Apple’s Tim Cook warns of ‘dire consequences’ of sacrificing privacy for security

“Apple chief executive Tim Cook said that there should not have to be a trade-off between national security and personal privacy,” Zack Whittaker reports for ZDNet.

“In a speech as part of a cybersecurity summit hosted by The White House at Stanford University, the Apple boss said history has shown that sacrificing rights to privacy can have ‘dire consequences’ on society,” Whittaker reports. “‘We risk something far more valuable than money. We risk our way of life,’ he said.”

“Cook was the only Silicon Valley chief executive to attend the cybersecurity summit, with leaders from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Facebook choosing to send senior security executives in their places — possibly because of continued anger over historical government intrusions into their systems,” Whittaker reports. “Cook’s critique comes almost two years after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden disclosed wide-ranging domestic surveillance programs that tapped data from Silicon Valley companies. Apple was named in the leaked slides that detailed the PRISM surveillance program. ‘Our customers’ trust means everything to us. And we’ve spent decades earning that trust,’ Cook said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. – Ronald Reagan, March 30, 1961

Visit the Apple-backed reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

31 Comments

    1. I would fly to New York for the ticker tape parade!

      It boggles my mind that someone who stood up to the government and unveiled secret shady behavior is not considered a hero by everyone.

      Government does not equal Country.

    2. Like virtually every president before him, Obama is little more than a figurehead. The real decision makers would like to boil Edward Snowden in oil for exposing the scope of their dirty dealings. Electing a new president will not change this situation in the slightest.

    1. Reagan is a far-left kook compared to today’s right-wing Tea Party Sarah-Palin apologists. These extremists wouldn’t even invite somebody like Reagan to their conventions.

      1. I knew Ronald Reagan personally. . . and he would disagree with your assessment strongly. He and Sarah Palin would see eye-to-eye on many things. . . and so would he and the Tea Party. You have no idea what you are talking about. . . and you have no idea what Tea Party people stand for.

          1. Which proves you don’t have a clue what the Tea Party stands for. Not an ounce of knowledge. Ignorant comments will be ignored. You should do some reading besides from Liberal idiots who lie.

          1. I know. It makes more sense to have a government taking half our earnings, spending it and then spending $trillions more using our credit without having any clue how they will ever pay it back. It is insane to try to stop this.

  1. “Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Facebook choosing to send senior security executives in their places — possibly because of continued anger over historical government intrusions into their systems.”

    How stupid, childish, and shortsighted. An opportunity to speak truth to power and you throw it away by sending an underling.

    Today I am so proud of Apple and Tim Cook.

  2. Apple has spent decades earning that trust and the resulting loyalty from it’s core users and investors is as solid as their trust.

    No other company can say that and no other company is even remotely close.

  3. at what point in our history were things right and perfect? What was the world like? Who were we fighting and supporting? How does that time, compare to now?

    I am sorry, I don’t think we can fix anything, until we understand where we have been, where we are, so we can choose, appropriately, where to go.

    1. It’s always been right and perfect since life emerged on this planet, though right and perfection are relative terms. The worlds was different in many ways and the same in many ways, every day is unique. We continue to fight for and support life.

      How does that compare to now? Well there is one species on the planet that likes to war upon itself and leaves its population unchecked. That’s not too big an issue, certainly with well over 90% of the species that have ever existed now extinct I think you can see what one fix could be.

      Insofar as being able to fix something by understanding where you have been, where you are and where we can choose appropriately, that’s a very wise and insightful comment.

      There is a so called leader that has come along recently and says famously ““look forward, not back.” about a crime against humanity that is torture the people can look at their options.

      1. Leave
      2. Bend over and take it.
      3. Stand up and fight, pour the good blood to defend what is right.

      Right now, it’s pretty darn clear to see that the second option is what is happening to the people who follow this leader. Back around 1776 the third option was engaged, and the result was brilliant. I think we are seeing a very different result now under option 2. As MDN’s quote points out, liberty nor safety will result. I think you can figure out what will result.

  4. Thank you Tim Cook for making a stand and speaking your mind.

    You are almost right when you say “there should not have to be a trade-off between national security and personal privacy,” there shouldn’t unless of course that national security is based on being a threat to global security.

    Make no mistake Mr. Tim Cook, the governmental infrastructure of your country is a wannabe threat to global security.

    You cannot attain freedom, essential liberty personal privacy by removing it from others or when you let yourself be ruled by those who remove it from others.

    It’s been said in the article that other chief executives have been absent “possibly because of continued anger over historical government intrusions into their systems.”

    I doubt it’s anger, it’s a wising up up on just how bad this crumbling empire is becoming.

    If you truly mean that “Our customers’ trust means everything to us. And we’ve spent decades earning that trust,” as I believe you do, then you need to consider taking care of the beast before you or get out and set up business elsewhere. Neither alternative is appealing but the only other option I see is succumbing to them as so many are doing.

    Remember when you talk about your customers, you are talking about those beyond your national borders, you are also talking about citizens of the free and civilized world.

    Good luck to you Mr. Cook, may you continue to be a beacon of light in these very dark times.

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