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Apple Asks Judge To Reject Government Order To Help Unlock iPhone

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Apple

Apple Inc. has asked a federal judge to reject the U.S. Justice Department’s recent order to require it to help unlock an iPhone used in a New York drug case, according to Nasdaq. Apple is also trying to get the government to provide information about its phone hacking activities.

Apple has been fighting the Justice Department on the question of forcing the company to help investigators unlock iPhones. The government dropped one case last month after an unnamed third party provided a new way to unlock a phone. The FBI claimed the technique used in that case works only on limited iPhones.

Legal Wrangling Continues

Federal prosecutors want Apple to help retrieve data from a phone confiscated from a drug suspect who has already pled guilty. In February, Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled the government lacks the authority to force Apple to help government agents retrieve data from phones. The government has appealed to a higher judge in this case, which is why Apple has filed a response.

Apple argued the government has failed to demonstrate the order is needed to execute the search warrant, and that it has not exhausted all avenues to recover the information. In its filing before U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie, Apple said the government must first provide proof that it has conducted an exhaustive search and that it is not able to obtain the data without Apple’s help.

An Apple attorney previously said Apple would try to force the government to answer questions on its phone hacking activities, including government agencies and companies it has consulted with. On Friday, Apple said there is no evidence that the government has consulted with any third parties or other government entities.

Justice Wants To Establish Authority

In continuing this effort, the Justice Department wants to secure one or more rulings to uphold its authority to force companies to assist in investigations by decrypting data or opening devices.

A government spokesperson said neither the law nor the facts have changed, only the company’s willingness to help with investigations.

The spokesperson said Apple agreed to assist the government in accessing the data, something it has done at least 70 times previously under similar circumstances. Apple only changed its position when the request for help was made public by the court, the government claims. Apple said it would take a few hours to open the phone since they have a mechanism that would allow it, the government spokesperson said.

The New York case marks the first open disagreement between the parties over the locked iPhone issue. In 2008 until last year, Apple helped the government open locked iPhones confiscated in investigations. When the New York case judge questioned the government’s authority to require the cooperation, Apple began to resist the orders.

The two sides are preparing to address the issue before the Supreme Court. It is not possible for either party to predict which iPhone case will reach the high court.

Also read: U.S. resumes battle to force Apple to unlock its phone in separate case

Information Sought In New York Case

The New York case involves a phone confiscated in 2014 from Jun Feng in a drug investigation. Feng pleaded guilty last year, but Apple and the government agreed the legal dispute over the phone has to be resolved.

Feng’s attorney declined to comment.

The government cites a 1789 law called the All Writs Act as its legal authority for compelling Apple and other companies to assist in such cases.

Apple argues that the government stretched the use of the All Writs Act past what Congress intended. The company argues the government should pass a new law if it wants such authority.

Prosecutors in the New York case say they want to see if there is evidence in the phone of additional crimes and claim such evidence could impact sentencing.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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3.9 stars on average, based on 8 rated postsLester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.




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Altcoins

Stellar Acquires Blockchain Startup Chain to Form Interstellar

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The commercial arm of the Stellar Development Corporation has acquired a promising blockchain startup by the name of Chain, paving the way for possibly higher enterprise adoption of distributed ledger technology. The deal adds to Stellar’s credibility as one of the world’s leading blockchain companies.

Chain Acquired

Chain, a San Francisco-based startup pursuing enterprise grade adoption of blockchain technology in finance, has sold to Lightyear in an undisclosed cash agreement. Lightyear, the subsidiary of the Stellar Development Corporation, will be re-named Interstellar, according to official reports. Jed McCaleb, Stellar’s founder, will be the chief technology officer of the newly formed company, which he said should help companies build on the Stellar network. He adds:

“Chain’s team has led the market for enterprise adoption of blockchain technology, which is a critical component of building a future where money and digital assets move over open protocols.”

Interstellar’s new CEO Adam Ludwin explained how the newly merged company will work together:

“Chain has worked from inside the enterprise while Stellar has focused on the network between organizations. As a single team we will have a complete view and set of capabilities to make value-over-IP a reality.”

Chain is said to be a leader in the world of fin-tech, having built enterprise-grade blockchain solutions for Visa, Citigroup and Nasdaq, among others. With the merger, Interstellar will have access to Sequence, Chain’s powerful cloud solution that enables companies to monitor assets moving between private ledgers and the Stellar network.

Previously, Chain had raised more than $43 million across multiple deals. Financiers included Capital One, Citigroup, Pantera Capital and Blockchain Capital.

XLM Price Update

Although the merger between Chain and Lightyear has not had a demonstrably positive effect on XLM’s price, the cryptocurrency continues to outperform leading assets such as Ethereum and bitcoin cash. The XLM price was down 4.4% on Tuesday but has gained 3.2% over the past seven days. By comparison, bitcoin has declined nearly 1% over that period while Cardano has lost more than 10%. Ethereum is trading in positive territory over seven days as prices recovered from 16-month lows.

