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[Discuss] Govt Source Code Policy

On 4/4/2016 4:05 PM, Mike Small wrote:
> That's a bit weak. You would only be liable if you in fact did not erase
> your backups and had some. So their definition would stand on a
> hypothetical present fact (that backups exist) and a hypothetical future
> action (that the victim doesn't destroy them) for the hypothetical "you"
> the license references.

We know that backups do exist because we know the device had previously
been synched with iCloud and those backups were not erased.

> But for the sake of argument let me concede the point. Let's say Syed
> Farook's phone had had GPLed Apple system software on it. It would have
> been Farook who would be breaking the GPL by not passing on the
> "authorization info" as he "conveyed" this GPLv3ed iPhone software to
> the FBI. This possibility wouldn't have prevented or disincentivized
> Apple from using the GPLv3 + autodestruct.

There are two possibilities here.

One is that this information is generic to all of that device model. In
this case all the FBI would need to do is have an agent buy an iPhone
and request the information. In this case the FBI would not need Apple
to sign their custom GovtOS in order to avoid wiping the device.

The other is that the DRM is uniquely keyed to the device. In this case
the FBI might actually need Apple's intervention if said information
were not in the employer's possession and not in Farook's effects, right?


Every or nearly every version of iOS, including the version on Farook's
employer's iPhone, has vulnerabilities that can be exploited in order to
run unsigned versions of the operating system. GPL Part 3 prohibits
using laws like WIPO as protection which means the dissemination of
exploits cannot be prevented or suppressed by those laws. In this case
the FBI would legally have the information necessary to circumvent the
DRM and thus still would not need Apple to sign their custom GovtOS in
order to avoid wiping the device.

I have to admit: it's been entertaining watching you GPL adherents try
to punch holes in your own favorite software license in order to prevent
the FBI from hypothetically doing what it was carefully crafted to
explicitly permit.

Rich P.

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