Tim Cook will 'absolutely' press Congress for more transparency over surveillance

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In a one-on-one interview with ABC News' David Muir, Apple CEO Tim Cook called for the U.S. government to be more open about its surveillance efforts after revealing his company is under a gag order regarding such matters.

Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking to ABC on government surveillance. | Source: ABC News


While Cook and Muir joked about Apple's legendary secrecy and possible plans for sapphire glass, the executive was deadly serious about the U.S. government's surveillance policies.

"From my point of view -- number one -- we need to be significantly more transparent," Cook said. "We need to say what data is being given, how many people it affects, how many people are affected. We need to be clear."

Cook noted that Apple is currently under a gag order and was not able say more on the subject. What the executive could say, however, is that there is no back door to Apple's servers or customer database.

Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggested Apple was complicit in the agency's PRISM data mining program, while other revelations pointed to secret system exploits aimed at the iPhone. Apple vehemently denied any involvement in the initiative.

"They would have to cart us out in a box for that," Cook said, referring to future government efforts to tap into Apple's backend. "This would not happen, we feel that strongly about it."

When asked whether he would press Congress for more transparency, Cook said, "Yes, absolutely...absolutely."

In December, Cook, alongside other tech moguls, met with President Barack Obama to discuss the NSA's surveillance efforts. The meeting was also supposed to serve as a roundtable on how to fix the HealthCare.gov system, but most of the time was reportedly spent on snooping.

Aside from the teaser excerpts aired earlier today, which covered topics from the made-in-America Mac Pro to sapphire glass, not much else was revealed during the brief two-minute segment.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    Unfortunately, people really don't want transparency. They want it to stop.

    It's like the three R's of environmentalism, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Businesses ONLY focus on Recycle, because they don't make money from Reduce and Reuse.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

    Unfortunately, people really don't want transparency. They want it to stop.

     

    You realize we can’t know what we want stopped until we know what’s going on, right?

  • Reply 3 of 39
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    You realize we can’t know what we want stopped until we know what’s going on, right?




    Puhlease.  Cook is ONLY doing pressing for transparency because Apple wants to keep doing business with the ROW.  Like the rest of the tech industry, this is only because Snowden dropped their pants in public.

     

    If he believed it was a civil rights issue [that everyone's rights were being violated], that it is an actual problem, he would not be pushing for transparency.  He would  be pushing for STOPPING IT [well, hopefully, anyway], like he does for LGBT issues.

  • Reply 4 of 39
    Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

    Puhlease.  Cook is ONLY doing pressing for transparency because Apple wants to keep doing business with the ROW. 

     

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean nor how it’s a reply to what I said.

  • Reply 5 of 39
    taniwhataniwha Posts: 347member

    This is a compelling argument for the ROW to stop buying american products. Gag orders, secret courts, compromised cryptography .. Only when it puts a severe hurt on the profits will Americans wake up and put an end to it. By then it will in all probability be too late.

     

    Once trust is lost, it is lost forever.

  • Reply 6 of 39
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Where's the full video interview? (not the 3:21 segment) Link please??

    P.S. Why has the American government gotten so scary/scared? What do you think the founders would think of all of this?
  • Reply 7 of 39
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    What do you think the founders would think of all of this?

     

    The founding fathers were no strangers to espionage. George Washington had a spy ring in New York called the Culper Ring that reported to him directly on British activity. 

  • Reply 8 of 39
    Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

    The founding fathers were no strangers to espionage. George Washington had a spy ring in New York called the Culper Ring that reported to him directly on British activity. 


     

    Because during the war, the British were certainly American citizens and that example is absolutely relevant¡

  • Reply 9 of 39
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    Because during the war, the British were certainly American citizens and that example is absolutely relevant¡


    Everyone were still technically British citizens until the war was over so it is rather relevant. Not to mention the fact that they did not limit their spy rings to NY or just to spying on Brits. Had the French not intervened with armaments, troops, and their navy George Washington would have likely been hanged as a British traitor and not an American hero. There were no American citizens until we won the war and started a country. Spying is nothing new and the Persian empire had an an extremely sophisticated spy network which covered a huge territory with many ethnicities. 

     

    I can understand why Tim is pushing for more transparency. Once Americans know the full extent of the spying activities then we would be able to ask specifically for certain activities  to be stopped. Snowden has opened the genie's bottle and may not be such a bad guy as they first tried to make us believe he was. Everything in government is now classified, even files that should not be classified. They do this simply to prevent journalists from reporting on anything. Without a "deep throat " like Snowden spilling the beans we wouldn't have the slightest idea just how bad their spying on citizens has gone. There needs to be far more checks and balances on what documents can be classified as well since they have abused that simply to hide the evidence of overreach and to cover their asses. 

  • Reply 10 of 39
    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

    Everyone were still technically British citizens until the war was over so it is rather relevant.

