Tim Cook slams UK spy bill that could require breakable encryption

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2015
Apple chief executive Tim Cook on Monday voiced staunch opposition to the UK's proposed Investigatory Powers Bill, a measure that would force companies to retain customer data and may require them to install backdoors in any encrypted systems.




"To protect people who use any products, you have to encrypt," Cook told the Telegraph. "You can just look around and see all the data breaches that are going on...we believe very strongly in end to end encryption and no back doors."

Cook warned that requiring companies to add backdoors could have "dire consequences," saying that "any backdoor is a backdoor for everyone."

"It's not the case that encryption is a rare thing that only two or three rich companies own and you can regulate them in some way. Encryption is widely available. It may make someone feel good for a moment but it's not really of benefit. If you halt or weaken encryption, the people that you hurt are not the folks that want to do bad things. It's the good people. The other people know where to go."

Thanks to globalization, Cook argued, weakening security in one area can have adverse affects on everyone. "We are all connected, whether we like it or not," he said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    jessijessi Posts: 302member
    Glad to see him out in front on this issue. Google execs are MIA, as usual, probably back adding more fiber for the NSA to spy on their customers.

    Apple, and other moral tech companies, need to start pouring money into lobbying, and more importantly to campaigns for candidates that support freedom.

    A billion dollars would be a good start.
  • Reply 2 of 56
    "Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite." --Maistre
  • Reply 3 of 56
    The European Union and Supreme Court affirmed citizen's basic rights for privacy. Let's see how Europe reacts to this Brit law.
  • Reply 4 of 56
    dougddougd Posts: 187member
    George Orwell is rolling over in his grave
  • Reply 5 of 56

    Kind of a missed opportunity for a headline like:

     

    "Tim Cook Slams UK Backdoor"

  • Reply 6 of 56
    irelandireland Posts: 17,386member
    Wanker politicians. Get them out.
  • Reply 7 of 56

    Close all shops in the UK and move them to Germany and France.

    Let the brits travel abroad if they want iOS devices.

  • Reply 8 of 56
    Unfortunately with Apple being a publicly traded stock there is not much they can do about the situation. If they were private they could just pull out of the UK and be done with it. However they have to answer to stockholders that get whiny and cranky when Apple falls short of some bozo analysts predictions for how many iPhones they are going to sell.Even suggesting that they pull out of the UK would crash the stock price. In the end, again, money will decide what happens to our freedom.
  • Reply 9 of 56
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,534member
    jessi wrote: »
    Glad to see him out in front on this issue. Google execs are MIA, as usual, probably back adding more fiber for the NSA to spy on their customers.
    Dealing with Google is not unlike dealing with thieves. In the end you will loose.
    Apple, and other moral tech companies, need to start pouring money into lobbying, and more importantly to campaigns for candidates that support freedom.
    First off it isn't possible for a company to be moral.

    Second off pouring money into lobbying isn't going to help, especially when the at the same time Apple seems to support the democratic agenda. The real problem we have in this country right now is that neither of the two largest parties really give a damn about the constitution and sadly we have a public that doesn't give a damn other. You won't effect significant change by lobbying congress, you need to whip the populous into a frenzy, wake them up really, so that they understand what is at stake. In the end you need to get people to vote freedom and not a preferred party.
    A billion dollars would be a good start.
    Wouldn't even out a dent into things.
    Support Rand Paul, or Gary Johnson-- the only candidates for president that actually believe in human rights.
    Maybe but the problem here is this, congress is made up of hundreds and they have all the influence when it comes to law. Unless that mess is put on notice voting for anyone candidate won't do much for you.
  • Reply 10 of 56
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post



    "Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite." --Maistre

    C'est vrai!

  • Reply 11 of 56
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post



    Unfortunately with Apple being a publicly traded stock there is not much they can do about the situation. If they were private they could just pull out of the UK and be done with it. However they have to answer to stockholders that get whiny and cranky when Apple falls short of some bozo analysts predictions for how many iPhones they are going to sell.Even suggesting that they pull out of the UK would crash the stock price. In the end, again, money will decide what happens to our freedom.



