Apple CEO Cook: They’d have to cart us out in a box before we’d create a backdoor

“‘Everybody agrees this is an important policy question,’ said Theodore Boutrous, an outside lawyer for Apple, in an interview Monday. He said Congress and the president should strike the balance between the privacy of citizens and the needs of law enforcement,” Daisuke Wakabayashi and Devlin Barrett report for Dow Jones Business News. “Apple is expected to file its official response to the government in court Friday.”

“Mr. Cook’s position on privacy and security — along with many of Apple’s senior executives — has hardened over time, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple has adopted more stringent security and encrypted more of its user data,” Wakabayashi and Barrett report. “Mr. Cook came to believe that privacy is a basic human right that Apple needs to support, these people said.”

“The soft-spoken Mr. Cook will refuse to budge on an issue if he feels that he is in the right, according to people who have worked with him. In a 2014 interview with Charlie Rose, Mr. Cook said ‘they would have to cart us out in a box before we would’ allow outsiders including the National Security Agency to create a ‘backdoor’ to access users’ personal data,” Wakabayashi and Barrett report. “Mr. Cook keeps pictures of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy hanging in his office, because he respects their willingness to take principled–and sometimes unpopular–stands on important issues, he has said. During a 2013 speech at the United Nations, he quoted Mr. King saying “the time is always right to do what is right.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last October:

Too many people do not realize how lucky we are that Tim Cook is CEO of Apple Inc. No matter what else Cook does, as long as he holds his ground on this issue, he’s one of the greatest CEOs in history. We need and are lucky to have a man with a strong backbone to stand up to this constant pressure from misguided government spies who’re hell bent on running roughshod over the U.S. Constitution and U.S. citizens’ rights.

Furthermore, the friends and family members of the San Bernadino terrorism victims should be incensed that the U.S. federal government is using those tragic deaths in a despicable ploy to sway a confused portion of the public to support the trampling of their rights.

Those who wrongheadedly agree with these supercilious disingenuous government hacks need to realize that they are working to deliver EXACTLY WHAT THE TERRORISTS WANTED TO ACHIEVE WITH THEIR MURDEROUS RAMPAGE.

Don’t be blind. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be weak.

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 reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

SEE ALSO:
Rush Limbaugh: How the U.S. government bungled the handling of the San Bernardino iPhone – February 22, 2016
Security experts: The FBI’s iPhone-unlocking demand of Apple is risky – February 22, 2016
Pew survey: More than half of Americans think Apple should comply with FBI – February 22, 2016
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg backs Apple versus U.S. government in iPhone security dispute – February 22, 2016
Tim Cook’s memo to Apple employees: ‘This case is about more than a single phone’ – February 22, 2016
Snowden: FBI could hack San Bernardino iPhone without Apple’s involvement – February 22, 2016
Why did the FBI direct the San Bernardino Health Department to reset Syed Farook’s Apple ID? – February 22, 2016
Apple posts open letter: ‘Answers to your questions about Apple and security’ – February 22, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple is still fighting Big Brother – February 19, 2016
Apple: Terrorist’s Apple ID password changed in government custody, blocking access – February 19, 2016

50 Comments

    1. Really, no he is not.

      How about this. Your child has been taken. The person that took your child is stopped by the police and killed in the stop. That kidnapper posted pictures of your child tied up somewhere, posted to a google account pictures using an iPhone. On his or her body is the iPhone. Law enforcement believes accessing the phone and the google account may help to find your child. You meet Tim Cook and he says no we will not help because of privacy concerns. Now what? If your child is alive, time will run out, your child if not found your child will starve to death.

      Cook is too distracted with too many other things, and his decisions are just bad. He could have said no, quietly, this is something else. More bad decisions…

        1. Whether you trust government or not, Tim your continuing to make the wrong decision when it comes to this. Over 90% of people polled agree with the government on this one as to giving access to this phone. But, all of these people, and myself included, just don’t get it do we? It is either one way or the other. The case of the true believer. I, as a user and stockholder, only wish that I could see this same passion when it comes to Apple and its’ products from you as you show in other areas.

          1. First, your statistic that 90% of people agree with the government on this one is 100% bogus. The highest number I have seen to date is a mere 51%. Some polls actually show more people agreeing with Apple. The vast majority of the media agrees with Apple. The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee agrees with Apple. Even the White House has stated in the last year that they do not agree with backdoors in our personal devices.

