October 13, 2014 Last Updated 8:55 am

FBI Director says Apple and Google have ‘gone too far’ to protect privacy of its customers

Morning Brief: 60 Minutes segment follows similar one with NPR’s All Things Considered; GIE Media updates their landscape digital magazine apps

The CBS news show 60 Minutes last night broadcast an interview with FBI Director James Comey in which the the highest law enforcement officer in the U.S. accused Apple and Google of ‘going too far’ in their attempts to provide privacy protections for owners of their smartphone devices with the introduction of new encryption.

Comey-60Minutes-sm“The notion that we would market devices that would allow someone to place themselves beyond the law, troubles me a lot,” Comey said in the interview with Scott Pelley. “As a country, I don’t know why we would want to put people beyond the law. That is, sell cars with trunks that couldn’t ever be opened by law enforcement with a court order, or sell an apartment that could never be entered even by law enforcement. Would you want to live in that neighborhood? This is a similar concern. The notion that people have devices, again, that with court orders, based on a showing of probable cause in a case involving kidnapping or child exploitation or terrorism, we could never open that phone? My sense is that we’ve gone too far when we’ve gone there.”

The uncritical interview with the director of the FBI follows a similar segment on NPR’s All Things Considered with Comey was able to express the same concerns, saying that Comey doesn’t understand why the two companies would “market something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.”

Today is Columbus Day in the United States, one of those odd holidays that appear to have been created so that there is a holiday between Labor Day in early September and Veteran’s Day (or Armistice Day, as it was formerly known) on November 11. The holiday means the post office is closed, and there are special sales are retailers, but little else.

But it may mean that there will be few new apps or app updates released today. So Apple rushed out a bunch late last week to clear the system.

LL_GIE-screenOne of the media companies that saw their updates released was GIE Media. The B2B publisher was an early developer of digital editions for their landscape magazines which include Lawn & Landscape and Greenhouse Management. In May of 2012, the publisher began by releasing a digital-only magazine for the consumer market called A Garden Life, followed by native digital editions for the landscape books.

The apps use the Adobe DPS to build their stand-alone apps and were a move in a new direction for the publisher who had previously only produced flip books.

“The flipbook apps don’t give you that kind of measurement, and frankly are just not very engaging, so people go in they read an article and they pop out. So we made a decision to move away from Texterity, which was the majority of flip book apps that we had until this year,” Chris Foster, President and COO of GIE Media, told TNM in early 2013.

But digital publishing has not progressed as many would have liked. A Garden Life has been shuttered and its app pulled from the Apple App Store, and while the landscape magazine apps are still available, the other apps from GIE Media are only offering readers replica editions. Also, while the apps for the landscape magazines have been updated for “viewer enhancements” the app descriptions have not been as the apps feature only one, outdated, magazine cover.

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