Amid investigations into unlocking iPhones, Tim Cook blasts FBI requests for Apple to build new crackable versions of iOS.
Apple is enjoying an interesting week in the privacy realm, as a US Judge has ordered Apple to assist investigators in unlocking iPhones this past Tuesday, while today Tim Cook blasts FBI requests to access iOS.
In an open letter posted on the company’s website, Cook warns that the proposed measures would amount to the creation of a ‘backdoor’ in Apple devices that would undermine user security and privacy.
“The US government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone”, Cook elaborates in his statement, citing that “Once created, the (backdoor) technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks â€”Â from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.
The legal order in question calls for Apple to create new software – what Cook himself terms a new version of iOS – that would do without auto-erase technology. Should Apple be forced to create these new measures, the move will likely reinvigorate fresh debate and controversy in the intersection between the private sector and the public on issues of surveillance.
The measure itself would bypass restrictions on how many times a password could be entered on an iPhone. Presently, an iPhone will delete all its data if an incorrect password is entered 10 times consecutively – whereas with that feature disabled, authorities could enter thousands of entries by brute force until they found the correct code.
“We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country…While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect” Cook concludes.
Read the full release here.
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