            1. There are two groups that support the FBI on this:
              1. Ignorant people who don’t understand the question, and
              2. People who understand and are OK with a totalitarian future, because they figure they will be in the ruling class.

              That’s it. It explains Bill Gates – he gets to be in group #2.
              Group #1 is the majority of the 51% in polls who support the FBI.

            2. The highest number I have seen is about 75%. So which number do you want to believe? In the long run, it doesn’t matter what we believe. The govt will win this one whether or not TC believes he is right.

              However, if I am wrong I hope you naive readers will fight hard to keep the IRS out of my PRIVATE bank account. Where were you when that law was passed?

          2. That 90% number that you got, it’s misleading. The population sample, if my memory serves me, was slight above 1000. That’s considered statistically insignificant when there are over 310,000,000 people in the U.S. That’s 0.00000323 %.

            Now, if the population was sample, was, say, 1 million, and, 90% of them said agreed, we have a debate. Otherwise, this 90% is useless.

        2. “It’s about the kids” is one of the most perfidious, dishonest and, apparently, most powerful arguments the government loves to make when they go forth expanding surveillance on their people.

          I am a father of two daughters, living in New York, and I had witnessed terrorism first-hand (15 years ago). I know people who perished in that attack. And I also know that if the government had some similar equivalent level of access as what they are asking from Apple today, they still wouldn’t have done anything. Back then, we know now, they had intelligence; they just didn’t interpret it properly in time.

          The iPhone in question has no meaningful information on it. The terrorists in question wiped their digital footprint behind them very carefully. Hard drives on computers and laptops are gone, other mobile phones, papers, documents, literally all communication was meticulously wiped clean. Except for the iPhone in question (which was property of the government anyway). To anyone with basic intelligence, it is clear that this phone will yield exactly zero meaningful information. And yet, we now have a major showdown on the national stage of public opinion, which may well lead all the way to SCOTUS.

          This is NOT about kids. It is very decidedly about overreach.

      1. I don’t trust my government on issues related to my privacy. It’s as simple as that. Were it different my response might be different. But alas, no trust, no back door. Sorry. But no.

        1. You are a fool and you must not have any children you love.
          The situation present here, if my kids, you can kiss my a** about privacy. I want my child safe.I would want any and all help that would make that happen. You want privacy over you kid, we need to find you, just keep using the internet. There is something wrong with you.

          1. Let’s put it in perspective:
            — Hand guns kill more people than “cell phone privacy” issues ever will.
            — Drivers on cell phones kill more people than guns ever will.
            — Car accidents kill more people (> 32,000 in 2014 alone) than terrorism ever will (< 3000 in the Sept 11, 2001 attacks).

            Yet we shit our pants about terrorism-related cell phone privacy issues, while tolerating hand guns, drugs, cell-phones while driving, and unacceptably high roadway car accident mortality levels. It is insane.

            Folks, we are focusing on the wrong things. The cell-phone privacy thing is a side-show. A circus act. We should not allow the FBI or anyone else to bully the tech industry into abusing the things technology can do for us. And if you really cared about "hugging your kids who might get killed by terrorists", it makes logical sense that you would also care about the other ways your precious child is likely to get killed in the USA. Like gun control and much stricter enforcement of idiot drivers.

            We have the technology to enhance our collective privacy. And we should use every tool available to do so. Giving Big Brother access to everyone's privacy is crazy. It is sort of like the folly of wanting electric cars to produce noise …because that is the way cars used to sound. Geez, I can see people outfitting their whisper-quiet electric cars with the "Harley Davidson sound" option. It is crazy. Use technology. Don't abuse it. There are few times technology goes backwards. But if the FBI wins this case, it will be an egregious example.

            Go Apple !

            1. Whoa, dude. I completely agree with you on your main issue, but silent electric cars are not a good example. Under your logic, there’s no reason for trucks to have a “backing-up” warning tone. There’s a reason people want electric cars to make _some_ kind of noise, even if just a rattling sound that points forward and so isn’t really heard inside the vehicle: pedestrians like the extra warning that a multi-ton hunk of metal is hurtling towards them. Visually-impaired people I know are terrified of the silent wrecking balls that are electric cars. Some kind of directionally-oriented noise is very useful to human beings, especially those whose vision is not 20/20.

      2. Presenting a scenario is just one instance. To understand principles you have to look across all scenarios and consider which ones are likely and which ones are created just for the purpose of making an argument.

