Louie Baur Louie Baur is Editor at Long Beach Louie, a Long Beach Restaurant Review site as well as Skateboard Park. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Tim Cook slammed the White House for failing to support encryption

1 min read

Tim Cook has already made his stance on encryption abundantly clear, but he decided to give the White House something of a reminder during last week’s meeting, in which government intelligence officials met with executives from some of the largest technology companies in the country to discuss encryption and social media. The White House wanted to convince these companies to support its anti-terrorism efforts online, but when the officials suggested that companies start putting backdoors in their encryption technology, Tim Cook was less than pleased. According to the Intercept, the Apple CEO tore into the officials for the suggestion, and said that the White House needs to forget about backdoors and start supporting encryption. Attorney General Loretta Lynch responded by saying that there needs to be a balance between national security and privacy, but Cook wasn’t swayed, which shouldn’t be surprising considering how outspoken he’s been about the topic over the last year or so.

Apple CEO Tim Cook lashed out at the high-level delegation of Obama administration officials who came calling on tech leaders in San Jose last week, criticizing the White House for a lack of leadership and asking the administration to issue a strong public statement defending the use of unbreakable encryption. The White House should come out and say “no backdoors,” Cook said. That would mean overruling repeated requests from FBI director James Comey and other administration officials that tech companies build some sort of special access for law enforcement into otherwise unbreakable encryption. Technologists agree that any such measure could be exploited by others. But Attorney General Loretta Lynch responded to Cook by speaking of the “balance” necessary between privacy and national security – a balance that continues to be debated within the administration. The exchange was described to The Intercept by two people who were briefed on the meeting, which the White House called to discuss a variety of counterterrorism issues with representatives from Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Cloudflare, Google, Drop Box, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. The Washington Post reported in September that the White House had decided not to pursue legislation against unbreakable encryption. But the intelligence community’s top lawyer was quoted in an email saying that that the administration should be “keeping our options open…in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement.”

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Louie Baur Louie Baur is Editor at Long Beach Louie, a Long Beach Restaurant Review site as well as Skateboard Park. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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