Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton says Apple's Tim Cook 'omitted critical facts' in encryption stance

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In a statement issued on Monday, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, criticized Tim Cook for his defense of strong encryption during a 60 Minutes interview, claiming that the Apple CEO had "omitted critical facts."




"As a society, we don't allow phone companies to design their systems to avoid lawful, court-ordered searches," Cotton said in the statement. "If we apply a different legal standard to companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook, we can expect them to become the preferred messaging services of child pornographers, drug traffickers, and terrorists alike -- which neither these companies nor law enforcement want."

During the 60 Minutes piece, Cook argued against government-mandated backdoors in encryption. The executive maintained a long-held position that if Apple coded deliberate holes for U.S. law enforcement and spy agencies, those holes could also be exploited by malicious hackers, including governments wanting to use the Internet against their own citizens.

Apple and other corporations have come under increasing fire from U.S. government officials concerned they will no longer be able to intercept communications from criminals or terrorists. The encryption present in iOS 8 and 9, for instance, is so strong that Apple says it can't break it, even when served with a warrant.

One of the most vocal critics of Apple's policy has been FBI director James Comey. His efforts suffered a setback when the Obama administration decided not to force decryption, although during an October hearing, Comey said that talks with corporations had become "increasingly productive" and less venomous.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 103
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    this guys is dangerous. For those who have forgotten, he essentially committed treason by co-authoring the letter telling Iran that any deal they struck with President would be reversed by congress as soon Obama leaves office.
    focuspullerDamnedGentlemenmdriftmeyerdavenbdkennedy1002SpamSandwichDanielErannolamacguyronnargonaut
  • Reply 2 of 103
    yuck9yuck9 Posts: 112member
    mac_128 said:
    this guys is dangerous. For those who have forgotten, he essentially committed treason by co-authoring the letter telling Iran that any deal they struck with President would be reversed by congress as soon Obama leaves office.
    Why wait for Obama to leave ?

  • Reply 3 of 103
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,331member
    His argument, obviously, is spurious although not unexpected. That it is technically possible for phone companies to implement intercepts is not as a result of a legal requirement. And there is nothing illegal about providing end-to-end encryption technology to customers - if there were then this argument would not even be taking place.
    DamnedGentlemenjbdragonchiaronnjb210lostkiwithepixeldocredgeminipahighaciditythubsch
  • Reply 4 of 103
    Hmmm who should I trust?

    Apple, a company who has not done any wrong by me and has only served to make my life just that little bit easier?

    How about the government who wants the ability to have a back door into my system in the off chance I might decide to commit a crime therefore see me as nothing more than a potential criminal meanwhile employing policies that allow them to basically not fix the real issues, not look after the people they are in charge of looking after, and getting rich from what by dictionary definition amounts to bribes?

    I worked in the IT Department in the New Zealand Parliament for about 4 months. Frankly that solidified my belief that I shouldn't vote for any government because they are worse than Kindergarten children. Parliament is the scariest place on earth because you quickly realise that those muppets are the ones running the country.

    Nope, I'm on Apple's side here people.
    buckalecDamnedGentlemenjbdragonchiaargonautanantksundaramirelanddjkfisherjb210fastasleep
  • Reply 5 of 103
    mac_128 said:
    this guys is dangerous. For those who have forgotten, he essentially committed treason by co-authoring the letter telling Iran that any deal they struck with President would be reversed by congress as soon Obama leaves office.
    I have not forgotten. Him and 46 other Republican senators subverting the President while in critical negotiations with a foreign power those senators consider "the enemy." This is what passes for patriotism in the GOP today.
    DamnedGentlemenmdriftmeyernolamacguyronnbobschlobcnocbuiapplepieguydjkfisherzoetmbjb210
  • Reply 6 of 103
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,888member
    Most of the electorate doesn't understand tech or the associated privacy/security issues (hence so many Android phones are sold and so many people are on FB), so I expect this guy will gain significant contributions in exchange for spewing this tripe.
    jbdragondjkfisherredgeminipa
  • Reply 7 of 103
    Cotton doesn't seem to understand the issue. But give him a break, he's a Republican.
    davennolamacguyargonautcnocbuiapplepieguyanantksundaramirelanddjkfisherjb210lostkiwi
  • Reply 8 of 103
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Extremely laughable, PGP and other tools make this argument useless.
    (Mr Zimmerman - the creator of PGP, was extremely harassed the US government, but he succeeded to keep the tool free for all.)
    Mr Cook should have mentioned the fact that encryption is a basic human right and as such cannot be forbidden or withheld.

    DamnedGentlemenmdriftmeyergregoriusmjbdragonargonautapplepieguyirelandjb210justbobfredgeminipa
  • Reply 9 of 103
    Cotton is an a$$bag of the highest order.
    DamnedGentlemenapplepieguyirelandjb210lostkiwiredgeminipahighacidityiosenthusiast
  • Reply 10 of 103
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,864member
    Sorry, Government, find another way than making all of us vulnerable. 
    DamnedGentlemenjbdragonargonautapplepieguyanantksundaramirelandjb210lostkiwiredgeminipa
  • Reply 11 of 103
    We design product all the time that may be used to further illegal practices.