      3. I would expect the authorities (kidnappings are automatically a Federal Case since the Lindberg case) to use everything at their disposal that is 100% legal to find my child.

        Let’s look at it a different way.

        Let’s modify your example and say there were multiple accomplices in the kidnapping. In a confrontation with local police all but one of the accomplices is killed. That sole survivor claims to not know where your child is, claiming it was another in the group that hid your child. However you can’t be sure this person is telling the truth, and you truly suspect this sole survivor knows where your child is. Are you willing to resort to torture in *any* form to make 100% sure the person does not know or, alternatively, tells you where your child is?

        To what lengths of depraved behavior are you willing to stoop on a *possibility* of finding out information that *might* help you?

        It’s the old, “Think of the children!!”, argument. That should never be a viable crutch.

        I may get flamed for this, but I’d agree with Tim Cook’s and Apple’s stance even if it were my child. —And yes, I do have children whom I love dearly.

      4. It’s fairly easy to imagine scenarios. Imagine that the photos of a kidnapped child were posted from YOUR iCloud address after the kidnapper had hacked your phone… because Apple could not protect its users’ security. Further imagine that President Trump has instituted a policy of ignoring any civil rights that might conflict with the preservation of innocent life. Would you be willing to give up all of your rights to a fair trial after the police kicked in your door and began enhanced interrogation.

        Apple’s lawyer in this case is not insensitive to the rights of crime victims. His wife was on the plane that hit the Pentagon.

  1. Even the most deranged science fiction writer could not have imagined a time when the biggest corporation in the world had to protect citizens from their government.

  2. Dont build a backdoor..ofcourse… But help them get to the info .. Help them unlock a suspect phone when there is a court order…
    Do it in your privet /secret labs.. Dont expose the procedure…. But do your best…
    There is another side to this issue besides privacy….

      1. And do u know that what i posted, To which u said go fuck youself, Is pretty much the same thing Tim Cook wrote in his open letter..
        Before you expose your lowlife ways .. Read what he wrote… You pathetic man….

        1. Yo, Jim-bo, Mr. Bond, whatever your super-clever name is supposed to mean. You’re either an ignorant fool or a traitor against freedom. Your dumb-ass explanations make me think the former. But, I’ll let you tell us, if you prefer. Which is it?

          1. “You’re either an ignorant fool or a traitor against freedom.”

            Yeh, those are absolutely the only two possibilities – fool or traitor. Well said!

            Oh wait, I thought of another… that you are incapable of rationally considering a point of view different from your own.

            1. Bzzt!
              Your inability to understand what I am saying is not my problem. Read my post farther up in this thread. There are only 2 groups supporting the FBI:
              1. People who are ignorant about the technology, or
              2. People who are OK with having NO security, who are OK with anyone with the will having access to their entire lives.

              I think most people are in group #1 – they just don’t understand the factual realities. The problem is there are enough people in group #2 that we have to fight to educate group #1.

              I can’t tell from your comment whether you’re in group #1 or group #2 – you could be faking ignorance.

            2. It doesn’t matter what you say above. I’m taking issue with your bombastic, absolutist phrasing — and your positioning of yourself as the arbiter of the only two possibilities.

              Particularly dangerous is when someone throws around “freedom” with such absolutist terminology.

              How about trying to make an actual, LOGICAL point built up from FACTS, instead of simply throwing around highly loaded emotional words… which ultimately have no substance.

              Nyah, nyah, you’re a traitor.
              Nyah, nyah, you are.
              Maybe we can get a bit above that level.

    1. That’s what you and most don’t seem to get… by writing a new version of the OS to gain access to this single device, you’ve effectively created a backdoor – which by definition is a method to get around normal security procedures.

      Once this software is created, you can be damned sure governments from all over the world are going to demand the same access whenever they need it.

      Simply by refusing to create the new version of the OS means that NO ONE will have access.

      You have to be extremely simple minded to think that this issue is about Apple or even terrorism, it’s ONLY about gaining access to a new tool to circumvent privacy.

    1. How about you STFU and finally figure out that you are advocating what the Islamic terrorists want: Erosion of freedom and liberty. Fuck, you’re a gullible foolish asshole! Go read “1984” until you fucking understand it and then get back to us, you weak-minded fuck.

