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Is that a lot or a little?



It's a lot if they want to hack millions of iPhones each year. As a one-off engineering project to break into an iPhone, it seems remarkably reasonable.


It's about par. Some security firms will charge $1M/year and over. Corporate enterprises involved in intelligence gathering for the government (i.e. ATnT, Apple, Google, Microsoft, basically any "free" and paid tech service) can make a lot of money depending on how many accounts they pass off to the FBI,NSA, etc... If you're using any service in the US and the "West", even the "free speech" stuff like ytcombinator, reddit, they'll pass of information and can charge for it.

edit: Apple's encryption fight, for example, is a bit of a wash. It's basically to lure in more users which they can charge more for. The more value the user has for their privacy, the more companies can charge for access.

They are all corporate enterprises, and their responsibility is to profit for their shareholders. When the government offers a legal profitable offer, they have a responsibility to take it. If they are found not to take it, and a group or party finds out and can prove it was a profitable venture, they can attack the company with the courts.


That's bullshit.

Management has wide-ranging freedom to define what they see as the best course of action and nothing short of fraud is actionable in a court: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_judgment_rule.

In this case, the obvious defense would be that for a company such as Apple, the fees they charge the government for access are completely meaningless, compared to the damage the brand could suffer if they're found violating their user's privacy.

At 25$ each as mentioned above, these fees probably don't even cover the costs of having a lawyer take a quick look at it.




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