Google CEO Sundar Pichai is Apple's latest high-profile supporter in its FBI encryption battle

By midian182 · 29 replies
Feb 18, 2016
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  1. Tim Cook has found a host of allies in his stance against the FBI’s demand that Apple helps authorities access the encrypted data on San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone. A coalition of tech groups, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Edward Snowdon have all lent their support to the Cupertino-based company’s CEO.

    Advocacy group Reform Government Surveillance (RGS), which counts Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter amongst its members, said in a statement that while it’s important to help law enforcement in order to keep us all safe, “companies should not be required to build backdoors to the technologies that keep their users’ information secure.”

    Sundar Pichai put aside Google’s rivalry with Apple by tweeting his support for Tim Cook, although he was very careful in his choice of words. Across a series of five posts, Pichai said that requiring companies to enable hacking of customers devices could set a troubling precedent.

    Important post by @tim_cook. Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy. We know that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face significant challenges in protecting the public against crime and terrorism. We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders. But that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent. Looking forward to a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue

    Another name fighting in Cook’s corner is WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, who echoed Pichai’s views. “We must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set. Today our freedom and our liberty is at stake,” he said in a Facebook post.

    NSA whistleblower Edward Snowdon has also been tweeting his support for Apple, calling manufacturer access a vulnerability. Other groups, including the ACLU and EFF have also released statements supporting the iPhone maker’s stance.

    One person not on Cook’s side is presidential candidate Donald Trump. He was apparently shocked when he heard that Apple had not volunteered to help authorities access the locked iPhone. “Who do they think they are?” he said on Fox News.

    Permalink to story.

  2. CrisisDog

    CrisisDog TS Booster Posts: 139   +33

    They're Apple, Mr. Trump. A lot more powerful than you...
  3. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    Awesome news for the users but I'm a bit torn on this, I obviously apretiate all the privacy you can get but there comes a time where something is needed to help the authorities dig deeper, the problem is the thin line that comes with it.

  4. NicktheWVAHick

    NicktheWVAHick TS Booster Posts: 106   +84

    You want privacy? Go dig a hole in the Nevada desert and live underground. Dont come to the surface, though, or Google Maps may catch u playing with yourself. It's a different world, Tim. Get over yourself.
  5. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    You think this is just about Tim?! He speaks for the majority of us, I promise you.
    Adhmuz likes this.
  6. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,999   +1,318

    Dont know if this is the most horrifying, or least thought out mentality ive ever seen. Maybe both.
    Adhmuz and Jamesbrah like this.
  7. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    1. Since when was this pikachu guy CEO of google... and 2. Donald trump needs to get mega hacked xD
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,339   +1,986

    If it were not for the likes of Edward Snowden and Tim Cook, this country would have long since turned to communism. The voice of dissent is every bit as important as the majority. Without it we fail to take a deeper look at ourselves and consider another point of view. Had that judge only ordered Apple's help in unlocking the phone there would be no serious issue, but if you read the entire decree, the judge went over the top by ordering Apple to create an OS that had a back door in it. Government intrusion in private business is not illegal, but takes a good bit more than some judge trying to make a name for herself. Were Apple to comply it could very easily be considered restraint of free trade, costing the company countless millions of dollars and frankly, there have been dozen's of articles written and published about how this could be accomplished by others.

    I say bravo to Tim Cook and anyone else willing to stand up to bullies and in this case the government has become the biggest bully of them all. On the back side, did the FBI bother to say "please & thank you"? Oh, if grandma got ahold of them it would certainly be a different story!!!! LOL
  9. pheonixnexus

    pheonixnexus TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Lets make a universal key for all cars and give them to police so they can get into thieves cars. in theory its fine until one day thieves find a key, copy it and steal everyones stuff. would you buy a car anyone could get into? on that note would you buy a phone that one day guaranteed a thief will find the universal key?
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    While I'm 100% for personal privacy there has to be exceptions. Example: The judge ordering Apple to assist with passwords and decrypt the devices in the San Bernardino shootings. In the case of such heinous crimes, Apple, or whoever is involved should obliged to assist authorities to the fullest with users sensitive info.
  11. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 452   +40

