Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about the latest twists and turns in the Jussie Smollett case. The article notes that two days ago Kim Foxx told the media that she thought the court had sealed Smollett’s court file due to a misunderstanding and that it would be unsealed once the error was recognized. Well, things have changed.
The article reports:
The state prosecutors’ association also faulted Cook County prosecutors for not objecting to a defense request to immediately seal the court file at Tuesday’s brief, unannounced hearing. By Tuesday evening, all traces of the case had been deleted from court records.
In an interview Wednesday with the Tribune, Foxx said she believed the case file had only been sealed due to a misunderstanding — and that the seal did not apply to the entire court file. Nevertheless, she said, the case file would be unsealed.
However, on Thursday, an office spokeswoman backed off that claim, saying the case file would remain under seal in its entirety by court order.
The Chicago Tribune ran to court yesterday to try to prevent Smollett’s lawyers from moving to expunge his file, which conceivably would mean all records related to the case getting destroyed. Smollett’s lawyers insisted they won’t try to do that — surely you trust them — and the presiding judge assured the Tribune’s attorneys that records wouldn’t be destroyed even if the file ultimately was expunged. “That isn’t what we do in Cook County,” he said.
So, look out next week for the inevitable headline, “SMOLLETT RECORDS DESTROYED AFTER FILE EXPUNGED; FOXX KNOWS NOTHING.”
Yesterday The Los Angeles Times posted an article about the ongoing battle between Apple Inc. and the federal government. Apple cell phones have systems built into them that prevent someone who steals your cell phone from having access to all of your personal (and professional) information. Obviously, if you are a terrorist, this works really well. I am not a computer/cell phone-savvy person and did not understand what was going on here. The explanation you are about to hear is the result of a techie explaining the situation to me.
The article in the Los Angeles Times reports:
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym in Riverside directed Apple on Tuesday to help the FBI get around the phone’s passcode protection and any auto-erase functions the device might employ.
In a statement, Cook said that such a move would undermine encryption by creating a backdoor that could potentially be used in the future on devices.
…The Manhattan district attorney‘s office said in a report issued in November that it was unable to execute 111 search warrants for smartphones over the last year because they were running on encrypted technology offered through Apple’s iOS 8 operating system.
So let’s look at some possible solutions that do not create a backdoor.
First of all, the government should need a warrant to search any cell phone. Considering this phone belonged to a terrorist shooter, that should not be a problem. Second of all, there is no reason why the government can’t turn the phone over to Apple and ask them to please provide the government with all information on the phone. Since Apple set up the programs that encrypted it, they should be able to unencrypt it. Again, I am not technically savvy, but that seems to me to be the obvious solution. In future cases where an Apple cell phone needs to be searched, a warrant shall be required, and the phone should be turned over to Apple. Therefore, no backdoor is created, and the feds can go merrily on their way with the information they need. I would be very reluctant to give the federal government a means to unencrypt any cell phone. I simply don’t trust the government with that kind of power.