Daily Archives: February 21, 2016

Apple Kerfuffle—Part II

Just a few further thoughts on Apple’s refusal to unlock the San Bernardino terrorists’ iPhone . . .

Years ago, Apple decided that although the infrastructure of the United States made the development of the computer possible, it would be cheaper to manufacture them in China. The Chinese manufacturing facility was quite similar to a slave labor camp. Workers slept in barracks, and when Steve Jobs had a bright idea, the workers would be assigned to long hours to implement the new feature or whatever. Conditions were so bad that they drove some workers to commit suicide. In the meantime, iPhones have been copied and/or reverse engineered so that counterfeit copies are available.

But the manufacturing costs are cheaper, so Apple continues to manufacture in China.

However, Chinese products do not necessarily meet US quality standards. They have no compunction with using lead based paint for children’s toys or adding cadmium to products, even though it’s toxic. Some software shipped with their products has been found to be loaded with malware; even some memory sticks have software installed and hidden that would allow someone to bypass security measures to read the contents. There have even been reliable claims that Lenovo computers (formerly IBM computers before being purchased by the Chinese) have malware built into the firmware so it cannot be removed. Then, of course, many believe that the Chinese have hacked into the US Government computer systems to access personnel information, as well as hacking all information on various credit card holders.

Consider:

  1. If the Chinese Government wanted information stored in an iPhone in China, would they acknowledge, much less accept Apple’s arguments?
  2. Given their track record, and the fact that the iPhones are manufactured in China, what are the odds that there is already a built-in system for retrieving any information they might want.

Just something to think about.