Apple CEO Tim Cook lashes out at Obama administration over encryption, bemoans White House lack of leadership

“Apple CEO Tim Cook lashed out at the high-level delegation of Obama administration officials who came calling on tech leaders in San Jose last week, criticizing the White House for a lack of leadership and asking the administration to issue a strong public statement defending the use of unbreakable encryption,” Jenna McLaughlin reports for The Intercept.

“The White House should come out and say ‘no backdoors,’ Cook said. That would mean overruling repeated requests from FBI director James Comey and other administration officials that tech companies build some sort of special access for law enforcement into otherwise unbreakable encryption. Technologists agree that any such measure could be exploited by others,” McLaughlin reports. “But Attorney General Loretta Lynch responded to Cook by speaking of the “balance” necessary between privacy and national security – a balance that continues to be debated within the administration.”

McLaughlin reports, “The exchange was described to The Intercept by two people who were briefed on the meeting, which the White House called to discuss a variety of counterterrorism issues with representatives from Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Cloudflare, Google, Drop Box, Microsoft, and LinkedIn.”

Read more in the full article here.

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

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Apple CEO Tim Cook opposes government back door to encryption – December 21, 2015
Donald Trump: To stop ISIS recruiting, maybe we should be talking to Bill Gates about ‘closing that Internet up in some way’ – December 21, 2015
Hillary Clinton: We need to put Silicon Valley tech firms to ‘work at disrupting ISIS’ – December 7, 2015
Tim Cook attacks Google, U.S. federal government over right to privacy abuses – June 3, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook advocates privacy, says terrorists should be ‘eliminated’ – February 27, 2015
Apple’s iPhone encryption is a godsend, even if government snoops and cops hate it – October 8, 2014
Short-timer U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder blasts Apple for protecting users’ privacy against government overreach – September 30, 2014
FBI blasts Apple for protective users’ privacy by locking government, police out of iPhones and iPads – September 25, 2014
Apple thinks different about privacy – September 23, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
Would you trade privacy for national security? Most Americans wouldn’t – August 6, 2014
Apple begins encrypting iCloud email sent between providers – July 15, 2014
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up U.S. feds’ surveillance – April 4, 2013


    1. Both sides are damaging this nation. Neither side is completely in the right. The problem is that they both act like they are. In addition, they have succeeded in polarizing the American populace and manipulating them to ascribe to one of two general political platforms.

      Be a part of the solution, not the problem. Do not buy into the agendas of the two major political parties. They are not acting on your behalf, no matter what they say. Just like corporations, the political parties have no soul, no conscience, and they act to benefit those in power. Be independent!

      1. And, just to clarify, both of the major parties are right-wing, when it comes to economic, military, and most other policies. The Democrats tend to be more left on some social issues, but the libertarians often agree on those social issues, as well.
        The largest actual left-wing party in the U.S. is the Green Party.
        So, it’s kind of crazy to say “leftists killing U.S.”, since leftists are not actually in elected office. Much more accurate to say “right-wing and less-extreme-right-wing policies are killing the U.S.”

        1. Gay marriage, Obamacare, aborted baby parts for sale, insane taxation, transgenderism=sainthood, open borders, mass importation of Muslims, arming Iranian Muslims with nukes, guns are evil, whites are evil, etc. Reallly right wing. Leftism is a mental disorder.

        1. As dim as that sounds, it would actually be a better choice than we really get.

          The choice we really get is people ACTING like cluelessness hidebound conservatives, or fascistic liberals, in order to pander for votes but ACTUALLY being in the pocket of corporations, especially those that most feed off government policies (such as the commercial military industry and Wallstreet), regardless of party.

          1. Yes, they are both ultimately lackeys of the ultra-rich, but not let’s say it is equally so.

            – There is one party engaging in overtly racist actions to diminish the access of poor people to voting.
            – There is one part who denigrates all lower income people as parasitic scum (although their leader has quite dramatically backpedalled on that just recently. Maybe he’s realized they should stop being so dedicated to making enemies of a huge number of the population.)
            – There is one party who declares their primary intent is to get even more money into the hands of those who already have most of the countries wealth… a policy that has failed spectacularly over and over.
            – There is one party that keeps trying to bring their religious beliefs into politics – in a country that was founded on the separation of church and state.

