“Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, was relentless during a private meeting of tech giants and President Obama’s top national security officials last month,” Michael D. Shear and Katie Benner report for The New York Times. “Encrypted devices like the iPhone are here to stay, he insisted. Law enforcement needs to find a way to do its job in a new world.”

“James B. Comey Jr., the director of the F.B.I., and Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch pushed back, but Mr. Cook stood firm, several participants said,” Shear and Benner report. “‘With all due respect,’ Mr. Cook told those around the table, including Mr. Obama’s counterterrorism chief and the heads of the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, ‘I think there has been a lack of leadership in the White House on this.'”

“Denis R. McDonough, the president’s chief of staff, took exception and said so. Law enforcement officials described him as stung by what they called Mr. Cook’s ‘rant,’ although tech executives in the room insisted that Apple’s chief executive was respectful,” Shear and Benner report. “By refusing demands from Mr. Obama’s Justice Department to help unlock a phone used by one of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists, Mr. Cook has become the leading voice in Silicon Valley for encryption. By voicing strong support for his F.B.I., Mr. Obama is now the effective chief prosecutor of the administration’s case for allowing law enforcement to penetrate iPhones.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Either way, this is going to blow up in the U.S. government’s collective face, as it well should.

To set a stronger alphanumeric passcode on your iOS device that cannot be easily brute-forced:

1. Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. On devices without Touch ID, go to Settings > Passcode
2. Tap Change Passcode
3. Tap Passcode Options to switch to a custom alphanumeric code
4. Enter your new, stronger passcode again to confirm it and activate it

SEE ALSO:
Obama administration set to expand sharing of data that N.S.A. intercepts – February 28, 2016
Apple’s fight with U.S. could speed development of devices impervious to government intrusion – February 24, 2016
Petition asks Obama administration to stop demanding Apple create iPhone backdoor – February 19, 2016
Obama administration claims FBI is not asking Apple for a ‘backdoor’ to the iPhone – February 18, 2016
Obama administration wants access to smartphones – December 15, 2015
Obama administration war against Apple just got uglier – July 31, 2015
Obama’s secret attempt to ban cellphone unlocking, while claiming to support it – November 19, 2013

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]