I recently posted this link to a group I belong to. It is about a robot that calls telemarketers and wastes their time. Until then, I had never heard of Jim Florentine, who is “human and wicked” … so much harder to scale – but well worth a couple of click throughs. Five of them in all. Thanks ‘Doc’.
When I post articles like this or this, part of me remains so very concerned about the broad understanding of what is at stake that I wonder if it will all happen anyway, simply because of a combination of apathy and not truly understanding what is going on.
Then when I see these kinds of articles – I get close to giving up.
LastPass survey finds 95% of Americans share passwords, 59% use same password for multiple sites
You might have read / heard / seen the outpouring about Apple’s stance on security, which, depending on who you are reading / listening to / watching is either ‘courageous’ or ‘unpatriotic’.
If you need a catch up this is ‘The Apple Position’ in the form of a letter from Tim Cook to Apple customers.
There are already hundreds of personal takes and spins out there as to what this means. Needless to say the Media are skimming over the details … big time. In fact, some of the tech press don’t always get it. That said, Ben Thompson’s excellent summary is well worth a read, concluding that
This is why I’m just a tiny bit worried about Tim Cook drawing such a stark line in the sand with this case: the PR optics could not possibly be worse for Apple. It’s a case of domestic terrorism with a clear cut bad guy and a warrant that no one could object to, and Apple is capable of fulfilling the request.
and picking one random writer Marco Arment concludes ..
I commend Apple for standing up to this, but unfortunately, I suspect they’re eventually going to lose. I’d love to be proven wrong, but nobody in the government is protecting our rights anymore, and Americans simply just don’t care enough to compel them to.
Plenty of places to go understand the technical nuances of what is under discussion – but really Ben’s piece does a great job.
My take ?
Tim and Apple are demonstrating once again that they are on the side of us – the people – and taking a stand on our behalf against a government that systematically overruns and takes away our rights without a care in the world. ( The UK runs a close second – but is getting better as Europe tries to make corporations more accountable – and keeps finding
Sure in this particular case, they could absolutely do what is being asked, because the phone is an old model. On newer phones what is being asked of them is impossible, but still possible according to some..
So if they did break the code for the Feds, it could be a great marketing campaign … “the Feds have just insisted and forced us to break into an iPhone 5C. If you prefer to remain secure, upgrade your phone now to a more secure model that even we – the manufacturer – can’t hack.” But that is not what they are doing.
Rather they are drawing a very careful and specific line in the sand. We (Apple) are not a branch of government.
Meanwhile, Apple sells its phone all over the world. I don’t know the precise numbers, but let’s say The Feds banned the sale of encrypted iPhones in the US. Yes – it would make a dent in sales, but arguably not the end of the world for Apple. And actually if this was the threat – would we all stand by and watch. I think not ?
Maybe also that by standing up for the people in this way they win the ‘Moral Authority’ argument.
First published on Beyond Bridges on February 10th, 2016.
Update : February 14th 2016. Interestingly, a friend and reader of this blog just sent me this link, which is a third party version of the LinkedIN map below. It seems to be limited due to LinkedIN's API constraints, so it can't map more than 499 of your connections. That said, there does seem to be a lot more information and analysis that surrounds the graph. Andy it means YOU can go try it out on your network. Thank you David.
A good friend of mine messaged me through LinkedIN. He is a fast thinking, witty, bright, intelligent, big thinking kind of guy. He’s also interested in his next gig – so let me know if you want an introduction. Anyway, to my point. He had been on my LinkedIN profile and commented;
I think you would be well served to pare that list (of skills I had listed in my summary) to maybe 4-5 distinct and specialized areas where you really shine better than the rest. Things like Leadership, Marketing, Communications are too generic and readily available in the marketplace.
And I agreed. In fact, so much so that I pared it down to zero. My skill list is summarized in another part of the profile anyway. But it got me to thinking.
… but I am going to adopt the methodology.
You know when you sign up for a web site and they ask you to give them info – so that can identify you in the future ? Yup – and you wonder how ‘they’ come to know so much about ‘us’. Dave Winer has a work around.
I’m no longer giving answers to “security” questions. I don’t see why someone who knows where I was born should be able to read my mail, a fact that’s on my Wikipedia profile page.
I (now) just give wrong answers, saying I was born in Egypt, and my favorite sports team is the Canucks.