     

    No, sorry, wartime spying against the enemy is relevant to peacetime spying against your own citizens in no way whatsoever. Don’t even bother trying again. How pathetic your vendetta that you’re willing to express this nonsense publicly.

     

    I can understand why Tim is pushing for more transparency. Once Americans know the full extent of the spying activities then we would be able to ask specifically for certain activities to be stopped. 


     

    EXACTLY.

  • Reply 11 of 39
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    No, sorry, wartime spying against the enemy is relevant to peacetime spying against your own citizens in no way whatsoever. Don’t even bother trying again. How pathetic your vendetta that you’re willing to express this nonsense publicly.

     


     

    You are the one that seems to have a vendetta against anyone that points out your numerous fallacies.  I pointed out there were no American citizens during the revolutionary war since the United States did not yet exist as a country. As usual you are trying to change the subject now and pretend that is not what you meant. In any event there has been spying during peacetime as well long before the FBI, CIA or NSA existed so you are still wrong.  In the decades before the civil war spying was rampant. You made a factual error and as usual instead of just admitting that you claim people have a vendetta against you and become hostile. Maybe if you stopped with all the vitriol and using  "¡" on mosts of your posts people might take you more seriously. If you stopped  attacking people with your snark and sarcasm you might contribute something to the forum.  Sarcasm is rarely the best way to start a real debate so enough with the ¡ already.

  • Reply 12 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    No, sorry, wartime spying against the enemy is relevant to peacetime spying against your own citizens in no way whatsoever. Don’t even bother trying again. How pathetic your vendetta that you’re willing to express this nonsense publicly.

     

     


     

    All of the NSA domestic surveillance in question per the Snowden classified documents is post 9/11, meaning it's specific to the "war on terror" and the Patriot Act passed by Congress. The most recent PCLOB review that deemed the bulk collection of telephone metadata to be illegal was specific to the language in Section 215 of the Patriot Act. However, the PCLOB also deemed the government's intent for collecting those records to have been in "good faith", i.e., they saw no evidence that it was collected for any reason other than counterterrorism purposes. There really aren't any examples of controversial NSA activity that involved domestic data that have been proven to be unrelated to counterterrorism. And quite a few of the documents that Glenn Greenwald wrote about were out of date legally...predating the 2008 FISA amendments that specifically ended certain types of NSA activity previously granted under the Patriot Act.

  • Reply 13 of 39
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

     

     

    All of the NSA domestic surveillance in question per the Snowden classified documents is post 9/11, meaning it's specific to the "war on terror" and the Patriot Act passed by Congress. The most recent PCLOB review that deemed the bulk collection of telephone metadata to be illegal was specific to the language in Section 215 of the Patriot Act. However, the PCLOB also deemed the government's intent for collecting those records to have been in "good faith", i.e., they saw no evidence that it was collected for any reason other than counterterrorism purposes. There really aren't any examples of controversial NSA activity that involved domestic data that have been proven to be unrelated to counterterrorism. And quite a few of the documents that Glenn Greenwald wrote about were out of date legally...predating the 2008 FISA amendments that specifically ended certain types of NSA activity previously granted under the Patriot Act.


     

    Yes, there is evidence of this.  Google "nsa daily tips to fbi".  They are using data acquired with a warrant to gather data for the "war on terror", and illegally giving some of this data to the FBI for non-terrorism related crimes.  They know it is illegal, because they explicitly tell the FBI they must NEVER tell the court about getting this information from the NSA, and to claim they found out about it some other way.  This has been going on for YEARS.

  • Reply 14 of 39
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

     

     

    Yes, there is evidence of this.  Google "nsa daily tips to fbi".  They are using data acquired with a warrant to gather data for the "war on terror", and illegally giving some of this data to the FBI for non-terrorism related crimes.  They know it is illegal, because they explicitly tell the FBI they must NEVER tell the court about getting this information from the NSA, and to claim they found out about it some other way.  This has been going on for YEARS.


     

    The information that I see coming up from that search is specific to declassified FISC court instructions. Obviously if the FISC is providing guidance, it's not going to be for something the court itself considers to be illegal. And again, this is an older document from 2007. 

  • Reply 15 of 39
    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

    You are the one that seems to have a vendetta against anyone that points out your numerous fallacies.


     

    Or you could just stop making up arguments and pretending they’re correct; how’s that?

     

    As usual you are trying to change the subject now…


     

    Just shut up already. The subject is government spying on its citizens. That an America “didn’t exist” is not only nowhere near the point, it’s not even correct. Just shut up unless you have something actually relevant to say.

     

    In any event there has been spying during peacetime as well long before the FBI, CIA or NSA existed so you are still wrong.


     

    Nowhere did I claim at any time that the modern spying on citizens is the only instance thereof. Shut your pathetic hole.

