Apple CEO Cook picks up where Snowden left off in privacy debate

“Edward Snowden stoked the debate over mass government surveillance,” Alex Webb and Selina Wang report for Bloomberg. “Tim Cook may be the one to rein it in.”

“By revealing the scope of U.S. monitoring of personal information, the former CIA employee forced Americans to confront the intrusion into their privacy, and also created an opening for the public to question the government’s activities,” Webb and Wang report. “Apple Inc.’s chief executive officer is taking the next step by saying ‘no’ to a court order that would force the company to create special software needed by the FBI to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers.”

“Cook’s pushback has effectively put in motion a legal process that Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually have to resolve,” Webb and Wang report. “‘Tim Cook has shown himself to be an important privacy advocate, just as Edward Snowden has,’ said Harmit Kambo, director of campaigns and development at advocacy group Privacy International. ‘When someone in such a powerful position as Tim Cook is advocating for privacy, it’s something that governments have to take seriously. He’s playing an extremely valuable role in this massively important debate.'”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve oft said, we are very lucky to have Tim Cook as CEO of Apple Inc.

Obama administration set to expand sharing of data that N.S.A. intercepts – February 28, 2016
If Apple loses, your home could be the next thing that’s unlocked: Access to your security cameras would be just a judge order away – February 28, 2016
The Apple vs. FBI fight is about something more basic than software and laws – February 28, 2016
Apple privacy battle with Washington looms as watershed moment – February 26, 2016
Apple’s lawyer: If we lose, it will lead to a ‘police state’ – February 26, 2016
Apple: The law already exists that protects us from U.S. government demands to hack iPhone – February 26, 2016


  1. I wonder if the Government has thought of the FBI interest in breaking into the iPhone impairs the obligation of the contracts between Apple and the purchasers of the iPhone who may be relying on encryption themselves.

    1. Apparently not. Here’s an article describing the disrespectful and unrealistic attitude the Justice Department has taken toward Apple:

      Justice Department Calls Apple’s Refusal to Unlock iPhone a ‘Marketing Strategy’

      Apple’s refusal “appears to be based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy” rather than a legal rationale, prosecutors said in a court filing that further escalated the confrontation between the Obama administration and Apple. 😛

      As we learned yesterday, this asinine attitude by the DOJ has been blown out of the water:

      U.S. Magistrate Judge: The U.S. government cannot force Apple to unlock an iPhone in New York drug case

  2. More than 800,000,000 accounts should translate to over a billion in defense of Apple and its privacy and Civil rights record.

    Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!

  3. If the citizens win the privacy debate, a monument should be built to Snowden and Cook. I’m thinking a monument as high as the Washington Monument but in the shape of a middle finger pointed toward Washington from the Silicon Valley.

    Now that would be something to take my grandchildren to see.

  4. This quote really provides some insight: “When someone in such a powerful position as Tim Cook is advocating for privacy, it’s something that governments have to take seriously.”

    It shows that the message is not important but the messenger. I guess it’s the next step in the degradation of the message. It used to be the message was important, next the media was the message, now it’s the messenger. I guess that’s what you get when a nation’s moral compass gets broken.

      1. Hey sirjimithy thanks for your post and you are more than probably right. I often think of how the “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Hans Christian Andersen would be different in this day an age. I shudder every time I see someone attacked not because of the idea but who they are or how it’s presented.

        The power of an idea is that is surpasses who says it.

        Thanks for the perspective.

        1. I agree completely. It really should be the idea that matters. I remember back in when Bill Cosby came out a decade ago and chastised parents that buy their kids $200 Nike shoes but won’t buy them Hooked on Phonics. The cryout was “How would you know what it’s like?” and that’s just ignorance speaking. A valid point doesn’t care whose mouth it escapes from.

          1. Yes, and I’ve often noted that someone can come into a new situation to them and have a perspective that is fresh and new from people who have been working in that system for a long time.

            I’ve learned to listen to strangers carefully when they share their ideas, as well as those I know.

            Thanks for sharing.

  5. The argument needs to be about, what specific data supports tracking criminal collaboration. My answer is only communications meta-data (email & text message addresses) since phone numbers are still being collected by phone companies. Where to store and protect that data must also be decided.
    Both sides are wrong when the assumption is ALL data stored in an iPhone.

  6. No. This isn’t where Snowden left off. But Snowden’s revelations directly impact this situation. Trust in the US government’s sworn duty to protect and defend the Constitution of the United State has been blow. Distrust is now the default. Questioning the US government’s motives in compromising US citizen privacy is now the default. Tim Cook and Apple’s actions are part of this new era of distrust.

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