Tim Cook Tells White House to Embrace 'No Backdoors' Encryption Policy in Meeting

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Last Friday, Tim Cook and representatives from other Silicon Valley companies met with White House officials to discuss how to counter the use of social media by terrorist groups to recruit new members. In that meeting, Cook criticized the White House for its stance on encryption, reports The Intercept.

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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.

Cook told the White House officials that the administration should "come out and say 'no backdoors'" in encryption. The Apple CEO has repeatedly said that backdoors in any sort of encryption create an opening for bad guys to access the private information of consumers.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch responded to Cook by saying a "balance" between privacy and national security was necessary, and that the balance is continually discussed and debated within the administration. Terrorists use encrypted communication apps to recruit and mobilize members, according to a White House briefing document for the meeting obtained by The Intercept.

Last February, Cook spoke about the importance of privacy and security at the White House Cybersecurity Summit. Last month, he spoke to 60 Minutes and once again reiterated Apple's stance for no backdoors in encrypted technologies and how it's important for the company to protect its users' personal information.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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57 months ago
It is really sad that a private corporation has to lecture the government about constitutional protections.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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57 months ago
What the government wants to do is not going to solve the problem:

High-end encryption technology already exists.
Even if current encryption gets downgraded and crippled with a backdoor, the bad guys could just re-implement better encryption on their personal devices, even get new devices made in China for their purpose.

Also, there are many ways to conceal hidden encrypted messages inside media files; files that would be ignored by security filters. No government has the power and hardware to filter, search and decode these hidden messages on the fly.

And finally, poor security could be used by the bad guys to conceal their activities, involving innocent people by secretly accessing their devices to commit their crimes.

Improve security by implementing better security, not by crippling it. Better intelligence, suspect tracking, etc.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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57 months ago
This idea of a government/law enforcement accessible back door is completely absurd and only exists in the minds of those who have no understanding of the underlying technology. It's ridiculous that it's even a discussion. Leave the technology to the technologists, not the politicians.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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57 months ago
This is about control , and giving yet away more civil liberties with "terrorism" as an excuse.

Everyone should have a very hard time accessing our personal data. Encryption should be more sophisticated in this digital age.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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57 months ago
I don't see how the attorney general can claim there to be balance in the discussions around encryption and that those balanced discussions are ongoing when the privacy of citizens is constantly being eroded at the wishes of the government. Once they take something away, there is no getting it back.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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57 months ago
If you outlaw good encryption, the only people who will have good encryption are the outlaws. That doesn't protect all us innocent citizens, it puts us at greater risk.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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