Apple CEO: Government backdoor into iPhone is the future he fights

From Mashable:

“This case is not about one phone. This case is about the future,” Tim Cook said to David Muir on ABC World News Tonight Wednesday.

“What is at stake here is: Can the government compel Apple to write software that we believe would make hundreds of millions of customers vulnerable around the world, including the U.S. and also trample civil liberties that are at the basic foundation at what this country was made on?”

Cook went further, calling the software the FBI is asking it to write — in order to gain access to a phone belonging to the shooter in the San Bernardino attack that killed 14 in December — “the software equivalent of cancer.” Earlier this month, a judge ordered Apple to create a so-called backdoor for the FBI to hack the shooter’s work-issued iPhone. Apple revealed the FBI is asking it to create the software because a San Bernardino County employee reset the Apple ID associated with the iPhone 5C in an attempt to access the data, bungling future attempts to get in. The gunman, Syed Farook, worked for the county.

When asked about polls that indicate more Americans side with the FBI rather than Apple in this case, Cook responded, “this is not about a poll, it is about the future.” More.

Reality check: It feels like I am being asked whether I trust Apple CEO Tim White more than I trust Hillary Clinton? Is that too easy though?

See also: Bill Gates does NOT think Apple should build backdoor for government into customers’ phones


Apple vs. FBI: Congress should decide Whether Apple can be forced to build a backdooor into the iPhone for the FBI.

  • Gary

    The muslim terrorist was issued a County owned iPhone as part of this job. This means that there has to be some Sign-in password for both parties to contact each other and get messages or send them .
    The owner of the iPhone is the County, so my guess is that Obama and the FBI don’t really want the truth until after the Election. So they threatened Farouk’s Manager to shut up or he’s send in the Loretta “Lynch” mob to trump-up some Charge to bury them in a jail cell and have a quick trial in 2017 where Hillary will have to deal with it if she’s the President.

    • B__2

      Never ascribe to malice what can be attributed to stupidity.

      There’s some good articles out there describing what the problem really is – and it looks like the FBI was looking for a good example of where Americans would probably side with the government to set a precedent in forcing all US companies to build back doors into every otherwise secure system they make. If they can force Apple to build back doors into their otherwise secure systems for this one case, then they can demand the same for other, less worthy, cases. There is unlikely to be much support by the public if a court wanted to issue a similar court order to Apple to gather evidence in, say, a IRS court case. If the USA government can demand back doors into iPhones, then every dictatorial government could demand the same for every device brought into or sold in their own country.

      There is a system where companies retain master passwords so that employees cannot restrict access to work email and data – but in this case the County was not using such a system. In many cases, a business doesn’t need to have/use these master passwords as they control the email and document servers that sensitive data is passed through, and that means they can recover this data without needing a master password. Additionally, the FBI person who demanded that Apple reset the password almost certainly didn’t understand that would not unlock the iPhone and give unrestricted access to the encrypted data within, but also that action would make the encrypted data stored on the iPhone unable to be backed up as unencrypted data stored on the iCloud backup.

      The issue of government-mandated back doors into every computer and telecommunication system is much more important than one election in the USA as it has ramifications for governments and people all around the world now and in the future. If Apple (and others) are able to truthfully say they have no ability to extract government-demanded data, then yours, mine and every other innocent person’s data is as protected as the most heinous criminal’s data; protected from arbitrary search and seizure or from malicious third parties as well.

  • BillyHW

    Tim Cook seems to have no problem at all with (young) Chinese back doors.