      1. You are a moron… Do you even understand what i wrote.? Do u even have a clue what i have been advocating in the last few days on this site and others ? I seriously doubt it ….
        Are you advocating a permenant backdoor ? …..you fool!
        Wow..and lol

        1. Let me try…

          Apple has assisted law enforcement in cases like this in the past, and even in this very case — until now. It has followed the spirit of the law!

          But this new request by the FBI is exeptional, provocative, and dangerous! Some suspect that the agency is exploiting human emotion to build support for a hidden political agenda. Others think incompetence or CYA.

          So Apple is taking a stand. They will not build a back door to defeat strong encryption for the authorities or anyone else including themselves! They are hoping that clear minds will see this as more detrimental to human rights than as an impediment to justice.

          Meanwhile you, John Gruber, and I hope that Apple finds a different way to help the FBI than by pissing on the Constitution as a shortcut.

          Which I suspect certain other tech companies have already done — and why the government expects Apple to follow suit. But Apple isn’t Benedict Arnold like those guys…more like Patrick Henry.

          1. Yes Herself… I dont think we are in any shape or form in disagreement…
            Its the complete denial of the other side of this issue and ignoring its implication that is shocking.

            I posted …’ Apple, dont build a back door… But help get the info in the best way you can on suspect phones with a valid court order….without revealing techniques..etc.’

            Answer i get is “go fuck yourself”… “Shut the fuck up. ….”

            Who the hell are these people… What kind of idiotic mind sets do they have. Are these the caliber of people representing the constitution?
            These are people supporting apples /Tims postion without undertanding that Apple also acknowledges the other side and wants to help best way they can.. Yet they insult others saying the same thing… Their head is up where the ‘sun dont shine’

            Provisions have to be designed so cases like this can be rationally resolved.. The one sided approach of some is unreal and irrational…..As if they are living in their own LALA land..
            Its ignorant.
            Constitution was written by humans.. Its has also been amended by humans… It was not perfect.. And it is not perfect… But is a base… It not a god sent dogma …

            Times change .. So should our survival techniques to serve the issues on hand.

            To be so arrogantly one-sided is dangerous. very dengerouse.

          2. I agree with Tim to a point. You have a right to privacy as long as you aren’t using that to endanger others. We live in a free society, but that doesn’t mean you have the freedom to kill or maim, or enslave people. It is exactly these freedoms that ISIS is using against us. They hide and pervert these rights to harm innocent people. These people don’t have the right to privacy when they stand accused under the law.

            1. Non sequitur. This case is NOT just about this one dead person’s iPhone. The FBI is trying to force Apple to create a tool (and a procedure to make more tools in the future) that destroy all security on every iPhone, both those that exist now and will exist in the future.
              Arguing that the government should be able to search the property of terrorists/criminals is illogical, because the counter-argument is: NOT EVERYONE IS A CRIMINAL/TERRORIST.

          3. Yes Herself… I dont think we are in any shape or form in disagreement…
            Its the complete denial of the other side of this issue and ignoring its implication that is shocking.

            I posted …’ Apple, dont build a back door… But help get the info in the best way you can on suspect phones with a valid court order….without revealing techniques..etc.’

            Answer i get is “go fuck yourself”… “Shut the fuck up. ….”

            Who the hell are these people… What kind of idiotic mind sets do they have. Are these the caliber of people representing the constitution?
            These are people supporting apples /Tims postion without undertanding that Apple also acknowledges the other side and wants to help best way they can.. Yet they insult others saying the same thing… Their head is up where the ‘sun dont shine’

            Provisions have to be designed so cases like this can be rationally resolved.. The one sided approach of some is unreal and irrational…..As if they are living in their own LALA land..
            Its ignorant.
            Constitution was written by humans.. Its has also been amended by humans… It was not perfect.. And it is not perfect… But is a base… It not a god sent dogma …

            Times change .. So should our survival techniques to serve the issues on hand.

            To be so arrogantly one-sided is dangerous. very dengerouse.

          4. Herself.. I have responded to you more than 24 hours ago.. But mdn is holding back my response in ‘ awaiting modrtation’ …
            I dont indetstand.. Is this some kond of manipulation or what…..
            Funny

      2. Ah, John, above, and Truth — thanks so much for your deep thinking and insightful analysis. It really cuts to the heart of the issues. And your almost poetic use of the English language helps us all understand the issues at new levels. Wow! Impressive use of the human “intellect”.

