John Oliver Creates Apple Encryption Ad in 'Last Week Tonight' Segment on FBI Backdoor Request

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Last Week Tonight host John Oliver tackled Apple and the FBI's duel over encryption as the main segment on his show last night. He played out cases for both sides before siding with Apple and creating a comical ad for the Cupertino company in its signature style explaining why encryption is important.

    Oliver starts the segment by explaining what encryption is, what it protects and how it can be hacked before diving into the debate between Apple and the FBI, which centers around San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook's iPhone. The segment first lays out the case for law enforcement, touching on Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump's proposed Apple boycott, before spending a significant amount of time explaining why creating a backdoor for the government would be a bad idea.

    The Last Week Tonight host explains that many critics of Apple's stance on encryption don't seem to understand how modern technology works and that Apple creating a key for this one case is a slippery slope, allowing government officials to approach Apple for other cases. Oliver notes that the encryption debate was waged two decades ago with the Clipper Chip, which allowed for encrypted communication with a backdoor for authorities. The project was abandoned after hacker Matt Blaze figured out how to shut down the authorities' backdoor. "But decades later [authorities] seem to have convinced themselves that it can be done," Oliver said.

    Oliver then takes on Apple critics who say the company can figure it out due to its success at innovation, noting they may feel that way about "Apple's magic powers" due to the way the Cupertino company markets it products. He points out that thinking Apple could create a backdoor and then have the ability to police that backdoor is unrealistic, mentioning that the company has had trouble with hackers in the past. Additionally, he says that Apple bending their encryption standards doesn't matter due to the numerous third-party encryption alternatives that exist.


    The host closes by saying that other countries, like Russia and China, are watching the debate play out, hoping that they, too, would be allowed a similar level of access to devices. Oliver says that the "legal tenuousness" of the FBI's argument, the security risks, the impossibility of Apple enforcing backdoor-equipped encryption, the international fallout and the existence of third-party encryption apps is enough to "sway the most strident opinion." Oliver then closes by showing a comical encryption ad the show made for Apple in the style of the company's iPhone 6s ads.

    Last Week Tonight's segment comes the week after the feud between Apple and the FBI stepped up a notch, with the FBI accusing Apple of "deliberately" raising barriers to prevent law enforcement to access data on Apple devices. Apple lawyer Bruce Sewell called the claim an "unsupported, unsubstantiated effort to vilify Apple." On Friday, President Barack Obama cautioned against taking an "absolutist" view on encryption.

    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: John Oliver Creates Apple Encryption Ad in 'Last Week Tonight' Segment on FBI Backdoor Request
  2. TechGod macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2014
    New Zealand
    I love John Oliver. He's funny yet at the same time informative.
  3. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    'The uploader has not made this video available in my country'. It's like a MacRumors give-away competition! :D

    Still, from the description it seems like this is a positive thing for people who are allowed to see it.
  4. soupcan macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2014
    The way this guy presents it to the people is genius. He takes dead serious topics and makes them enjoyable to watch without getting dull.

    And the guy's right too.
  5. John Mcgregor Suspended

    John Mcgregor

    Aug 21, 2015
  6. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
  7. DaveMcM76 macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2012
    Video not available in the UK but if you are in the UK and have access to Sky Atlantic then the the entire show is on tonight at 10:10pm...

    And if you are a fan of John Oliver you might also want to check out the recently resurrected Bugle Podcast ( that he does with Andy Zaltzman.
  8. djbuddha macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2011
    Is there any human way John Oliver could run for president? .. No "lol" I'm dead serious.

    (Plot twist, I ask this as a Canadian looking out for America's best interests lol)
  9. BlueParadox macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    There's this (it's a bit cropped but fine to watch):

    And the show's funny take of an Apple ad:

  10. mdridwan47 macrumors 6502


    Jan 20, 2014
  11. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
  12. stylinexpat macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2009
  13. Boatboy24 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2011
    1 Infinite Loop

    Not surprising at all... :rolleyes:

    BTW: Damn funny ad!
  14. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    He is British so cannot run for President office.
  15. polterbyte macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2012
    John Oliver, fighting the good fight.

    I just wish he had used the recent TSA master key debacle to illustrate the inherent danger of back doors. It would have been extremely helpful in hammering the point home.
  16. Fender2112 macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    FBI interrogation of Creepy Dude

    FBI: OK, Creepy. We know you were at the victtim’s house. We cracked your iPhone and have the evidence we need to put you away.
    Creepy Dude: There’s no way you could have gained access to my encrypted iPhone.
    FBI: Oh, but there is. And only we have it.
    Creepy Dude: ( Creepy Dude appears anxious as his gaze shifts back and forth between the FBI agents)
    FBI: Now, tell us. How were able to find the victim at her secrete hide out location?
    Creepy Dude: I jacked her iPhone at the coffee shop.
    FBI: And how exactly were able to do that?
    Creepy Dude and FBI: (simultaneously ) Apple’s “mastery” key.
  17. RightMACatU macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2012
  18. bbeagle, Mar 14, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016

    bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    People are allowed to change their opinions. But, sadly, in today's political world in America, they're not.

    In the video, it shows that Lindsey Graham(Republican) changes his opinion from one side to the other on this issue. Why did you not say 'Republicans have a double standard and are hypocritical'???
  19. stylinexpat macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2009
    I wanted to stick to what Obama said recently and what he said back last year. Generally speaking I like Obama but when I see or hear stuff like this I think to myself "WTF". It can't just be me seeing this either. Every other leader and country see this as well and other leaders and countries then think Americans are hypocrites and have double standards. They criticize other governments abroad only to threaten their own at home.
  20. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Harry Reid a Republican? What planet are you from?
  21. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    Use Firefox and download the (free) Firefox extension Hola Unblocker. It's a great 1-click way to bypass geoblocking (it works for most situations).

  22. Gasu E. macrumors 601

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    Recently Obama has weighed in on one side of the issue-- the US Government side, obviously, since he is head of the US Government. But he also has said that the debate is healthy and has not denigrated the opposing view. This issue will play out in the courts and Congress, and in the political cycle, as it should.

    This is the way democracy is supposed to work.
  23. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    I love John Oliver. His presentation was spot on. His Apple ad was just perfect.
  24. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I love British wit, makes ordinary info and news reports much more lively.
  25. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    This is totally awesome. Clearly well researched and covering both sides of the issue. I can imagine a world where 60 minutes would be stories like this. Informative but hilarious at the same time. I would like to live in that world.

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