XLM, which is currently valued at $0.197, has declined roughly 12% over the past month. At current values, it has a market capitalization of $3.7 billion, placing it sixth among active cryptocurrencies. Bitbox is the most active market for XLM traders, accounting for more than 54% of daily transactions.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 609 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Grayscale’s $6 Million Dollar Bet

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Grayscale Investments, the company behind the Bitcoin Investment Trust, has announced plans to back a little-known privacy coin by the name of Zen. The news came mere months after Grayscale put Zen on its “conviction list” of potentially high-impact cryptocurrencies.

Zen Investment Trust

On Thursday, Grayscale announced the creation of the Zen Investment Trust, which gives accredited investors direct access to the cryptocurrency. It is the eighth such fund mandated to hold just one currency, joining a list of products that include bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and Ethereum Classic.

Although the announcement came as a surprise to some crypto observers, Grayscale said the decision was based on intensive research and due diligence.

“Grayscale conducts unparalleled research and due diligence on their investment products, striving to offer regulated and professionally managed exposure to the digital currency market for institutional and accredited investors worldwide,” said Rob Viglione, Grayscale’s founder and president.

According to Fortune, Grayscale has already purchased $6.3 million worth of Zen tokens and plans to increase its holdings in the future.

Grayscale appears to be increasing its exposure to privacy-focused coins, having recently added Zcash to its list of single-currency investment funds. These assets align with Viglione’s vision of financial privacy, which he believes will be a dominant theme in the future.

Zen Token: An Introduction

Horizen, the company behind Zen token, launched in May 2017 as ZenCash before rebranding this past summer. The company has designed a platform that provides users with complete control of their digital footprint, including private chat and development features. Once scaled to full capacity, Horizen’s side-chain technology will allow anyone to develop privacy-focused applications and generate income from them. Sidechains ensure that Horizon has the bandwidth to process large volumes of transactions without running into scalability issues plaguing other cryptocurrencies.

For users, Horizen’s platform is intended to provide end-to-end encryption of their online activity. The company employs zk-SNARKs, a protocol that can prove possession of certain information without revealing that information and without any interaction between the prover and verifier. This protocol is also employed by zCash.

Valued at $82 million, Zen is currently ranked no. 72 by market capitalization, according to latest available data. Zen was down only 1% on Thursday compared with double-digit losses for the broader market. At press time, Zen was valued at $17.16, according to CoinMarketCap. Trade volumes amounted to $1.8 million, with Binance accounting for more than half the daily turnover.

There are currently less than 4.7 million ZEN tokens in circulation out of a total supply of 21 million.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 609 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Bitcoin

The Anarchist Case For Bitcoin

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Previously, we have discussed how Bitcoin receives a ton of support from libertarians because of how it works in line with many of their core principles regarding market freedoms. But there are other groups who also share principles with Bitcoin, one of them being anarchists.

Anarchists are known to generally believe in the abolition of all government with force and compulsion being ruled out of the means by which organizations are managed. By extension, crypto-anarchists use software related to Bitcoin to exchange information without affecting their privacy or political freedom.

What Bitcoin Can Do for Anarchism

Bitcoin is essentially the perfect tool to use against corruption, whether in big business or in the government. You have something that is untraceable, impossible to censor or block, and just so happens to cut out a lot of the middlemen. It is basically every beaurocrat’s nightmare.

Many people describe Bitcoin’s protocol as “trustless”, because of how it used an intelligent design to make it technically impossible to rip people off or cheat the system. This takes away the possibility of corruption and creates a world where a certain level of governance is not needed.

Cryptocurrencies are especially attractive to those who have built up a strong disdain for big banks and governments who are mostly net takers. Banks are no longer getting paid, and then there is inability of governments to figure out how to tax these assets. It isn’t easy to track the flow of funds, and sometimes money is put in the system that is never going to come out.

The Politics of Bitcoin

It is important to remember exactly why Bitcoin was invented in the first place. Although we can’t be sure of Satoshi Nakamoto political stances, the fact that he made the string for the first block of Bitcoin contain “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks” is telling. It alludes to the fact that the existing institutions weren’t doing an adequate job of managing the economy.

This brings us to the second point about Bitcoin. No single institution can prop it up, and equally, no single institution can bring it down. It is an inherently populist movement that depends upon grassroots support for its survival. Of course, there are big companies like Coinbase and massive investors involved in the industry, but they don’t directly affect the longevity and function of Bitcoin.

As a standalone protocol, Bitcoin is powerless, but with the backing of a growing number of “evangelical” supporters, it has real potential to change the way business is done. By extension, the political world is going to change as a reaction to the funding and support they receive. It has been said that you can vote at the ballots, or you can vote with your money, and Bitcoin may just be the perfect means by which to put your money behind an ideal.

Granted, this is yet another reason why the price action of Bitcoin is so volatile. It is a “currency” founded on ideals and technology rather than any single economy, and as a result it is only natural that extreme booms and busts occur.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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