    Apple would never resort to such a stupid reactionary tactic.

     

    But Apple could and should find some sort of diplomatic solution which would defeat such a nefarious bill while maintaining its business interests in Britain.

  • Reply 12 of 56

    "The price of freedom is constant vigilance and the willingness to fight back." L. Ron Hubbard

     

    Let's hope, for ALL our sakes, that Tim & Company have the will and wherewithal to do both against whatever our government may have in store, AND against this nefarious British bill.

     

    Let's also hope that Apple is not alone in this resolve.

  • Reply 13 of 56
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,534member
    kent909 wrote: »
    Unfortunately with Apple being a publicly traded stock there is not much they can do about the situation. If they were private they could just pull out of the UK and be done with it. However they have to answer to stockholders that get whiny and cranky when Apple falls short of some bozo analysts predictions for how many iPhones they are going to sell.Even suggesting that they pull out of the UK would crash the stock price. In the end, again, money will decide what happens to our freedom.


    I do hope that people understand what you have said here. More importantly Cook can be gone in a heartbeat if the board demands it. The board can come under a lot of back door pressure from various government organizations especially right now when we have such an unethical administration in Washington. People don't understand just how dangerous this administration has been with dirty tactics like using the IRS to suppress alternative points of view. The reality is the government has many organizations like the IRS that can make life really bad for Apples board members.

    To put it mildly the lack of an ethical administration in Washington outs Apple into a bad position if they try to fight this. I understand this is a British initiative but I can see "cooperation" happening to get Apple to accept the law. Apples acceptance of the law will then be used for justification of similar laws in the USA. Doubt me, look at what happened with copyright law.
  • Reply 14 of 56
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jessi View Post



     Google execs are MIA, as usual

     

    Google doesn't want end-to-end encryption.  Google is the middle-man and profits by selling that data.

  • Reply 15 of 56
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,902member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    I do hope that people understand what you have said here. More importantly Cook can be gone in a heartbeat if the board demands it. The board can come under a lot of back door pressure from various government organizations especially right now when we have such an unethical administration in Washington. People don't understand just how dangerous this administration has been with dirty tactics like using the IRS to suppress alternative points of view. The reality is the government has many organizations like the IRS that can make life really bad for Apples board members.



    To put it mildly the lack of an ethical administration in Washington outs Apple into a bad position if they try to fight this. I understand this is a British initiative but I can see "cooperation" happening to get Apple to accept the law. Apples acceptance of the law will then be used for justification of similar laws in the USA. Doubt me, look at what happened with copyright law.

    People only criticize the current administration when, like Congress, the actual government employees are never hired by the administration (except for the very top level ones). The US government has been attacking the privacy of its citizens since J Edgar Hoover stared the FBI. The FBI was no better than the Mafia or any other "criminal" organization. Add in the CIA and NSA, top if off with Bush's Department of Homeland (In)Security, then mix in all the basement politics going on with billions upon billions of dollars being funneled into protecting the interests of the US Government, arms manufacturers, big oil and all the other special interest companies and you have a government that is in no way for the people or by the majority of the people. It doesn't matter who we vote into the government, there's no way to get rid of all the corruption. Obama has tried to do things that might help out the situation but every time he tries, some jerk says he doesn't have the constitutional right to do so. Well, those jerks are not following the constitution either. As for the UK, it doesn't really surprise me because they have the same corrupt behind the scenes government sponsored organizations as the US has. We all complain about other countries being terrorists, communist China being bad, but until we look into the mirror, open our eyes and see that the US is the largest terrorist country in the world we won't be able to facilitate any change. I'm tired and really bothered by the US Navy ads showing all the locations in the world where they are "protecting" the US. I don't remember this level of "protection" being included in the US Constitution. We've become the latest country to attempt to rule the world and it's just not right.