  3. Some are so close/narrow minded here… Its shocking… Dogmatic idealism will hurt you more than it will help you.

    There is another side to the issue.. Any sane individual can see it…… Tim is one, he has had no objection to helping .. He understand the other side too… His objection is to a permanent backdoor. !……..capish .
    Those who deny the other side of this issue are being close minded and indoctrinated …. And supremely shalow.

    Its jaw droppingly unbelievable that some only choose to see one side with zero regard for the other.. …not only zero regard but resort to insults and violance …

    All of you who belong to this catagory….Enough bullshit!!!
    Its not a black and white issue…….

    1. yojimbo: Amen.

      I support Apple’s stance on this as well…but it is sad to see so many who do resort to juvenile rhetoric, name calling, blind anger, paranoia, and conspiracy theories. This is absurd and only degrades the case to be made for Apple’s stance.

      We have two sides, Apple and the government law enforcement agencies, neither of whom are acting out of malice, but merely have competing interests. That is what democracy is all about; settling these types of disputes in good faith.

      If you were in law enforcement you would want to see what’s on that iPhone. Period. That’s your job. I guarantee you that if this happened in the immediate aftermath of 9-11 that no company could reasonably hope to deny the government’s request.

      1. Yeah, but the 9-11 tall tale has been tarnished. I don’t see any point in bringing that old yarn up again now or in the future. This is a new era of peril with a VERY different issue. It’s not about coercing the US sheeple to go into a worthless, expensive, stupd war. It’s about cheating the US people out of their constitution right to privacy and shoving us all into a future of totalitarianism. Call that exaggeration and you’ve discovered the new peril.

        http://911truth.org

      2. “If you were in law enforcement you would want to see what’s on that iPhone. Period.”

        If they had worked with Apple from the outset, they could have known what was on that iPhone on day one. Instead, the FBI did their own thing and shut off the way to access that information. They had no idea what they were doing, they lost the evidence that was already in their hands and as a result are now trying to force Apple to compromise every iPhone.

        If the FBI weren’t so pig-headed and incompetent, they would already have that information. Period.

        1. It’s interesting how the news media isn’t saying anything about that colossal screwup by the FBI. Was it because of stupidity, or a perceived way to force Apple to create a backdoor?

        2. I hope that IF Apple is forced to create this backdoor for the FBI, the next day they release an iOS update that would require your passcode to install ANY further iOS updates / revisions.

          I understand the current problem being that the County changed the iCloud password – so that the locked iPhone can not automatically backup to iCloud when connected to WiFi and power (mis-matched password problem) … so why can’t they change the iCloud password back to the password stored on the locked iPhone, then do the auto backup? They must have known the original iCloud password at some point, in order to change it … right?

    2. “Those who deny the other side of this issue are being close minded”

      Just as you are. You cannot get beyond, “it’s just for this device”. You’re own closed-mindedness fails to see what will happen once Apple proves this can be done. Can YOU be sure someone inside Apple won’t steal that copy of the OS and sell it on the black market? Can YOU be sure other governments won’t also sue or coerce Apple into unlocking other phones? Hell, we already have theUS Justice Department trying to get court orders for Apple to unlock a dozen or so other phones once this software is created.

      It may start with, “Just this one device” But history has proven that once someone gains a little power, they will try at all costs to maintain and increase that power.

  4. I am with Tim Cook on this, as he is doing the exact right thing. Now it is vital that Cook’s respect for privacy extend not just to US authorities, but also to the Chinese government. As long as this is true he is on solid ground.

    Of course he is taking on the US government, which has more powers than given it in the Constitution, due to years of encroachment by Democrats and big government Republicans. The Government has massive power, including the power to seize assets and to put a person in jail. Since we now live with “living Constitution” instead of one where the words have actual meaning, the limits placed on the Federal power of coercion are like Bill Murray says in Ghostbusters, “more of a guideline than a rule”.

  5. Tell President Obama and the members of Congress supporting this dumbass overreach by the FBI this in no uncertain terms:
    You hang this around our necks and Apple leaves the United States. Apple is undoubtedly one of the largest if not the largest taxpayers in the US and employs well over 100,000 people. Senator Diane Feinstein of California is among those pushing this nonsense and needs to be told she risks losing a huge employer and taxpayer if she persists.

    There are any number of countries around the world who would gladly invite Apple to set up shop, and likely at more advantageous terms.

    Tell the Feds to go pound sand.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.