Tim Cook Tells White House to Embrace 'No Backdoors' Encryption Policy in Meeting

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Last Friday, Tim Cook and representatives from other Silicon Valley companies met with White House officials to discuss how to counter the use of social media by terrorist groups to recruit new members. In that meeting, Cook criticized the White House for its stance on encryption, reports The Intercept.

    Cook told the White House officials that the administration should "come out and say 'no backdoors'" in encryption. The Apple CEO has repeatedly said that backdoors in any sort of encryption create an opening for bad guys to access the private information of consumers.

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch responded to Cook by saying a "balance" between privacy and national security was necessary, and that the balance is continually discussed and debated within the administration. Terrorists use encrypted communication apps to recruit and mobilize members, according to a White House briefing document for the meeting obtained by The Intercept.

    Last February, Cook spoke about the importance of privacy and security at the White House Cybersecurity Summit. Last month, he spoke to 60 Minutes and once again reiterated Apple's stance for no backdoors in encrypted technologies and how it's important for the company to protect its users' personal information.

    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 Tells White House to Embrace 'No Backdoors' Encryption Policy in Meeting
  2. thasan macrumors 6502a

    Oct 19, 2007
    Is it theoretically possible for client 1 to server and then server to client 2 encryption and only companies use a filter provided by government to flag anything in their server?
    I'm not suggesting companies should adopt this.
  3. Mattsasa macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2010
    Thank You Tim,

    I sincerely appreciate it

    sounds possible to me, but then that is a ton of unencrypted data going through the companies server
  4. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    What the government wants to do is not going to solve the problem:

    High-end encryption technology already exists.
    Even if current encryption gets downgraded and crippled with a backdoor, the bad guys could just re-implement better encryption on their personal devices, even get new devices made in China for their purpose.

    Also, there are many ways to conceal hidden encrypted messages inside media files; files that would be ignored by security filters. No government has the power and hardware to filter, search and decode these hidden messages on the fly.

    And finally, poor security could be used by the bad guys to conceal their activities, involving innocent people by secretly accessing their devices to commit their crimes.

    Improve security by implementing better security, not by crippling it. Better intelligence, suspect tracking, etc.
  5. logicstudiouser macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2010
    It is really sad that a private corporation has to lecture the government about constitutional protections.
  6. bmunge macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2012
    This idea of a government/law enforcement accessible back door is completely absurd and only exists in the minds of those who have no understanding of the underlying technology. It's ridiculous that it's even a discussion. Leave the technology to the technologists, not the politicians.
  7. btrach144 macrumors 65816


    Aug 28, 2015
    I'm torn. I don't want terrorist to attack anyone and if reading their encrypted messages saves just one innocent life then maybe.

    BUT the NSA and other government organizations have proven that no one can handle all that power. Plus, as a law abiding citizen, I'd prefer no back doors to ensure my encrypted communications remained private as I'm not doing anything illegal.
  8. fitshaced macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2011
    I don't see how the attorney general can claim there to be balance in the discussions around encryption and that those balanced discussions are ongoing when the privacy of citizens is constantly being eroded at the wishes of the government. Once they take something away, there is no getting it back.
  9. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    This is about control , and giving yet away more civil liberties with "terrorism" as an excuse.

    Everyone should have a very hard time accessing our personal data. Encryption should be more sophisticated in this digital age.
  10. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    If you outlaw good encryption, the only people who will have good encryption are the outlaws. That doesn't protect all us innocent citizens, it puts us at greater risk.
  11. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    Man Tim's starting to look old..

    AG we don't need a balance you need to keep your nose out of my business period.
  12. happyfrappy macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2007
    Location eh?
    Bingo, if the government wants to put backdoors into everything they'd have to arrest/disappear anyone with an encryption/linguistics background only to deal with banning overseas devices which aren't "crippled". Those of us who grew up during the Cold War had relatives or knew someone who came from a Communist country, after 2000 in some cities they have black sites to disappear people without access to a lawyer and not charged with a crime are slowly mirroring what happened in Soviet Union & East Germany.

    There are ways to decode hidden messages on the fly, run a pixelation scan looking for abnormal compression points/file sizes or audio filter media files. Locally there is a weird Russian number station, within the "noises" if you run them through an audio tool there are coded messages in those bursts of noise. I don't speak Russian but a friend of mine has listened to some recordings and started to look at the audio wave forms which lead to an observation the noises are in a pattern.