  • Reply 16 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

     

     

    The information that I see coming up from that search is specific to declassified FISC court instructions. Obviously if the FISC is providing guidance, it's not going to be for something the court itself considers to be illegal. And again, this is an older document from 2007. 


    I don't know if you are just slow, or don't understand the law, or have trouble reading the articles.

     

    1.  The data the NSA is gathering about American citizens is illegal, without a warrant.  Nobody is arguing this, as the NSA has these FISC rubber-stamp warrants for the data.

    2.  The warrants say "we need this data for this purpose [war on terror]".  That is what you can use the data for.  To use it for other things is illegal.

    3.  The NSA perversely interpreted a judge telling them this as meaning "if the data is in one database, we can't give it to the FBI, but if the exact same data is in another database, we can".

    4.  The FBI has been using this information to find, identify, and prosecute criminals, and lying to them about the basis of the prosecutions.

    5.  The judge found out about it and stopped it in 2009 [well, there is no oversight, so nobody really knows if it has stopped or not].  Evidently, the only punishment the FISC judges are willing to hand out are stern talkings to, maybe a sternly worded letter.

    6.  Everyone involved [employee's of the NSA, the FISC judges, the FBI] know it's illegal, but they also know that only the attorney general's office can prosecute them and that they won't do so.

     

    Now, prosecutions based on this evidence are starting to unravel [as the investigations are all based on evidence that has been illegally obtained].

     

    And it annoys me that before Snowden started releasing this information, people like you would say, "oh, no, our gov't would never do that", and now it's "oh, that stuff only happened years ago, it's totally different now".  It's not different today.  And it won't be different tomorrow until people like you stop blindly cowtowing to your gov't.

  • Reply 17 of 39
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    Or you could just stop making up arguments and pretending they’re correct; how’s that?

     

    Just shut up already. The subject is government spying on its citizens. That an America “didn’t exist” is not only nowhere near the point, it’s not even correct. Just shut up unless you have something actually relevant to say.

     

    Nowhere did I claim at any time that the modern spying on citizens is the only instance thereof. Shut your pathetic hole.


     

    Why don't you shut up and go away. I have been a member here since 2001. Out of your over 30,000 posts in just the last few years 99% of them have been personal attacks, bullying, derailing threads, and harassing people. All the other Mac sites sensibly banned you and hopefully the mods here will realize the damage you do to this site and make your next inevitable ban permanent. You are the one that wrote a fallacy about the revolutionary war and when I pointed out your mistake you now say that was not the point. Unbelievable

     

    Why is a guy that has never even bought an iPhone the most prolific poster and judge, jury, and executioner on every single iPhone thread here. Notice I said bought since you won your first gen iPhone. 

  • Reply 18 of 39
    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

    I have been a member here since 2001.


     

    Mhmm.

     
    All the other Mac sites sensibly banned you…

     

    And yet more lying. It’s all you ever seem to do.

     
    You are the one that wrote a fallacy about the revolutionary war…

     

    Keeps happening.

     

    Why is a guy that has never even bought an iPhone the most prolific poster and judge, jury, and executioner on every single iPhone thread here. Notice I said bought since you won your first gen iPhone.


     

    And now ad-homs. I guess my real failing is not having friends in high places, huh.

  • Reply 19 of 39
    luykxluykx Posts: 20member
    Does this mean Cook is for transparency about those famous off shore cash flows as well?
  • Reply 20 of 39
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    Mhmm.

     

    And yet more lying. It’s all you ever seem to do.

     

    Keeps happening.

     

    And now ad-homs. I guess my real failing is not having friends in high places, huh.


     

    I joined in 2001 and lost that ID because I changed emails so I created a new account in 2007 genius. Ask Neil if you don't believe me as I used to submit articles and tips in the early years as a source for Japan and Asia. I have been active on XLR8yourmac.com and Macintouch from the very beginning and am friends with people like Mike Breeden, Rob Art Morgan and other giants in the Apple sphere for a long time. John Siracusa is one of my closest friends.  You probably have no clue who they are. I met and spoke with Steve Jobs in person twice and also Wozniak and may other Apple executives. I have been using Apple computers since the IIe. I have seen cancers like you come and go many times on numerous websites. You are nothing more than an annoying troll that drive people away from this site and sour their impression of Apple in general. I have been here long before you and will be here long after you are finally banned which is hopefully very soon. You contribute absolutely nothing of value to these forums. It is a shame because if you could lose the hostility, snark, and sarcasm you might actually have some useful things to say from time to time. But you simply can't help yourself. You wrongly believe only you know what Apple should or should not do and think of yourself as some self-appointed gatekeeper.

     

    And even though you were banned they still are talking about you. You are not missed. Be sure to read the posts from 11/30/2012 &  9/1/2013

    http://tinyurl.com/nnjasx5

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