    Cars are designed to be able to exceed speed limits, they are able to run red lights, transport illegal drugs and terrorists.
    Hand guns are specifically designed to kill people - some of the people killed are murdered.

    Imposing rules on product use, criminalizing certain behavior, is what governments do. Government should not put the onus on manufacturers to impose arbitrary limits on product.

    Terrorism is illegal, it may be facilitated by using encrypted communication just as it may be facilitated by using cars. That does not mean it is reasonable to ban cars (which have many legal uses). Nor is it reasonable to ban encrypted messages (which also have many legal (indeed constitutionally protected)) uses.

    No big deal now? You may be happy that current government will not abuse this power-creep - but what about the next government or the one after that?

    (just my $0.02 on the subject).
    jmgregory1DamnedGentlemenjbdragonsandorradarthekatnolamacguyargonautcnocbuianantksundaramireland
  • Reply 12 of 103
    Not to worry Tom, you're far better than Tim at omitting critical facts!
    irelandlostkiwiredgeminipahighacidityiosenthusiast
  • Reply 13 of 103

    mac_128 said:
    this guys is dangerous. For those who have forgotten, he essentially committed treason by co-authoring the letter telling Iran that any deal they struck with President would be reversed by congress as soon Obama leaves office.
    I have not forgotten. Him and 46 other Republican senators subverting the President while in critical negotiations with a foreign power those senators consider "the enemy." This is what passes for patriotism in the GOP today.

    mac_128 said:
    this guys is dangerous. For those who have forgotten, he essentially committed treason by co-authoring the letter telling Iran that any deal they struck with President would be reversed by congress as soon Obama leaves office.
    Treaties are ratified by the Senate, FYI. Obama's "grand deal" is null and void by default. 


    jbdragonewtheckmanh2p
  • Reply 14 of 103
    knowitall said:
    Extremely laughable, PGP and other tools make this argument useless.
    (Mr Zimmerman - the creator of PGP, was extremely harassed the US government, but he succeeded to keep the tool free for all.)
    Mr Cook should have mentioned the fact that encryption is a basic human right and as such cannot be forbidden or withheld.

    I agree with the thrust of what you're saying and am completely in favour of Tim Cooks stance on encryption, but this statement, "... encryption is a basic human right and as such cannot be forbidden or withheld" is absolute nonsense of the highest order.  

    There is no "basic human right" in the USA or even in the more progressive countries to encryption technology.  There is not even a "basic right" to privacy in the sense that you are describing it here.  Add to that, the ridiculousness of arguing that such rights as might exist are somehow absolute or immutable and you have a big pile of nonsense.  

    All rights are subject to the rights of others and none of them are absolute in the way you see to 
    imagine.  


    birko
  • Reply 15 of 103
    rayy said:
    Cotton doesn't seem to understand the issue. But give him a break, he's a Republican.
    So when The Hillary called for a "Manhattan Project 2.0" between government and tech companies, did that showcase an understanding of the issue, or does her political affiliation exempt her from criticism?
    jbdragonewtheckmanlostkiwi
  • Reply 16 of 103
    Sometimes I worry the Senators my state elects.
    irelandhighacidity
  • Reply 17 of 103
    Sorry, Senator Cockhead, but privacy is a fundamental human right, enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with the rights to life, liberty, security, and many other rights that terrorists would seek to deny us. There are many ways to confront terrorism, and we don’t accept that giving up our freedom is the only way.
    nolamacguyargonautcnocbuijb210lostkiwiiosenthusiast
  • Reply 18 of 103
    It's so cute when treasonous jerkoffs try to tell other people what they can and cannot do.
    This is the same guy who thinks he knows something about foreign affairs even though the only thing he really knows something about is how to jam his head up his rear end.

    applepieguyjsnowhighaciditythubschiosenthusiast
  • Reply 19 of 103
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    rayy said:
    Cotton doesn't seem to understand the issue. But give him a break, he's a Republican.
    So when The Hillary called for a "Manhattan Project 2.0" between government and tech companies, did that showcase an understanding of the issue, or does her political affiliation exempt her from criticism?
    The "issue" being a vast need for more technological innovation within the United States energized on the order of the effort put into the first Manhattan Project?

    I'd say she got it right: embrace and enjoy technologies promise. don't be afraid of it.
    ronnbobschlobapplepieguyredgeminipahighaciditythubschiosenthusiast
  • Reply 20 of 103
    scotty321 said:
    Sorry, Senator Cockhead, but privacy is a fundamental human right, enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with the rights to life, liberty, security, and many other rights that terrorists would seek to deny us. There are many ways to confront terrorism, and we don’t accept that giving up our freedom is the only way.
    Nice display of immaturity. US Constitution supersedes any pathetic UN charter. The UN is an international organization of gangsters, rapists, and crooks. But I repeat myself. 
    jbdragonSpamSandwichbuzdots
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