Tim Cook slams UK spy bill that could require breakable encryption

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 56
    wizard69 wrote: »
    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.

    The US government is a mafia of sorts regardless of administration. Kick backs, bribery, extortion and blackmail have and will be in use to bring people in line. Your mention of the IRS is a classic tactic used to bring people/corporations around to their way of thinking. The two party system is a myth as all any politicians care about is getting re-elected and staying in power.
  • Reply 22 of 56
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Unfortunately, the UK's current Conservative government is both opposed to privacy and completely tech illiterate. It's a dangerous combination.

  • Reply 23 of 56
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,945member

    That the UK is even considering a bill to break encryption reminded me of an alternate reality that is freakishly beginning to be more real for us...



  • Reply 24 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,365member
    sflocal wrote: »
    That the UK is even considering a bill to break encryption reminded me of an alternate reality that is freakishly beginning to be more real for us...
    Actually it's a resurrection of an older bill introduced in 2012. This effort to push it thru again started back in January according to articles.
  • Reply 25 of 56
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,027member

    Extend the ramifications of such a bill a little further and the UK might prohibit the entry of any "non-snoopable" phones to include tourists and business travelers. Apple should dig in completely and refuse to sell in a smaller market like this. Now China might be a different story...

  • Reply 26 of 56
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    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.



    I really do wonder what China's reaction would be to Apple saying they wouldn't comply and that they would take all manufacturing and parts sourcing elsewhere if forced.  Not that I think there is the remotest possibility of such a thing but it's fun to wonder.

     

    Google admirably took their ball home some years ago, rather than bow to censorship, something they never seem to get any credit for.   I think Apple will hand over anything they are told to.

  • Reply 27 of 56
    We have an App that encrypts the contacts of the address book (ContactShield) = your friends, colleagues, coworkers, customers.... . The data can not be read without password/ Touch ID. Will wait to see what happens.
  • Reply 28 of 56
    My government is run by idiots who don't know what they are doing. They're trying to un-invent mathematics and they will lose.
  • Reply 29 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,365member
    cnocbui wrote: »

    I really do wonder what China's reaction would be to Apple saying they wouldn't comply and that they would take all manufacturing and parts sourcing elsewhere if forced.  Not that I think there is the remotest possibility of such a thing but it's fun to wonder.

    Google admirably took their ball home some years ago, rather than bow to censorship, something they never seem to get any credit for.   I think Apple will hand over anything they are told to.
    Not exactly comparable. Google is an information provider. Censoring information is directly at odds with their services so had Google NOT reacted as they did I would have been surprised.

    Apple is a seller of electronics and generally would not be as impacted by censorship requirements. It's also one big ol' market and not an easy one for any company to ignore. There's no reason for Apple to IMO.

    So it doesn't mean one wore a white hat and the other doesn't. Google deciding they were better off not playing in China for a while is nowhere near the same as Apple seeing a market that can be served. Two entirely different businesses. Even Google realizes it's too big to completely ignore and is inching forward on re-entering China so what they did a few years back is soon a moot point anyway.
  • Reply 30 of 56
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,492moderator
    I've got CNBC on here in the background. Just heard out of one ear some guy (I think from the justice department) outlining a broad cybercrime spree the FBI just broke up. It was so far reaching that even the investigators were being hacked to allow the criminals to stay one step ahead of them. Could help but recall Tim Cook's admonition that if anyone is given a back door, everyone will have that same back door, including the bad guys. No sooner said than a perfect example presents itself.
  • Reply 31 of 56
    danielsw wrote: »
    "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.

    "L. Ron Hubbard"? LOL! He basically repackaged this original quote:

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." —Thomas Jefferson
  • Reply 32 of 56
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    NSA and GCHQ already collect a lot of information from leaky apps like Angry Birds that send tons of personal info. In order to do that they have to be the man in the middle, meaning that they have access to the data during transmission. They can listen over the airwaves to a cell tower or they may have data centers and back bone carriers cooperation. They also have tools that can read cookies in a browser even though they are not supposed to be able to read other domain's cookies.

     

    It is important to understand that the users are partially to blame for their own privacy exploits by using free apps that are supported by advertising as well as using weak passwords. Those apps are sending a lot of personal information that can be hijacked with man in the middle. Even using social media can be vulnerable. For example Facebook and Twitter strip out meta data from image files, but when is the question. If the data is hijacked before it gets to their servers, the spy agencies can get the photo and all the EXIF data there in.

