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TidBITS#1309/22-Feb-2016

The big news this week is how Apple and the FBI are locked in an important battle over civil liberties; Adam Engst has two articles in this issue that attempt to explain the dustup over the FBI asking Apple to help unlock a terrorist’s iPhone. More prosaically, Apple has issued an update to resolve Error 53, which was disabling iPhones that had been repaired by outside parties. Apple Pay is now available in China, where it’s proving popular, and it may soon be usable at ATMs in the United States. Finally, we’re soliciting your suggestions for the best personal finance apps for the Mac — we’ll publish the results in next week’s issue! Notable software releases this week include Mailplane 3.6.2, Microsoft Office 2016 15.19.1, Evernote 6.5, and Airfoil 5.0.

Adam Engst 31 comments

Thoughts on Tim Cook’s Open Letter Criticizing Backdoors

The FBI has asked Apple to create a backdoor-enabled version of iOS to aid in the investigation of the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Although the company has complied with all legal subpoenas and warrants to this point, Apple CEO Tim Cook has published an open letter to customers explaining why the company is fighting the FBI’s request for a backdoor. Adam Engst explains what’s at stake, and why Apple is taking its case to the public.

Adam Engst 8 comments

More Thoughts on Apple’s Stance on Backdoors

We’ve coopted our ExtraBITS column this week to focus on developments in the dispute between Apple and the FBI over the agency’s request for Apple to create a tool that would enable brute forcing of iPhone passcodes. Also, Adam introduces the coverage with some thoughts on why this case is so difficult to evaluate.