Google CEO Sundar Pichai wishy-washy on Apple’s fight against U.S. government backdoor demands

“Two tech CEOs have come out in support of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s against a court order to unlock a San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone,” Jessica Hartogs and Aza Wee Sile report for CNBC. “In an open letter Wednesday, Cook wrote, ‘the government’s demands are chilling… We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country.'”

“A California federal judge ordered Apple on Tuesday to assist in the San Bernardino investigation by designing a new operating system to disable the feature that erases all contents after 10 failed passcode attempts,” Hartogs and Sile report. “This would allow the FBI to use as many permutations of passwords to unlock the iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook. ”

Hartogs and Sile report, “While public opinion may be divided on whether Apple should unlock the terrorist’s iPhone, Google boss Sundar Pichai as well as Jan Koum, CEO of messaging service Whatsapp, are among those who have backed Apple’s decision.”

Hartogs and Sile report, “Koum, a Facebook board member, wrote on the social media site, ‘I have always admired Tim Cook for his stance on privacy and Apple’s efforts to protect user data… We must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set. Today our freedom and our liberty is at stake.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Google’s namby-pamby CEO is spineless and/or greedy.

It’s heartening to see strong support from WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum.

Apple should appeal this wrongheaded decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if need be.

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

As per Google’s so-called “secure” products (which are designed to track users in order to serve them contextual advertising): Google’s me-too promise of encryption will take several years to roll out to a significant number of fragmandroid sufferers. (See: Me-too Google: Uh, okay, we’ll do default encryption like Apple, too (it’ll just take several years to roll out) – September 18, 2014)

Android 5.0 and 5.0 only comprise 35.3% of Android devices. The percentage of those are encrypted by default is far less than even that due to significant performance issues. Android 6.0, with full-disk encryption on by default, is only running 1.2% of Android devices!

With 17% running iOS 8 and 77% running iOS 9, 94% of Apple’s iOS devices are encrypted.

In other words, stop trying to equate Android with iOS by including Google’s efforts with Apple’s. Android is a bad joke, as usual.

Why Apple is fighting back against U.S. federal government demands for iPhone access – February 17, 2016
Snowden backs Apple in fight over iPhone; blasts Google’s silence – February 17, 2016
Obama administration: We’re only demanding Apple hack just one iPhone – February 17, 2016
Security firm shows how Apple could bypass iPhone security to comply with FBI request – February 17, 2016
What the Apple court order means for your smartphone privacy – February 17, 2016
EFF opposes U.S. government demand to force Apple to unlock terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
‘Who do they think they are?’ Donald Trump blasts Apple for not unlocking San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
Tim Cook posts open letter opposing U.S. government demands to bypass iPhone encryption – February 17, 2016
Apple CEO opposes court order to help FBI unlock San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
Apple wants judge to rule if it can be forced to unlock defendant’s iPhone – February 16, 2016
U.S. House lawmakers seek to outlaw states from banning encrypted iPhones – February 10, 2016
Obama administration wants access to smartphones – December 15, 2015
Obama administration’s calls for backdoors into encrypted communications echo Clinton-era key escrow fiasco – December 14, 2015
Donald Trump: To stop ISIS recruiting, maybe we should be talking to Bill Gates about ‘closing that Internet up in some way’ – December 8, 2015
Hillary Clinton: We need to put Silicon Valley tech firms to ‘work at disrupting ISIS’ – December 7, 2015


  1. Looks like he’s trying to please everyone. There’s no gray area here. Either you want to protect the civil liberties and privacy of Americans or you don’t.

    Just more reason to be very cautious about handing your info to Google.

  2. A highly significant aspect of this case is that the personal phones owned by the terrorists were destroyed prior to the attack and they also disposed of the hard drive from their computer. This particular iPhone is one owned and provided by his employer.

    The terrorists were sufficiently tech-savvy to understand that data can be forensically recovered from devices, so they destroyed their personal phones and disposed of the hard drive from their computer. The fact that they didn’t bother trashing the iPhone very strongly suggests to me that they knew that there was no information on there which they would want to remain hidden.

    If I were planning a terrorist outrage, there is no way that I would use a company phone because I could have no way of knowing what records or backups are kept by my employer. Anything incriminating on that phone might be available to my employer.

    The FBI wants gullible people to believe that this iPhone contains secret contact details of other terrorists, location data for previously unknown terrorist meeting places and photographs of likely conspirators. It’s patently obvious that this isn’t the case at all. There will be no incriminating information on this iPhone because although it was in the possession of a terrorist, it was unlikely to have been used in connection with terrorist activities.

    The FBI are presumably smart enough to understand how unlikely it is that there will be any terrorism-related information on this iPhone, so you have to ask why they are being so extremely heavy handed about accessing it?

    The only plausible explanation is that they are exploiting this very emotive case in order to create a precedent that they can then take advantage of in the future. There is no information on that phone that will prevent another terrorist incident, but the FBI are determined to do whatever it takes to pressure Apple into create a back door into iPhones.

    That would be a unbelievably foolish thing to do because every other authoritarian state in the world would insist that they too must have similar facilities or else iPhones will be banned in their country. The FBI will have killed off the iPhone industry and left an opportunity for a non-US company to come to market with a truly private cellphone.

  3. I just heard the phone was owned by the San Bernardino agency the terrorists worked for and the question being asked was why was this phone not backed up by the agency? the data would then be available though it doesn’t answer the larger back door entry question.

  4. Cook’s hypocrisy on privacy here is blatant, just as it is on ‘human rights’.
    Look up Apple’s policy in China on both issues before replying with the usual bull.
    China is *COMMUNIST* meaning over a billion people are denied the basic freedoms Cook champions, and it got that way by way of Chairman Mao, who murdered anywhere from 49-78 million of his own people.

    Mr. Cook campaigns one way here and another way there, all for the sake of the Almighty Dollar, but because he and the press ignore the abhorrent track record of communism the sheeple ignore it too.

    One star this if you agree.

  5. Ohhhh. Common… jus shut up…
    Google me too BS.
    Hypocrisy galore.

    Including Snowden .
    Break the law, intrude, steal, reveal , invade all without autorization if it suits him…
    But others should not do it..

    And im not even talking about the right and/or wrong of the encryption issue .. Its not as easy as yes or no.
    Im taking about obnoxious hypocrisy .

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