     

    There are several E2EE apps in the App Store for encrypted email and messaging. The reason the agencies want the back door is to get into the phone's file system so they can obtain data that is stored not just the data that is transmitted. I'm not sure how much they are still able to retrieve with their Smurf program or if Apple has closed those back doors, but don't think for a minute that you are completely safe because Apple is encrypting stuff. There are still lots of ways they get your info.

     

    If Cook really wanted to improve security on iOS he would require that all App Store apps use end to end encryption.

  • Reply 33 of 56

    Can someone more knowledgeable tell me if the iPhone (or any other) backups on iCloud are encrypted?  I  know you need AppleID + Password to get at them, but one of the persistent arguments here in the UK is that backups are stored unencrypted in iCloud, so all of Cook's talk is just BS.

     

    Alternatively if backups are encrypted but the keys are stored on the phone itself, if the spooks get hold of the phone or hack it via malware, it's game over regardless. 

  • Reply 34 of 56
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,678member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

     



    I really do wonder what China's reaction would be to Apple saying they wouldn't comply and that they would take all manufacturing and parts sourcing elsewhere if forced.  Not that I think there is the remotest possibility of such a thing but it's fun to wonder.

     

    Google admirably took their ball home some years ago, rather than bow to censorship, something they never seem to get any credit for.   I think Apple will hand over anything they are told to.


    It is clear that the UK market and the China market are vastly different to Apple. But you are correct: what Apple's plan and options are in the area are interesting to speculate about. Apple is certainly not averse to weighing in on social issues, but they had to have eyes wide open when they became so intertwined with China. Their end to end encryption is clearly a threat to governments, and by definition (and necessity), governments are a threat to liberty.

     

    I wonder if Apple has thought out a technological solution. As suggested, perhaps create a iOS build that meets the governmental requirements, and you sell the phone in those countries that require it. It is perhaps a very disabled OS, but one that then allows a user to "upgrade" to the iOS with end to end encryption...and let the market provide those opportunities.

  • Reply 35 of 56
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

     

    It is clear that the UK market and the China market are vastly different to Apple. But you are correct: what Apple's plan and options are in the area are interesting to speculate about. Apple is certainly not averse to weighing in on social issues, but they had to have eyes wide open when they became so intertwined with China. Their end to end encryption is clearly a threat to governments, and by definition (and necessity), governments are a threat to liberty.

     

    I wonder if Apple has thought out a technological solution. As suggested, perhaps create a iOS build that meets the governmental requirements, and you sell the phone in those countries that require it. It is perhaps a very disabled OS, but one that then allows a user to "upgrade" to the iOS with end to end encryption...and let the market provide those opportunities.




    I was myself thinking that one way around these assaults would be user installed 'extras' that would shift the onus to the user.

  • Reply 36 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,365member
    seneca72 wrote: »
    Can someone more knowledgeable tell me if the iPhone (or any other) backups on iCloud are encrypted? . 
    iCloud data is encrypted, but unlike on your iPhone. etc it uses a key that Apple has. So yes if it's in "the cloud" Apple can access it.
  • Reply 37 of 56
    danielsw wrote: »
    "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.

    Seriously? You quoted Hubbard? Of all the people to invoke in a debate about freedoms and you quote him? How about someone who deserves to be quoted:
    I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
    James Madison, president of the United States

    As a Brit I have no shame in quoting an American president or saying thank goodness that Apple and Tim Cook are willing to stand up to this legislation while the majority of the U.K. population sleep walk into it.
  • Reply 38 of 56
    wizard69

    "First off it isn't possible for a company to be moral."

    That's a socialist/communist claim. I would be careful with such claims. Yes business can be moral, but it is hard to stay moral in immoral places such as political control of people privacy.
  • Reply 39 of 56
    richl wrote: »
    Unfortunately, the UK's current Conservative government is both opposed to privacy and completely tech illiterate. It's a dangerous combination.

    lozblanko wrote: »
    My government is run by idiots who don't know what they are doing. They're trying to un-invent mathematics and they will lose.

    Both comments spot on - luckily they are swayed by money and influence and Apple have both. It is disappointing that apple's intervention appears to be the only viable way of resisting this encroachment on civil liberties in a democratic country and with a strong liberal press.
  • Reply 40 of 56
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post

     

    Unfortunately, the UK's current Conservative government is both opposed to privacy and completely tech illiterate. It's a dangerous combination.


     

    We have worse in Australia, the idiot politicians who introduced and are overseeing our retention of metadata laws, could not even explain what "metadata" is.

     

     image

     

    My view on metadata "we don't want to know where you live, we just want your address".

     

    btw as an aside this came up during Duck Duck Go search, explains Google's position pretty much.

     

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