    2. In order to BAAOD be-against-anything-Obama-does you have to, er, support the ACLU.

      Your lost . . . you don’t know what to do, the world just doesn’t make sense anymore.

    3. I forgot that McCain and Romney promised to supported unbreakable encryption when elected. Wait, I didn’t forget that – that never fucking happened.

      Can’t you see how being so overly partisan makes you so easy to manipulate? You heard the “other side” get criticized over encryption, and you, not knowing jack shit about the issue, just assume that “your side” is correct about encryption, because they are “your side” – despite the reality that “your side” has the exact same stance on encryption. Does that not make you an easily manipulated fool?

      Just imagine, from an outside perspective, what it must look like to to see someone so stuck in this “my side is right, their side is wrong” mentality. Purposefully ignoring all objective truths that do not support your preconception. Purposefully oblivious to all negatives on your side and all positives of the other other. Oblivious to the fact the people supporting the other are doing the exact same thing with the sides reversed. Content to bond yourself to leftist partisans in endless mindless political combat. What fools you all are!

      Please, try to notice how Democratic and Republican elites are manipulating you, and practice some form of resistance, instead of proudly acting as their propaganda tool.

      1. Exactly. Anyone with a party preference has fallen under the illusion of identity politics and isn’t helping anyone by voting.

        So called “conservatives” and “progressives” are not either of those things, and solutions to problems don’t come in Red or Blue or any other two-sided fake debate.

        If 90% of voters actually had independent minds the parties would be forced to come up with candidates worth voting for. Unfortunately, due to a genetics need to identify with groups instead of thinking, that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

      2. I prefer NO political parties allowed. Then no one could align with anybody, no loyalty owed, or line to follow. We’d just vote for the person who’s ideas we like, and if there were no parties, that person would be more free to say exactly what they stand for, no one they have to kiss up to. The Party system is not a party anymore it’s a disaster.

  1. The government wants us to leave our doors unlocked and our windows open, so they can wander through whenever they happen to feel like it? And we should totally just trust them because they’ll totally only do it if necessary? Pffft.

    Fool me once shame on you.

    Fool me twice, NO BACKDOORS FOR YOU!

  2. Now the frothing right-wingers heads are going to explode. It’s a clear issue with two sides. So they must agree with either the darkie, muslim, communist president, or the ‘abomination in the eyes of the lord’ CEO. Aaaaaaaargh!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Here’s where you’re wrong Sean. It’s the left is full of only-see-one-side-of-the-arguement radicals. Most of us on the right are smart enough to see both sides. Only the left paints people into buckets, so you can bemoan their mistreatment and pander for their votes. Over here on the right, we welcome anyone. We’ve got a black, white, female, hispanic, and cuban candidates for president. How ’bout ya’ll? You’ve got a soon-to-be criminal and a even farther left than Obama candidate. Truth hurts.

      1. You have got to be joking. Read your own post! You are the one putting millions of people into a bucket so that you can dismiss their opinions.

        The right is the king of presenting only one side of the equation. For instance, with Obama you will see a “fair and balanced” new report with two sides. One is the Republican side stating how awful Obama is for the country. The other side is reputedly a Democrat who hates Obama. Some balance…

        The right has no balance in taxation. The right has no balance in spending. The right has no balance on guns. The right has no balance on healthcare. The right has no balance for anyone who is not already wealthy and scared shitless of losing it.

    2. Sean…you’re not seeing well. I’m on the right and my head is intact. As “Rightist” wrote above, it’s a two party confab that mucking things. As MDN and “Rightist” state: “adhere to the Constitution” and “be a part of the solution.” I’ll add, ad hominem criticisms don’t advance arguments.

      1. Note my use of the word “frothing” to signify brainless reactivity.

        I distinguish between conservative and right wing.
        And I further distinguish between right wing and frothing right wing… the latter being against everything the president does, because he is a darkie communist and against everything Tim Cook does because he is “an abomination in the eyes of the lord”.

  3. Bravo to Tim Cook.

    Even if you are wealthy and have a good reputation, it still takes a bit of courage to stand up to the military/industrial/terrorism/corporate espionage complex.