    Weakening security only makes products worse off as other countries will have greater goals of trying to find those backdoors and exploit them. Recent Juniper security hole was used by governments to spy on companies/businesses, who knows what goes on with "re-routed" purchased Cisco hardware that got tampered/modified by the government and shipped to businesses.

    Way things are going the US is slowly devolving into the Soviet Union.

    Have you ever read the Snowden leaks? They have databases to pull up all your emails, what if an error incorrectly confuse you with someone with a similar name or some person decides to be the opposite of Snowden by using it as an identity theft wet dream or selling info to tabloids? Maybe you never knew anyone who were snagged into McCarthyism witch hunts. Former Senator Ted Kennedy got on a no-fly list, it took him two years to get off that list but the average US citizen can't/won't know why and under the gun laws you're suspected of being an evildoer.

    In the UK they want to ban encryption, would you enjoy banking & shopping on low-grade or non-secure terminals or on the computer?

    ...may as well avoid using American/British developed products in the name of security.
  13. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    ...said the man who gave access to apple data and opened backdoors to apple servers for NSA in 2012. Oh wait, those are "the good guys". Right, Tim ?
  14. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    You can tell the Obama administration is once again incompetent on this front, there is no balance between secure encryption and inserting back doors for government only.

    Tim Cook should have told Loretta Lynch to stop being a moron.
  15. mrbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2004
    Ozark, Missouri
    The 9/11 terrorists didn't use encrypted communications - they used puzzles and riddles to hide their intentions in unencrypted voice calls, emails and letters.
  16. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    "Backdoors will allow the Government to keep us safe." Uhh, I've seen that movie before... it was called:
    "TSA agents and metal detectors will keep people from bringing dangerous items on air planes"

    The results: A new mother can't bring 8 ounces of bottled breast milk on a plane, but any jackass can sneak a 5 inch blade or zip gun on a plane with little effort... as long as he is willing to wait in 2 hour security lines at the terminal.

    Back doors in software/hardware won't keep us safe from anything. All it's going to do is allow the government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create departments and committees that track the companies and back doors and give congress something to bloviate about every election season.
  17. happyfrappy macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2007
    Location eh?
    You're forgetting the government used sealed NDA letters like they pulled on two other secure email providers, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, etc with the risk of jail-time/treason. The guy who fought that letter was on Coast To Coast AM several times about how the legal case had to become a "John Doe" court case due to the sealed matter, if I remember the Yahoo CEO talked about the legal nightmare but their lawyers were afraid to push a court case.
  18. Devie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    This is pretty much the only reason I continue to use iOS and OSX as my main systems.
  19. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    This tells me Attorney General Loretta Lynch is a luddite and doesn't understand at all! Color me surprised! :rolleyes:
  20. heimo macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2010
    I think also every house and apartment should have backdoor installed, and key given to government. It'd improve safety. It could be used in emergencies. What could go wrong?
  21. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    Oh Tim, Tim, Tim.....

    I could have so much irreverent fun with that 'no backdoors' comment.
  22. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Would be nice if all of this is sincere. Aren't people tired of political figures, which includes corporate figures, saying empty words?

    And even Tim knows terrorists would take advantage of having no backdoors. If you have something to hide, no backdoors makes it impossible to see - not at government level, not at corporate level, not at any level. And few people who want to commit mass carnage are going to announce it.
  23. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    This right here. I have nothing to hide, but I don't trust the government. Who watches the watchers?
  24. thermodynamic, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016

    thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    That depends. If a free market allowed the same thing you proposed would you give it a free pardon just because the g-word, government, isn't involved?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2016 ---
    The lobbyists? And our government is by, of, and for the people, so why be scared when you're a part of it? Paranoia must make sleeping at night real fun.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2016 ---
    Wake-up call:

    https://www.intego.com/ (and the other anti-malware, firewall, security suite systems for iOS and OSX)

    The list could be quite long, so here's the point:

    No platform is secure. Period. Government did not make any computer OS. Companies did. Companies begging government for this song and pony show for us to consume makes little sense when these companies themselves can't get security right. There will always be backdoors, it's inevitable... doing things quick and dirty and cheap only adds to the problem and government isn't dictating the free market run at insane high pressure speed...

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