Apple CEO Tim Cook: FBI's Backdoor Would Be 'Software Equivalent of Cancer'

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple CEO Tim Cook today spoke with ABC News anchor David Muir, explaining Apple's decision to object to the court order that would require it to help the FBI break into the iPhone owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December attack in San Bernardino, California.

    In the interview, Cook reiterated much of what he wrote in the open letter where he announced Apple's plans to stand against the government and oppose the order to create a backdoor into iOS devices.


    According to Cook, the software the FBI wants to use to brute force the passcode on Farook's iPhone would be "the equivalent of cancer" that has the potential to put hundreds of millions of Apple's customers at risk.
    He went on to say that the fulfilling the FBI's request could set a precedent that eventually leads to weaker smartphone encryption. "If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write," said Cook. "I don't know where this stops. But I do know this is not what should be happening in this country."

    Cook says Apple has cooperated fully with the FBI, giving all of the information that it could provide. He said opposing the government "doesn't feel right" and that it's a "very uncomfortable position." He also expressed deep sympathy for the families impacted by the attack and said he wished the FBI had contacted Apple before changing the Apple ID password on the phone, making it impossible to get an additional iCloud backup. According to Cook, Apple first heard about the FBI's initial filing from the press.
    Cook explained that Apple is not just protecting the data on one phone, it's protecting the data on the devices of all of its customers. He says if Apple knew a way to get the information on the phone that would not expose millions of customers to issues, the company would do it. "This is about the future," he said. "As people understand what is at stake here, an increasing number support us."

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Apple CEO Tim Cook: FBI's Backdoor Would Be 'Software Equivalent of Cancer'
  2. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
  3. Goldfrapp, Feb 24, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016

    Goldfrapp macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2005
    Anyone remember "toxic hell stew"? We definitely don't want any of that either.
  4. CalWizrd Suspended


    Jun 21, 2011
    NYC/Raleigh, NC
    Hey Tim,

    I have Stage IV Pancreatic cancer. Doubt it.

    I think a more appropriate analogy would be something that can spread through contact/exposure. Maybe you are too sensitive to the mention of AIDS/HIV.
  5. Z400Racer37, Feb 24, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016

    Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
    How can anyone think that the answer to the problem of ending the use terrorism to establish an Islamic Caliphate lies on some a***ole thug's iPhone 5c? Seriously. The whole notion is so wildly ridiculous. You want to stop terrorism? Crush any and all hope these extremists have that they will ever achieve that goal. It would take two weeks for this nation to crush that pipsqueak ideology permanently, if only it would stand up for itself.

    Some people shot some people in the name of an ideology which our leaders are not only not willing to crush, but some of whom are not even willing to acknowledge exists. The advocates of this ideology don't pay with their lives, but we all pay with our freedom and privacy. Let's drop the sideshow delusions...
  6. teknikal90 macrumors 68030


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    someone's been reading too many Steve Jobs biographies.
    Hyperboles only work if theyre funny or actually related to some way to the issue at hand.
    The FBI isn't asking for a 'master key'. They're asking apple for a lifeline as they try to brute force the passcode.
    Not to break the encryption.
    Nothing groundbreaking here.

    I agree with Bill Gates on this - Apple should look to the supreme court for guidance. But a sideshow like this, in my opinion, is a bit over-dramatic and uncalled for.
  7. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    The politics, religion, and social issues forums are going to get a workout over the next few weeks!
  8. iOSFangirl6001 macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2015
    As much as I like Apple, support their stance and love the tag line

    Am I the only one getting even the slightest bit sick and tired of this going on and the seemingly endless article/stories on it?

    ( again Pro Apple , and totally in favor of them standing firm on this matter )
  9. farewelwilliams macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2014
    Jony Ive is the hardware equivalent of cancer...making the battery thinner and everything.
  10. vertsix macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2015
    I don't like how he's using a terrible disease as a metaphor for this scenario, but that's just me.
  11. DVNIEL macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2003
    The US government has free lance arms dealers doing their dirty work overseas, you mean to tell me they don't have free lance hackers that can just break into the damn phone already?
  12. mrgraff macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    I see what he's saying, but I too would prefer a different analogy than "cancer."
  13. Bkxmnr macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    So what would happen if Apples refuses to obey the court order? I guess Apple would be in contempt of court, but does anyone go to jail? Would Apple be subject to civil money penalties?
  14. DVNIEL macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2003
    Obstruction of justice would be the minimal prosecution.
  15. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    Glad to see your focus is on the real issues. :confused:
  16. Flow39 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2014
    At the Apple Store
    Nice choice of words, sums it up nicely lol
  17. dannyyankou macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    My grandma had cancer and I'm not offended. He's absolutely right, and it gets people's attention.
  18. DVNIEL macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2003
    I was a big wrestling fan in 2001 and I can't help but remember when the Vince McMahon said Ric Flair was a cancer, and he was going to "inject a lethal dose of POOOOOIIIIISSSSSOOOOONNNNNNNN!"
  19. April Knight Suspended

    Jul 24, 2011
    Olympia, WA
    I am definitely on Apple's side in this fight, but one thing that strikes me is the idea that they could take the iPhone back to the location of the terrorists Wi-Fi network, power it up, and let it do a backup to iCloud. As far as I know, if the iPhone has been powered down, once you power it back up, you have to input the passcode for it to reconnect to Wi-Fi (try it-- turn your iPhone off, then back on -- it won't auto reconnect until the passcode is typed in). So that idea is kind of incorrect, no?
  20. Alenore macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2013
    He's talking like it's something that can never be undone. It's more alike to the nuclear bombe creation than to cancer: it can cause trouble to lots of people, if not used proprely.

    It's not like there was backdoors in most softwares and if not backdoors, security vulberability.
  21. Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
    I'm personally glad what Tim Cook did, the government isn't their to help us to be frank. They're out for their own interests, and it's plainly evident when you read the Wikileaks documents.

    Operation Northwood
    There's no way I'd personally would want to give up my privacy to such a length. I mean we've already done it to a degree and now it's getting worse..
  22. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    I don't know how anyone can watch this interview and think this is all marketing. Cook said Apple will take this to the Supreme Court if necessary. It's pretty sad that others in the tech community have been so weak in their support of Apple so far.
  23. doelcm82 macrumors 68040


    Feb 11, 2012
    Florida, USA
    Then that's the analogy that tells us about where your thoughts are. Why do you want Tim Cook to use it?
  24. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    That was around the last time I watched it as well, and I remember McMahon saying that the WWE itself was a cancer, and the only way to get rid of it was to kill it, which he said his way of killing the WWE was with the NWO.

    And seeing how this could end with a huge case of big Brother watching, we could potentially be heading that way (towards a new world order).

  25. Brookzy macrumors 601


    May 30, 2010
    Could this be Apple's finest hour?

    Practicing what they have preached for years, putting their money where their mouth is, risking a lot of bad publicity.

    It would have been so easy to back down at the start.

    I remember the criticism Cook and Apple got for being outspoken on social issues, especially around discrimination and equal marriage. The argument being a company should keep out of governance, and just do their thing. And such a short time later we see how vital outspoken companies now are: defending the public against government encroachment on civil liberties and triggering a global debate that will probably wind up in the supreme court.

    Whatever your opinion, Apple and Cook's steadfast commitment has to be admired.

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