After saying Apple would not build a backdoor into the iPhone, Tim Cook has found an unlikely ally: the Chief Executive Officer at Google, Sundar Pichai.
For those that aren’t aware, the US government had asked Apple CEO Tim Cook to add a back door into iOS so that the FBI could hack into an iPhone belonging to the person responsible for the December 2015 San Bernadino terrorist attack. Cook told the US government quite explicitly that this would compromise user security, and many in the tech industry agreed that this would set a dangerous precedent.
Among those is Pichai who, over the course of five tweets, expressed why leaving a back door in an operating system is a bad idea.
The major concern here is not centred around letting authorities into servers or smartphones with permission, but rather that it would open that power up to abuse and allow governments and hackers to access iPhones – and potentially other devices – willy-nilly. While the FBI has said this would be a one-time thing, it’s not exactly outside the realm of possibility that it wouldn’t be.
“I have always admired Tim Cook for his stance on privacy and Apple’s efforts to protect user data and couldn’t agree more with everything said in their Customer Letter today,” Koum wrote in the post.
He went on to say, “we must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set. Today our freedom and our liberty is at stake.”
That does sound a bit like the speech Bill Pullman gave in Independence Day, but all three of these technology heavyweights have a point.
Once there’s a back door on your smartphone who’s to say that only government will use it, and when they do that it’s for the right reasons? Would you be happy at the possibility of your iPhone being accessed by government agents while you’re voicing your displeasure about etoll increases on Twitter? No, us either.
Let’s hope that “thoughtful and open discussion” of the issue will indeed follow in the coming days and weeks.[Via – TechCrunch] [Image – CC BY/2.0 Maurizio Pesce]