Papers and Articles on Encryption and the FBI/Apple Dispute

Compiled by
Dr. John E. Savage
Brown University
Providence, RI


Dr. Kamlesh Bajaj
NIIT University
Neemrana, India

Outline of the Dispute

Apple has designed the iPhone so that if a user makes more than 10 incorrect password attempts, the phone will erase all the data stored on it. The FBI has asked Apple to bypass this feature so that it can read the encrypted contents of an iPhone that was owned by one of the killers of 14 people in San Bernardino, CA last December. Apple has refused to honor this request, although it has provided data that the party in question has stored on its iCloud. The response of the FBI has been to acquire a court order, invoking the All Writs Act of 1789, issued by a Federal court on February 16, 2016.

The following day in a letter entitled A Message to Our Customers Tim Cook, Apples's CEO, explains his refusal to comply. He said that for Apple to satisfy the FBI's request would require it to write a new version of its operating system, which, once it was produced, could be used to unlock all of its recently sold phones. Furthermore, governments all over the world could demand access to it. This would have the effect of violating the security of personal of information stored on all of these phones.

A New York Times summary of the case as of March 22, 2016 is here.

Commentary on the Apple vs FBI Issue


Going Dark versus Encryption

Encryption Technologies

Solutions to the iPhone Encryption Problem

The Internet Society's Encryption Brief

Policy Recommendations Concerning Encryption

The 2018 National Academies Report on Encryption

The EastWest Institute's Encryption Policy Recommendations

Privacy and Encryption in the News

Government Handling of Vulnerabilities

Lightweight Cryptography for IoTs

John Savage