Why Apple defends encryption so jealously

The Intercept recently reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a private meeting with White House officials and other technology leaders, criticized the federal government’s stance on encryption and technology back doors,” Rich Mogull writes for TidBITS.

“This is just the latest in Apple’s spats with the government over encryption,” Mogull writes. “We are in the midst of fundamentally redefining the relationship between governments and citizens in the face of technological upheavals in human communications. Other technology leaders are relatively quiet on the issue because they lack the ground to stand on. Not due to personal preferences or business compromises, but because of their business models, and lack of demand from us, their customers.”

“There’s probably even more to Apple’s stance on encryption than the company’s business model and desire to promote a competitive advantage,” Mogull writes. “My opinion, without having ever talked with Tim Cook, is that this is at least partially social activism on his part. I suspect that this is an issue he personally cares about, and he has the soapbox of one of the most powerful and popular companies in the world under his feet.”

Muchd more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: If so, we should be even more grateful that Steve Jobs had the foresight to make Tim Cook Apple’s CEO.

Adhere to the U.S. Constitution.

Visit the Apple-backed reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

Apple, Tim Cook, and encryption discussed with Jeb Bush during Republican Debate in Charleston – January 15, 2016
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

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. 1. Back doors of any type can be can be compromised by bad guys and certainly the likes of the Russian govt.

    2. No bank account would be secure with back doors.

    3. No person speaking against their government would be safe from the likes of a rogue leader.

    4. Bad guys and terrorists will just use apps that have software encryption or encode photos using steganography such that you can’t even tell if there is a message in the photo. They will also use “old hardware/software,” that doesn’t have back doors.

    Pure political pap.

        1. Not sure I understand this comment. I’m pretty sure Apple’s looking out for its customers’ interests here myself. How is ApplePay supposed to work if people know it’s insecure? Which hardware would YOU choose, hardware with a back-door or without?

          1. Let me put that another way. There was always a fine line on the 4th Amendment on what constitutes “against unreasonable searches and seizures”. Traditionally a warrant has been required, or imminent danger present. Your phone could always be wiretapped, your bank account accessed, but that required a warrant. It’s the warrantless aspect of the Patriot Act that is a problem.

            I also remind you that the airwaves are licensed, not given. They are the property of the people and regulated, on their behalf, by the government. There are terms associated with such licenses.

            Meanwhile, Apple violates the 1st Amendment, in spirit, with the banning of Apps, media, books, etc. If we’re to defend the Consitiution, that would be the whole Constitution.

            We should abide by the Constitution. I’m a liberal myself. Warrantless searches are unconstitutional, but with a warrant they are consistent with the Constitution. So the question, to put it in your terms is this… What’s more important, the ability to secure (or even have) Apple Pay, or the laws of the land?

    1. 5. ANY American (USA) Company made phone device would be fundamentally banned in most countries, specifically in corporate and governmental areas, and as a result in consumer fields SIMPLY because the USA would have access to their secrets. RESULT: No overseas or outside sales. Effectively cutting off exports/sales outside the US of A.

      1. So Apple will keep their Asian or EU sales without compromised security by building what users there want!

        Hence, bad guys will go to the EU and smuggle phones into the US that have encryption.

        US = Zero: Bad guys win again, good guys (us) lose.

  2. …because Apple is the only company out there looking out for your back, dudes ! No other company out there cares about encryption the way Apple does. You think Google gives a damn about your data? Jeez, they are selling your data to anyone who pays.

    Go Apple!

  3. This has to be THE most significant and fundamentally key issue facing us as consumers of technology today!

    As has been stated many times, WE are the Product to companies like Google, Facebook et al, where their fundamental business model is to know ever more about us in our daily lives, so that they can monetise that information to their clients, the advertisers! It does not take a brain surgeon to realise that our personal information then becomes a commodity, available not only to advertisers that invade our personal space but also to organisations and individuals with even more sinister intent!

    As a user of technology, which is getting ever more personal and wearable, I applaud Tim Cook for the unswerving position he and Apple inc. take on this key issue.

    1. “California assembly member Jim Cooper (Democrat) introduced the legislation — bill 1681 — which requires any smartphone manufactured “on or after July 1, 2015, and sold in California after that date” to be ‘capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider. Any smartphone that couldn’t be decrypted on-demand would subject a seller to a $2,500 fine.”

      Whittaker reports, “If the bill becomes law, there would be a near-blanket ban on nearly all iPhones and many Android devices across the state.”

      Proposed California bill looks to outlaw sale of encrypted smartphones

      1. Don’t worry, F2T2, invading the privacy of, well, everyone, is a bipartisan U.S. effort – a bunch of “your” guys are also on board. Don’t trust either of the major parties, and don’t trust anyone who blindly worships them.

  4. I think it is political season rhetoric.

    The NSA/CIA/FBI/Military guys are a lot more practical in their analysis of what they need their laptops and desktops to be and do!

  5. MDN…

    It’s “zealously” not “jealously”. Apple has absolutely nothing about which to be jealous.

    And for the record… Why are so many people taking the ludicrous stand that the U.S. Government is trying to take away our guns (it’s not), but extremely few are beating the drum to an much more insidious and much more real threat: the threat to the freedom to be safe in our own conversations and personal effects (the information we have stored on our devices).

    1. Before you make ignorant statements, attempt to educate yourself.

      jealously |ˈjeləslē|
      • in a fiercely protective or possessive way: he jealously guards his family’s right to privacy.

      1. I agree with Shadowself – zealously is a better word choice. I thought the same thing myself.

        I also agree with his perspective. Tens of thousands of our citizens die from guns each year and we do nothing. Instead, laws are proposed to take away our privacy and our freedom.

        1. I’m going to go with MDN’s word choice as the better one over the opinion of “Shadowself” and Ralph M.” After all, MDN makes thousands of word choices daily and, as usual, they chose the right one, even if it is well over the standard 5th grade reading level with which some readers are far too comfortable. Smarten up, Ralphie and “Shadowself.”

          Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. — Patrick Henry

  6. Tim Cook has, at least around here, been criticized for his few personal social stances and activities.

    In this case, despite Rich’s opinion, Tim Cook is representing his customers as VERY few other CEOs or companies bother to do. Citizen privacy is a fundamental, constitutional law in the USA. Tim Cook is, flat out, defending the US Constitution. These bozoz in #MyStupidGovernment are trashing the US Constitution because it’s inconvenient to their maniacal need to surveil us all.

    Thank you Tim.
    Thank you Apple.
    Thank you US Constitution.

    Totalitarianism is when the terrorists WIN. Mission Accomplished. √

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