    They can't though. They can't break into the phone any more than the FBI can, and they refuse to make software that will. If the FBI wants a backdoor into that phone, they'll either have to make it themselves, or walk over to their buddies in the NSA. I'm sure they've got a backdoor for it.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I'm not convinced. Apple designed and made that device, they ought to know how to get around the security. In fact I'm sure they do, they're just not saying...
  13. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 465   +217

    I feel the same as you Skid!

    I get annoyed because I have 17 locked iphone 6's at work that I cannot gain access to because the users that left our company didn't provide the correct pin code or didn't provide it at all and left on bad terms... I take the device to apple and request them to be unlocked and they basically laugh at me even if I provide the purchase receipt for the device...
  14. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I feel
    I feel for ya but I can understand Apples point of view with your plight and if I was them I'd adopt the same standpoint, security is security and in your case nobody was hurt or killed, just bad blood. In the San Benardino saga I strongly feel an exception has to be made.
  15. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 465   +217

    Couldnt agree more! I just get really annoyed that the company that makes the phone cannot unlock it thus forcing me to buy another one at full MSRP... Just my own personal annoyance, but in no way as important as the CA case.
  16. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 452   +40

    You can factory reset a phone. If you have 17 locked phones, just do a factory reset and pass them along to another employee. The problem with them creating a software to unlock the phones is that you'll have access to the data, whereas a factory reset clears everything, including the locked pin.

    I don't think they have a way to unlock the phone. When companies create encryption techniques, they do it so that even they cannot access it. And with the NSA scandal over the past years and the NSA having backdoors to older iPhones, I would be money that Apple created a locking function that stomped out previous backdoors.
  17. gr729

    gr729 TS Rookie

    More than the government, Apple and Google themselves monitor all our movements and use a lot of our personal data to sell ads and make revenue. Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai and all the other tech CEOs of Silicon Valley are hypocrites. With their millions of dollars they and their families live a very sheltered and safe life and do not care about the lives of the common men who are lost.
  18. NicktheWVAHick

    NicktheWVAHick TS Booster Posts: 106   +84

    Just the kind of comment I would expect from some Gen-Xer who worries about Big Government intrusion but isn't afraid to ask for a free tuition handout while posting selfies of everyone & everything in your life on Facebook for the whole collective world to see. Grow up already.
  19. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,999   +1,318

    Just the kind of come back I would expect from someone who doesn't actually have a valid point to make, as all the assumptions you make after "worried about big government intrusion" are completely false and actually laughable. Go troll somewhere else.
    Adhmuz likes this.
  20. Jack Meoffski

    Jack Meoffski TS Booster Posts: 49   +35

    How much deeper can you get. FBI already has all the phone records, texts, cloud databases and tracking....

    This is just a move by BigBrother to install a law so private citizens can't have private encryption.
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,724   +3,699

    Well for one Apple didn't say they wouldn't help. They simply reject the notion of jeopardizing everyone Else's security in getting it done.
  22. dylannnnnn

    dylannnnnn TS Rookie Posts: 18   +13

    Call applecare support, with Proof or purchase they will unlock the device from the icloud account it is linked to. Done it for about 30 devices so far :)
  23. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    @midian182 :

  24. h4expo

    h4expo TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +7

    This whole debate reminds me of the second amendment and how it was intended for people to have self-defense from a potentially oppressive government. Should governments have all resources in search for justice? Or does such access betray unalienable rights and pervert the justice they seek? I think governments reach a point of too much power when there is no one left to hold them responsible or accountable.
  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,724   +3,699

    The following link might be of interest to you. I have just recently become aware of its existence.

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