Apple Refuses US Order Against Encryption
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, released an open letter to its customers explaining that the FBI and the US government were ordering them to include a security hole in the future iOS updates with the objective of preventing terrorism. According to Apple this could potentially lead to hackers finding the backdoor and compromising users’ security.
The US government’s initiative was proposed to Apple after the San Bernardino terrorism incident in December when Apple cooperated with the FBI providing them with data and information to resolve the case. As Apple noted, the FBI, instead of asking Congress to pass legislation resolving the encryption fight, has proposed what appears to be a reading of the All Writs Act of 1789. In the open letter, CEO Tim Cook wrote:
“The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.”
The company has been criticized for their stance by many political figures, including US presidency candidates like Donald Trump, Ray McClure, among others. In a press release, US Senator Tom Cotton stated:
“The problem of end-to-end encryption isn’t just a terrorism issue. It is also a drug-trafficking, kidnapping and child pornography issue that impacts every state of the Union. It’s unfortunate that the great company Apple is becoming the company of choice for terrorists, drug dealers and sexual predators of all sorts.”
However, Apple has been receiving support in this decision from other big companies including Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, WhatsApp’s founder Jan Koum and now Microsoft. Apple sums itself with this stance to the list of companies in the RGS (Reform Government Surveillance) act, along many others like AOL, Dropbox, Evernote, LinkedIn, Twitter and Yahoo. Finally, Tim Cook wrote:
“While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”