuttal to USA Today's editorial imploring people to vote for anyone but Donald Trump, his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), wrote an op-ed counterpoint calling Trump a "bold leader" not unlike Republican icon Ronald Reagan.
"In a political world often reserved for talkers, Donald Trump is a doer," Pence wrote. Over time, Pence said, he has found Trump to be "thoughtful, compassionate, and steady," and a lot like Reagan, who also "made some Republicans uneasy" when he entered politics. "Along the way, people heard his vision of a renewed America," Pence continued. "Americans from all walks of life flocked to a man who was so clearly unbound by Washington niceties and political correctness. Ronald Reagan spoke the truth in 1980 to the American people, just as Donald Trump has in 2016."
Hillary Clinton, Pence wrote, will bring "more taxes, more spending, more regulation, and more government," while Trump will cut taxes, repeal Obamacare, and "rewrite our trade deals so they help American workers." The choice is clear, Pence says, and only Trump has the "courage to speak his mind and the boldness to make true his vision of a renewed America." Catherine Garcia
The Donald J. Trump Foundation does not have the certification New York requires for charities to solicit money from the public, the state attorney general's office told The Washington Post.
Under New York law, any charity that solicits more than $25,000 a year from the public must obtain registration beforehand, reports David Fahrenthold, and a charity the size of the Trump Foundation must also submit to an audit that asks if it spent any money to personally benefit its officers. The Trump Foundation was established in 1987 as a way for Trump to give away proceeds from his book, The Art of the Deal, but began taking donations from others in the early 2000s. One example of public solicitation took place earlier this year, when the Trump Foundation asked for donations online to give to veterans, later saying it raised $1.67 million through the site. Tax filings also show that each year during the past decade, the foundation raised more than $25,000 from outsiders, the Post reports. The Trump campaign did not respond to the Post's request for comment.
If New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D), who is already looking into the charity, finds that the Trump Foundation violated the law while raising money, he could order the foundation to immediately stop its fundraising efforts, and with a court's permission, it could be ordered to give back the money it has raised. One expert in charity law told Fahrenthold he was surprised by Trump's rookie move. "He's a billionaire who acts like a thousandaire," said James J. Fishman, a professor at Pace University's law school in White Plains, New York. "You wouldn't expect somebody who's supposed to be sophisticated, and brags about his business prowess, would run his foundation like this." Catherine Garcia
USA Today's editorial board has never before chosen sides in a presidential race, and while they were unable to come up with a consensus for a Hillary Clinton endorsement, they did unanimously agree that Donald Trump is "unfit for the presidency."
Every four years, the editorial board revisits their policy against endorsing a candidate, and every four years, they stick with it. This time around, the board explained, it was different. Trump, the board wrote, "has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness, and honesty that America needs from its presidents." He is "ill-equipped to be commander in chief," with "foreign policy pronouncements" that "typically range from uninformed to incoherent." Further, he is so "erratic" that "attempting to assess his policy positions is like shooting at a moving target," and he "traffics in prejudice," is a "serial liar," and has "coarsened the national dialogue."
The editorial urges voters to "stay true" to their convictions, but "resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue. By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." Read the entire damning editorial at USA Today. Catherine Garcia
There's been a drop in the number of people getting the flu vaccination, a trend that's worrying infectious disease specialists.
"Flu is serious. Flu is unpredictable," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters Thursday. "Flu often does not get enough respect." In 2015, about 45 percent of the U.S. population received vaccinations, down 1.5 percentage points from 2014, the CDC reports. The largest decrease was in people 50 and up — there was a 3.4 percent drop among people between the ages of 50 and 64, and a 3.3 percent decline among people 65 and over. While most people are hit with mild symptoms, the flu kills 100 children every year, and the elderly are among the most vulnerable to the virus.
While the CDC is urging Americans to get a flu shot now, they are not recommending the nasal spray vaccine, which is often used on kids, due to questions surrounding the vaccine's effectiveness. This year, there are also two new vaccines, NPR reports; one protects against four strains of the flu rather than three, and the other has an "adjuvant," which increases its effectiveness. The CDC expects as many as 168 million vaccines will be available, so "there's plenty for everybody," Frieden said. Catherine Garcia