Tim Cook: NSA 'Would Have to Cart Us Out in a Box' for Access to Servers

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    As part of its publicity push ahead of its interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook tonight, ABC News has posted an excerpt of Cook's discussion with ABC News reporter David Muir.

    In the clip, Cook discusses the NSA's surveillance operations and says that the Government does not have any direct access to Apple's servers and that "they would have to cart us out in a box" for that to happen.
    This morning, ABC ran a longer preview of the interview during Good Morning America and the full piece will air tonight at 6:30 PM Eastern on World News with Diane Sawyer.

    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: Tim Cook: NSA 'Would Have to Cart Us Out in a Box' for Access to Servers
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    There is no back door.

    There is only a front door, that the NSA can access once they have physical access to an iPhone.
  3. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    The problem is, you only get one shot at trust. If you violate it, it's gone.

    Even if the NSA / the government promised they'd stop indiscriminate spying/eavesdropping, would anyone believe them now?
  4. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2012
    I think everyone would me more at ease if you told us since the NSA can also get data from other citizens in other countries.
  5. Peace macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    DAVID MUIR: "Do you think Americans, Tim, would be more at ease if you could tell them more?"

    TIM COOK: "I do."

    That says it all.
  6. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Why is this shuffled off to "politics"? Presidents and congresspeople of both parties (including independents) have supported and enabled these programs.

    Anyway, how does Tim Cook know there is no "back door"? We've already seen how the NSA and other similar agencies can gain access to data without being detected. And as noted in a comment above, now they are intercepting iPhones before they even get to customers, that's about as big of a door as you could imagine. Also, most major companies, and this probably includes Apple, do not encrypt their data when they send it between their own servers (which they do all the time). The NSA has been tapping these intracorporate lines as well, probably without the knowledge of those companies at all.

    When they get their claws into major providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, etc., they basically have access to everything traveling over the internet in the U.S. And we now know that the NSA paid off the people who made RSA encryption to insert a back door so they can break that encryption at will. And if you think that's the only thing of that type they have going, you are very naive.
  7. Porco macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2005
    You don't need to fish from the private lake when the public rivers flow both in and out of it.
  8. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    They've done it before: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A . And I'm willing to bet they're still doing it.
  9. mabhatter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2009
    I would guess the NSA approach is more "drive by" than asking permission. iOS isn't that hard to hack if encryption is turned on. I'd grease that if an Apple Beta suddenly plugged a hole the NSA was using Tim (or Legal) might get an National Security Letter to quash the patch. But stuff like that is going to go thru legal directly and those come with a gag order.. So Legal cannot even tell the CEO they recieved such a letter.. The manager just pulls the patch as ordered and nobody knows.

    Much of the NSA's efforts are at the Telcos because that's only 4-10 CEOs they have to bring in. Tim might get passing updates that the NSA has hooks on his bandwidth... And the NSA sends a NSL to tell Apple "they didn't see anything".

    Personal opinion is that the NSA keeps CEOs like Tim in the dark, or gagged with NSL for small things. The NSA then drops the "info bomb" of way too much knowledge on a handful of other workers/CEOs they can bully, badger, bribe and bring in so deep they'll get criminal charges... Like the Quest CEO A few years back made their point with "insider trading" prosecution.
  10. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    Oh, what a tangled (World Wide) Web the NAS has woven...
  11. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    Why would they need an exploit the actual product, or even OS when they already have direct access to the internet traffic from ISPs?

    Theres no reason to have a backdoor.
  12. jmgregory1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    Chicago and Spooner (when it's not 20 below)
    If you think your iPhone was intercepted by the NSA, hacked and then sent back on its way to you, you probably think you are far more important than you really are. Unless of course you are a sociopath or terrorist who actually does have malicious thoughts and plans against society.

    But chances are, the 99.999% of the population is neither being spied on, nor having their conversations taped or iPhones hacked so the government can learn all about your boring life.

    I agree that the government has gone much too far in what it does and how it does it, but I'm not just talking spying. There is so much waste in government - and it has nothing to do with what party is in power. The power doesn't exist in a party, it exists in the overall government and continues to build and grow regardless of who is in power.
  13. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    It's no secret the data is being collected, whether or not they are actually looking at it is a different story.
  14. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    "They" don't necessarily have to look at the data -- machines can do that more expeditiously, flagging any data determined worthy of human examination.
  15. Technarchy macrumors 603


    May 21, 2012
    Yep. It's really that simple.

    The communication pipeline will always be a weak spot in any plots and organizations.

    With the ISP's and Telco's in their back pocket, the NSA already has the biggest and baddest collection source in their back pocket.
  16. mdelvecchio macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2010
    because Craig Federighi knows the code and reports directly to Cook?
  17. SoAnyway macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2011
    I think a CEO of a company as big as Apple would have to say what he can to keep the customer base at ease with using products which is why I remain skeptical for the NSA not having a way of or Apple allowing access to user information and data.

    Honestly, I don't use iCloud to sync certain kinds of information and glad that I haven't especially since Snowden leaked all of that information.
  18. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    I think it doesn't matter what Cook says, the NSA can get at you whenever and however they want in a digital world.
  19. Brookzy, Jan 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014

    Brookzy macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2010
    Finally Cook is wearing glasses Apple engineers would have designed (if Apple did glasses)... Lindberg FTW!

    Wait, what was this vid about again? :p
  20. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I think this is the key right here.

    Maybe the NSA has (or doesn't have) access to the data that's stored inside the iPhone in your pocket, or the computer sitting on your desk, or Apple's servers inside their server facility.

    But all of those things are connected by a very large, very public pipe.

    And all anyone has to do is monitor the traffic flowing around on that big fat pipe.
  21. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    Am I not important enough to keep my personal data private because I want it to stay that way?
  22. BenTrovato macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2012
    It's nice that they're trying but you've got to be a fool not to see how much advanced technology exists today. The ability to tap into every single mobile phone on the planet has existed for some time now. Warm and fuzzy PR move though, I'm sure there will be people out there that believe the corporate tag line.
  23. xVeinx macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2006
    As others have pointed out, they don't need to get direct access, only intercept the data on its way to Apple or between data centers. Also, if dev center hack is any indication, if people are intent on getting information, they'll get it. Apple may not be willingly giving it to them, but there may be secret hacks taking place. It's unfortunate, but I'm not sure you can really say that they have to cart you out in a box anymore...
  24. theheadguy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2005
    Agreed. The problem is, they don't need our or your trust.
  25. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    That's why the "river" needs to be encrypted - as we've seen, most of the time it currently isn't.

    Strong encryption, used properly, works.

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