    Unfortunately, most Americans don’t even know their constitutional rights, so it’s hard for them to comprehend what he’s defending.

  4. Apple should publicly point out that encryption software is widely available and that the ship has sailed. Even if all major OS’s and ISP’s provided backdoors, Bad Guys who want encryption will have it and Good Guys will not.

    All the US (and other government’s) plans do is make it easier for them to read your casual sexting. And catch idiot criminals.

    One of the first things Al Queda and the like learned after 9/11 is that the US monitors all electronic communications everywhere. After it leaked that we nailed a few of them through their cell phones, Osama bin Laden never made another phone call. Couriers, message pads, one time ciphers etc. were the communication method of choice. They could even continue to use backdoor-enabled systems to communicate with code words and signals, in fact.

    I personally DO NOT want and Edward Snowden snooping through anyone’s communications, period. And the only way that’s possible is if it’s possible.

  5. I can’t get the link to work, anyone else with that issue?

    I’m sure that Tim Cook realizes that there are many countries of the free and civilized world that say no to backdoor encryption and would welcome that company if they chose to move their headquarters there.

  6. “…that tech companies build some sort of special access for law enforcement into otherwise unbreakable encryption. Technologists agree that any such measure could be exploited by others,”

    I’m worried about the backdoor being exploited by others (through hacking). But what no one seems to be talking about is other countries exploiting this backdoor approach (through legal means).

    If Apple (or Google, or anyone) has to build in a back door for use by the US law enforcement community and intelligence services, they will also have to provide the keys to other regimes around the world.

    Putin could get a court order to unlock Obama’s communications.

    Dilma could have Brazilian agencies search ExxonMobil’s files.

    Kim Jong-un could have the North Korean secret police order Apple to give himJustin Bieber’s chat records.

  7. Irony is when Bernie Sanders the “Communist” lol, is the one who supports privacy, didn’t vote for the Patriot Act, and believes citizens should own guns.

    You guys are so caught up on labels, you don’t see the candidate from their track record. (5 second search)

    I do not feel the “burn” but what I am learning is that he supports the middle class (very important for a stable society and economy), and he hasn’t waffled on the things we seem to care about, openly.

    Maybe I don’t understand, but yeah I don’t understand.

    1. Bernie Sanders is right on those points but he is a total loser on others. He is a virtual Communist, praises dictatorships and has no understanding where wealth comes from and promises everything for free. Bernie’s biggest enemy is math because none of his proposals add up even remotely.

      1. Bernie understands very well that the wealth comes from those who actually DO the work – the working and middle classes. Those who simply CONTROL and COORDINATE the generation of wealth are important… but not important to the degree that their apologists would have us believe… not to the extent of most of the wealth of the country going to their pockets.

  8. Perhaps we’ll all have to move our mail to service providers in countries which do not require back doors. Either that, or freeze our Apple products at current releases to ensure that no back doors are surreptitiously introduced…

  9. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if we had folks running for office – or in office – who actually defended the US Constitution? No right wing or left wing of the same flying buzzard (Eagle) stances, just Constitution-based common sense as put forth by the Founding Fathers.


    But Attorney General Loretta Lynch responded to Cook by speaking of the “balance” necessary between privacy and national security – a balance that continues to be debated within the administration.

    Sorry Ms. Lynch. But we’ve had TWO US executive administration that DESTROYED the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. WHAT THE HELL do YOU know about ‘balance’ when your administration has demonstrated that it REFUSES to honor the US Constitution. I dare call you all either constitutional ILLITERATES or just plain TRAITOROUS.

    YOU do the balancing act, Obama administration. We The People already HAVE the ‘balance’ called the US Constitution. Follow it or STFU.

  11. I agree with Loretta Lynch about assuring an equally balanced quantity of access to your iPhone’s personal and private data among the three parties:

    1. The National Security Police State Apparatus’s Peeping Toms.
    2. Criminal Gangs: ISIS, Russian Mafia, and unaligned criminals.
    3. The iPhone owner.

    It’s a balanced win-win-win.

    PS, No, Cook did not “lash out;” He expressed a 4th Amendment concern.

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