  • Reply 16 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,031member
    jessi wrote: »
    Glad to see him out in front on this issue. Google execs are MIA, as usual.
    Google execs don't have the press hanging on every word like Apple's Cook does. That's why you wouldn't know what their view is without looking it up. Google is generally on the same page as Apple when it comes to government surveillance powers.

    http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2014/02/its-time-to-reform-government.html
    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/10/21/tech-giants-drop-cisa-support-controversial-spy-bill-heads-vote
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/technology/tech-giants-issue-call-for-limits-on-government-surveillance-of-users.html?pagewanted=all

    Most of the tech companies are opposed to government surveillance expansion, not just Apple. Going against the grain tho are companies like Verizon and AT&T.
  • Reply 17 of 56
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post



    Unfortunately with Apple being a publicly traded stock there is not much they can do about the situation. If they were private they could just pull out of the UK and be done with it. However they have to answer to stockholders that get whiny and cranky when Apple falls short of some bozo analysts predictions for how many iPhones they are going to sell.Even suggesting that they pull out of the UK would crash the stock price. In the end, again, money will decide what happens to our freedom.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

     

    Close all shops in the UK and move them to Germany and France.

    Let the brits travel abroad if they want iOS devices.


     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

     



    Apple would never resort to such a stupid reactionary tactic.

     

    But Apple could and should find some sort of diplomatic solution which would defeat such a nefarious bill while maintaining its business interests in Britain.


    I'm not so sure Apple wouldn't simply drop the UK market, explaining their laws prohibit selling their products there. Apple has a track record of not watching stock prices, preferring to use their vision of "the right thing." And oh BTW, the colonies here were established as a result of an oppressive government in England. That certainly plays well in the press.

  • Reply 18 of 56
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

     

     

     

    I'm not so sure Apple wouldn't simply drop the UK market, explaining their laws prohibit selling their products there. Apple has a track record of not watching stock prices, preferring to use their vision of "the right thing." And oh BTW, the colonies here were established as a result of an oppressive government in England. That certainly plays well in the press.




    The Apple board could well conclude that modifying iOS to comply with UK laws might so damage the platform that reduced revenue in the rest of the world would lead to overall lower revenue than if they simply dropped the UK market.

     

    I actually think the political repercussions would be such that if Apple were to announce the intention of such a move, the legislation would not be tabled, Apple's image and popularity with the public is that high.

  • Reply 19 of 56
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post



    Unfortunately with Apple being a publicly traded stock there is not much they can do about the situation. If they were private they could just pull out of the UK and be done with it. However they have to answer to stockholders that get whiny and cranky when Apple falls short of some bozo analysts predictions for how many iPhones they are going to sell.Even suggesting that they pull out of the UK would crash the stock price. In the end, again, money will decide what happens to our freedom.



    At the shareholder's meeting last year, when a rep from a conservative think tank tried to get Tim Cook to pledge to only do things that are profitable, he very angrily told them, "If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock."

     

    Cook has a lot of capital, not just in the financial sense. As long as Apple is the most profitable company in the world, most investors are not going to care how he does it. For now, it's a fact that companies that do not have Apple's values are less successful than Apple, because everyone is less successful than Apple.

     

    If the UK wants to turn into a surveillance state, I don't expect the company that built its image on smashing Big Brother with a sledgehammer to go along with it.

  • Reply 20 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,031member
    cnocbui wrote: »

    The Apple board could well conclude that modifying iOS to comply with UK laws might so damage the platform that reduced revenue in the rest of the world would lead to overall lower revenue than if they simply dropped the UK market.

    I actually think the political repercussions would be such that if Apple were to announce the intention of such a move, the legislation would not be tabled, Apple's image and popularity with the public is that high.
    China will reportedly be making the same requirement, and may already have. I would consider it a safe bet that none of the techs, Apple included, will exit the Chinese market when it happens. Perhaps by banding together companies can speak with one voice and convince government agencies to throttle back a tad.
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