Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Apple CEO defends encyption with 'no backdoors'

Apple’s Tim Cook Lashes Out at White House Officials for Being Wishy-Washy on Encryption - Jenna McLaughlin, The Intercept::

January 12, 2016 - "Apple CEO Tim Cook lashed out at the high-level delegation of Obama administration officials who came calling on tech leaders in San Jose last week, criticizing the White House for a lack of leadership and asking the administration to issue a strong public statement defending the use of unbreakable encryption.

"The White House should come out and say 'no backdoors,' Cook said. That would mean overruling repeated requests from FBI Director James Comey and other administration officials that tech companies build some sort of special access for law enforcement into otherwise unbreakable encryption. Technologists agree that any such measure could be exploited by others....

The Washington Post reported in September that the White House had decided not to pursue legislation against unbreakable encryption. But the intelligence community’s top lawyer was quoted in an email saying that that the administration should be 'keeping our options open … in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement.'

"And Comey has been urging technology companies to voluntarily alter 'their business model' and stop offering end-to-end encryption by default.

"Despite the growing pressure tech companies are feeling from governments worldwide to stop letting terrorists take advantage of their services, Cook has continued to defend the importance of encryption in protecting all digital transactions — from text messages and emails to bank information and medical records.

"Cook has been outspoken in his opposition to the idea that we need to sacrifice privacy and digital security for the sake of public safety. During an episode of 60 Minutes on December 20, he said, 'We’re America, we should have both'....

"[T]echnologists and cryptographers have been insisting for decades almost unanimously that trying to pierce impenetrable end-to-end encryption to provide the government with access would be more dangerous than beneficial."

Read more: https://theintercept.com/2016/01/12/apples-tim-cook-lashes-out-at-white-house-officials-for-being-wishy-washy-on-encryption/
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