Around November 2015 I got a letter in the mail from Cox Communications, my ISP. “Gigablast is coming soon!” it said, along with a warning that service might be interrupted from time to time over the next few weeks as they install infrastructure.
Needless to say, I was excited. I was already on their highest-tier plan (300Mbps down, 30Mbps up), but faster always seems better. Why? Because why not?
I was also very interested in the rollout because I wasn’t familiar with much of the technology of optical networks. This was a chance to observe up-close how it all works. And since a lot of the technology was going underground, there would be a limited window of opportunity to observe it, ever.
With that in mind I did my best to take photos, talk to workers, and document as much of the process as I could. I’ve documented the process here in roughly chronological order, and I’ve done my best to gather the details necessary to get a good grip on how the Cox Fiber network is physically setup in neighborhoods with Gigablast.
This afternoon Apple posted a motion in response to the order brought by the court on behalf of the FBI:
APPLE INC’S MOTION TO VACATE ORDER COMPELLING APPLE INC. TO ASSIST AGENTS IN SEARCH, AND OPPOSITION TO GOVERNMENT’S MOTION TO COMPEL ASSISTANCE
You can read the entire document if you’re interested.
What I find brilliant about this particular motion is that it’s clearly written in a manner meant to be quoted from. Some sections almost read as a collection of sound bites more than a legal argument. That said, make no mistake, this is a thorough dressing-down of the FBI’s request.
Below you’ll find my favorite quotes from the document.
In fact, no court has ever authorized what the government now seeks, no law supports such unlimited and sweeping use of the judicial process, and the Constitution forbids it.
In short, the government wants to compel Apple to create a crippled and insecure product.
Finally, given the government’s boundless interpretation of the All Writs Act, it is hard to conceive of any limits on the orders the government could obtain in the future. For example, if Apple can be forced to write code in this case to bypass security features and create new accessibility, what is to stop the government from demanding that Apple write code to turn on the microphone in aid of government surveillance, activate the video camera, surreptitiously record conversations, or turn on location services to track the phone’s user? Nothing.
I’ve wanted to add photography to my site for a long time, but never had a good way to add photo posts. It was always a chore to copy the file, resize it into multiple sizes, find the filenames and copy them where they needed to go, then create the post and add the image tags, link it all up, and finally push the update.
So I finally wrote a script to do it all for me.