Apple CEO Tim Cook defends privacy, encryption amidst terrorist concerns

“Apple CEO Tim Cook staunchly defended personal privacy and the use of encryption on iPhones amidst renewed concerns about terrorists hiding covert electronic messages when they plan deadly attacks,” Matt Hamblen reports for Computerworld. “In an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning that aired Friday, Cook said the supposed tradeoff between privacy and security is ‘only a simplistic view—we can have both.'”

“Cook repeated Apple’s stance that it complies specifically with court-ordered warrants to produce information as required by law enforcement, but said of encrypted data on iPhones, ‘We don’t have it to give,'” Hamblen reports. “That’s because Apple’s iPhones running versions after iOS 4 keep decryption keys on a user’s iPhone and not on a server or some other place, as Apple has pointed out many times before.”

“Apple’s reason for protecting a user’s data with encryption technology, Cook said, is to offer privacy for all kinds of personal data, such as health information, ‘intimate conversations with family,’ and more. Opening up that encrypted data in some way would make the information widely available, he said,” Hamblen reports. “‘The reality is that a back door is for everybody– good and bad,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Adhere to the U.S. Constitution.

Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! – Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

Visit the Apple-backed today.

Apple CEO Cook defends encryption, opposes back door for government spies – October 20, 2015
Judge declines to order Apple to disable security on device seized by U.S. government – October 10, 2015
Apple refused to give iMessages to the U.S. government – September 8, 2015
Obama administration war against Apple just got uglier – July 31, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
U.S. Senate blocks measures to extend so-called Patriot Act; NSA’s bulk collection of phone records in jeopardy – May 23, 2015
Rand Paul commandeers U.S. Senate to protest so-called Patriot Act, government intrusion on Americans’ privacy – May 20, 2015
Apple, others urge Obama to reject any proposal for smartphone backdoors – May 19, 2015
U.S. appeals court rules NSA bulk collection of phone data illegal – May 7, 2015
In open letter to Obama, Apple, Google, others urge Patriot Act not be renewed – March 26, 2015
Apple’s iOS encryption has ‘petrified’ the U.S. administration, governments around the world – March 19, 2015


  1. Thank You Tim!

    Here is some seriously SH*T news of the day:

    Budget bill heads to President Obama’s desk with CISA intact
    Spoiler alert: Obama won’t veto this one.

    In a nutshell, CISA was meant to allow companies to share information on cyber attacks — including data from private citizens — with other companies and the Department of Homeland Security. Once DHS had all the pertinent details, they could be passed along to the FBI and NSA for further investigation and, potentially, legal action. The thing is, critics saw the bill as way for government agencies to more easily keep tabs on Americans without their knowledge. CISA was derided by privacy advocates and tech titans alike, with companies like Amazon, Apple, Dropbox, Google, Facebook and Symantec (to name just a few) issued statements against an earlier version of the bill.

    By sticking CISA into such a huge omnibus bill, there’s basically no way it won’t become law. And if anything, the version of CISA that was quietly slipped into this budget plays with privacy even faster and looser than the original. For one, a previously held prohibition against sharing information with the NSA has been removed, meaning America’s best surveillance agency can receive pertinent data without it being handled by Homeland Security first. More importantly, the provision that required personal information to be scrubbed from cybersecurity reports also seems to have gone missing, leaving that task up to the discretion of which ever agency gets their hands on it. While the federal government has been trying to toughen its stance on cybersecurity in the wake of massive hacks on the Office of Personnel Management and Sony, we wound up with an even more effete version of a questionable plan that will soon become law.

    Update: As expected, President Obama has just signed the bill, enacting both the $1.1 trillion budget and CISA.

    #MyWillfullyStupidGovernment: Destroying the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution one willfully stupid, unconstitutional law at a time.

    1. Yes, another one of the editors’ favourite misquotes.

      While I agree with Tim’s motivation and sentiments on the subject of privacy and security for their users, there is something he may be overlooking in the formation of his company’s noble efforts on their behalf. So far, at worst, he is erring on the side of the angels.

      Most legal and ethical arguments on this subject should begin and end with an agreement on the definition of what is a “reasonable expectation of privacy”. It is absolutely reasonable to expect complete privacy of all your communications. It is not reasonable to expect any communication of a criminal nature to have the same protection.

      If reasonable authorities have determined that access to private communications is required to prevent or detect criminal intent, and a warrant has been issued, then access should be granted. We have this already, and there are few kinds of communication that are immune to surveillance or inspection when warranted. This would seem to be in agreement with reasonable expectations of privacy.
      As Mr. Cook points out, and many other electronic freedom advocates agree with him, is that there is no way that this access can be limited to only legal access.
      Strong encryption is barrier enough for most privacy concerns, and that is all that Apple is currently doing, and it can be broken given enough time and resources. If Apple were to open their systems via a back door, the potential for harm is an enormous liability.
      I believe Apple does bare some responsibility to not enable criminal misuse of their devices if possible. I don’t believe that’s possible, or someone would already be doing it. I do believe, if any company in the world could do it, Apple could, and they should at least commit to finding a way that will satisfy both users and law enforcement.
      Difficult problem. Will require the best of intention and invention, something that already seems to be in Apple’s genes.



      1. Hmmmm “I believe Apple does bare some responsibility to not enable criminal misuse of their devices if possible. “.. Is this like Fred when he sold his old plumbing company truck and bought a new one. 6 months later, a picture of ISIS driving his truck with an anti-aircraft gun mounted on the back is posted on line.
        Should we shoot Fred for allowing his truck to be used by terrorists, his used car dealer, the transporter, or just be safe and shoot all of them. ?????

        Its a slippery slope, this whole “they are bad” focus.

        1. It is indeed a slippery slope, we don’t ask gun manufacturers to make it difficult for users to use their products in the commission of a crime, or cars, or dozens of other tangible goods. I just believe Apple had a big opportunity to make a difference, and they should at least try, and regardless whether the outcome is the same, they have the credibility to settle this issue once and for all. Thanks for reading Norm!

          Who down voted my post? Care to comment?



    2. I am sure the black marketeers that captured their own people for profit would have appreciated your sentiments. The reality is, Patrick Henry and the rest of the founders fought and won against the tyranny that was King George; While not perfect, the years between 1789 and 1865, a mere 76 years, was a pittance in time that ended the scourge of humanity: slavery.

      PS: Your muslim friends still practice this to this very day.
      Islam: Where everyday is always 700 ad.®

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