Apples infamous Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook, had words with US Government officials in a recent meeting with technology companies including Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Dropbox, and Apple.
The White House and tech industry met last Friday to discuss what can be done to make the Internet harder for terror groups to use for recruitment purposes and what can be done to prevent them from using tools like encryption to disguise their online activities.
According to The Intercept, Cook engaged in a heated debate with the US attorney general, Loretta Lynch, regarding adopting a policy of no backdoors in its approach to the encryption technology being used by Apple and other technology companies. Lynch apparently responded with a warning about needing to find a balance between privacy and national security.
This debate among technology firms & the US government is nothing new. In fact, Apple in September of 2015 stated it wouldn’t comply with court orders to delivery texts sent using iMessage between two iPhones, because of iMessage’s encryption. This encryption method did not sit well with FBI Director, James Comey, who stated, “The notion that someone would market a closet that could never be opened- even if it involves a case involving a child kidnapper and a court order- to me does not make any sense.”
Cook has made his stance on encryption countless times before, even at events organized by the White House, where he warned of the ‘dire consequences’ associated with sacrificing the right to privacy.
“Criminals are using ever technology tool at their disposal to hack into people accounts. If they know there’s a key hidden somewhere, they won’t stop until they find it. Removing encryption tools from our products altogether, as some in Washington would like us to do, would only hurt law-abiding citizens who rely on us to protect their data.”