“We will not shrink from this responsibility” – Apple Event Starts with a Few Words on Encryption
Tim Cook started today’s Apple event with a few words for the FBI. “We need to decide, as a nation, how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy,” he said. Bringing a human side to the argument, Cook talked about Apple’s responsibility as a company who has over a billion active products used by people around the world. “We built the iPhone for you, our customers,” Cook added. However, Cook didn’t talk about encryption and the FBI’s requests as much as he was expected to.
Tim Cook on encryption and Apple’s responsibility:
The US government and Apple will face off in the court tomorrow in a case that could have unprecedented implications on digital security and privacy. Before that happens, Apple has the entire world hooked to it as the company took the stage to talk about new devices, and of course, encryption.
We did not expect to be in this position, at odds with our own government, but we believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and your privacy.
We owe it to our customers and we owe it to our country. This is an issue that impacts all of us, and we will not shrink from this responsibility.
Quickly moving beyond the encryption argument, Apple started talking about saving the environment, better health, medical research, and other human-focused facets of the company. Today’s event seems to be strategically planned out right before Apple is facing the FBI tomorrow at a court hearing.
For the uninitiated, Apple’s fight with the government began in February when a judge ordered the company to create a custom version of iOS to allow access to encrypted iPhones. Apple has openly objected to this proposal, saying that it will be a dangerous precedent to create a backdoor that could be used by not only the government but the criminal hackers too. The request is not only being termed as unconstitutional, but privacy activists also say that the government is overstepping its legal bounds by using an 18th century All Writs Act to force Apple to hack into its own devices, making them prone to privacy attacks.
“We will not shrink from this responsibility.” – Apple.
The government claims that Apple is not above the law and that the request for technical assistance only concerns a single case of breaking into an iPhone 5C, which was used by a terrorist in San Bernardino shootings. Apple and the privacy groups, however, retort that the issue is not about one iPhone as it will set a precedent that would open the door to tech companies being forced to hand over customer data everywhere in the world.
Tomorrow’s hearing is expected to last some three hours, as each side will present arguments. Don’t expect a ruling coming tomorrow though, as the case is expected to go all the way to the Supreme Court.
Apple’s event continues as the company has just launched a new iPhone. Stay tuned to Wccftech for more updates.