Apple vs The FBI

You’d have to be deeply off-grid to be missing the policy debate around Apple “unlocking” the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.  The issue has all of the trappings of a serious, technology-induced stress-test of the Constitution.

In a recent Pew Research poll, 51% of respondents were in favor of Apple unlocking the phone.  Unfortunately, things are not quite that simple.  I wonder what the poll results would be with a more accurate question:

Do you think the Government should be able to force Apple, against its will, to make a special version of iOS that’s deliberately less secure, so that the FBI can attempt to unlock the shooter’s phone?

The emphasized section captures the what’s new here:  this is not about Apple providing an iCloud backup (as they’ve done in other case) or using some sort of “master key”. This is about being forced, under great duress, to make a new operating system, they call GovtOS.  The FBI’s requested GovtOS would, among other things, (a) allow passcodes to be guessed rapidly and (b) not self-destruct after 10 attempts, and presumably allow a brute force attack against the phone.

Legally, the government is pushing the All Writs Act of 1789 into brand new territory.  Generally, this Act gives courts the power to issue orders to third-parties to assist in the administration of justice (e.g. the telephone company being required to assist in wiretapping your phone).  But the Act hasn’t been used before to force someone to create new technology.

Apple’s legal response is well-written, worth reading, and (I think) makes a solid and compelling argument.  Though the FBI says “just this once”, Apple has properly highlighted a very dangerous precedent:  if the order to develop GovtOS is lawful, what about all other inaccessible phones?  What about additional GovtOS features, like surreptitiously enabling the microphone?

Also, should Apple have to compensate for government missteps?  The government reset the iCloud password without consulting Apple (foreclosing any possibility of initiating a new backup).  Worse, the San Bernardino County Public Health Department (who owns the phone) never enabled Apple’s Mobile Device Manager, which gives employers the ability to clear the passcode lock and disable the Erase Data feature!

Finally, Apple’s First Amendment argument is compelling.  Code is speech and forcing Apple to develop GovtOS is akin to forcing them to say something they don’t want to say.

On the government’s side, the FBI and Justice Department argue technology can’t be “above the law”.  And that’s exactly where our non-technical policy makers don’t get it: technology IS above the law.  Our laws will always be trumped by the laws of science, math and nature (even though an occasional legislature will attempt otherwise).

Consider this thought experiment:  I’ve been asked by many friends, “If Apple made it, they must be able to unlock it!”   It’s actually fairly easy to build things that can only be opened in very particular circumstances without self-destructing.  Anyone can build a heavy safe with critical information on tissue paper with some highly flammable liquid. For a wrong combination, movement, or any disturbance, it dumps and ignites the liquid, destroying the tissue.  Or, it could have a thumb drive poised over a vial of acid — one wrong move and data is permanently destroyed.

The terrorist attack was an horrific tragedy, but that doesn’t give the government a license to powers beyond those Constitutionally granted.  To quote the late Justice Scalia in a majority opinion:

There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.

The only way to have man’s laws trump mother nature’s laws is to outlaw technology.  If the order stands, we’ve taken our first big step in that direction.

Is CBD Safe During Pregnancy? – Expert Advice

CBD gummies have gained popularity among pregnant women seeking relief from various pregnancy symptoms. With their potential to alleviate nausea and discomfort, many expectant mothers turn to these products for a natural remedy during this critical time. However, it is crucial to understand the safety and potential effects of CBD during pregnancy.

Research on the use of CBD in pregnant animals suggests possible risks such as miscarriage. Therefore, it is essential for pregnant women to exercise caution and consult with their healthcare providers before consuming any CBD products.

Safety of Using CBD During Pregnancy

Limited research exists on the safety of using CBD during pregnancy. It is important to prioritize the well-being of both the mother and the developing fetus. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD gummies while pregnant.

The lack of regulation in the industry makes it essential to choose reputable brands. Here are some key points to consider when assessing the safety of CBD products for pregnant women:

Lack of Research and Data

Due to legal restrictions and ethical concerns, there is a scarcity of scientific studies specifically examining the effects of CBD on pregnant women. As a result, reliable information regarding its safety during pregnancy is limited.

Consultation with Healthcare Professionals

Given the lack of conclusive evidence, it is crucial for pregnant women to seek guidance from their healthcare providers before incorporating CBD gummies or any other CBD products into their routine. Healthcare professionals can provide personalized advice based on individual circumstances and potential risks.

Potential Risks

Although limited research suggests that low doses of CBD may not pose significant risks during pregnancy, caution should still be exercised. Some studies have indicated potential adverse effects such as altered fetal neurodevelopment or increased risk of preterm birth. However, more research is needed to establish definitive conclusions.

Quality and Regulation

The unregulated nature of the CBD industry highlights the importance of choosing reputable brands that prioritize quality control measures. Look for companies that provide third-party lab testing results to ensure product purity and potency.

Potential Effects of CBD on Developing Brain in Pregnancy

While there is limited research specifically focused on the effects of CBD on the developing brain during pregnancy, studies suggest that THC, not CBD, may have negative impacts. THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that produces a “high” sensation. It is important to note that CBD products typically contain minimal or no THC.

More research is needed to determine any potential risks or benefits of using CBD during pregnancy. The existing studies mainly focus on the effects of cannabis use as a whole, which includes both THC and CBD. However, these studies do provide some insights into the potential effects on brain development.

Pregnant women should exercise caution when considering the use of any cannabis-derived products. Here are some key points to consider:

Side Effects and Risks

THC exposure during pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of developmental issues and cognitive impairments in children.

It is unclear whether similar risks apply to CBD alone, as most studies examine cannabis use as a whole.

The lack of regulation and standardization in the CBD industry makes it difficult to ensure product safety.

Breast Milk and Gene Activity

Limited evidence suggests that cannabinoids can be detected in breast milk after maternal use.

The long-term effects of exposure to cannabinoids through breast milk are still unknown.

Some animal studies have shown changes in gene activity related to brain development after exposure to cannabinoids.

Link Between THC and CBD Exposure in Womb and Childhood Development

Prenatal exposure to high levels of THC has been associated with developmental issues in children.

Studies have shown that when pregnant women are exposed to high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, it can have negative effects on the development of their children. These developmental issues include problems with cognitive function, attention span, and behavioral difficulties. It is important for pregnant women to avoid using products containing high levels of THC to minimize these risks.

The impact of prenatal exposure to low levels of THC or CBD remains unclear.

While there is evidence suggesting potential harm from exposure to high levels of THC during pregnancy, the impact of low-level exposure or exposure to cannabidiol (CBD) is still not well understood. Research on this topic is limited, making it difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the effects of these substances on fetal development. Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women err on the side of caution and avoid all forms of cannabis use during pregnancy.

It is essential for pregnant women to avoid products containing high levels of THC.

To protect the developing fetus from potential harm, it is crucial for pregnant women to abstain from using any products that contain high levels of THC. This includes both recreational marijuana and certain medical marijuana products that have higher concentrations of THC. Instead, if seeking relief from symptoms during pregnancy, alternative methods should be explored under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional.

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