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Tim Cook unloads on the FBI in an extensive new interview

Published Mar 17th, 2016 12:33PM EDT
Tim Cook Vs FBI Interview

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Apple CEO Tim Cook usually comes across as a relaxed and genial sort of person but he sounds hopping mad about how the FBI has behaved in its fight with the company over the iPhone used by the shooter in the San Bernardino massacre. In an extensive interview with Time this week, Cook unloaded on how the FBI and the federal government as a whole have tried to force the company to build an insecure version of its own operating system that could be used to unlock Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone 5c.

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“Do I like their tactics? No, I don’t,” Cook bluntly tells Time. “I’m seeing the government apparatus in a way I’ve never seen it before. Do I like finding out from the press about it? No, I don’t think it’s professional. Do I like them talking about or lying about our intentions? No. I’m offended by it. Deeply offended by it.”

Cook understands that Apple’s fight with the FBI is having potentially damaging consequences from a public relations standpoint since nobody likes being seen as the company that’s refusing to help investigate terrorism.

At the same time, he says that Apple cannot accept a precedent where the government can force Apple to make an insecure version of iOS that could be used to bypass its own security protocols. Since it’s certain that the government would require Apple to deploy this software fix more than just once, there’s also a very good chance that this software will leak out and be used by hackers.

Plus, as Cook notes, Apple didn’t invent encryption and even if it removes encryption from its own devices that doesn’t prevent terrorists and other criminals from communicating with one another via encrypted messaging services.

Cook’s entire interview with Time is very worth reading and can be found at this link.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.