Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweets in support of Apple’s decision to not unlock terrorist's iPhone 5c

A couple of days ago, a federal judge ruled that Apple assists the authorities in unlocking the iPhone 5c that belonged to Syed Farook — one of the two shooters in the recent San Bernardino terrorist attack. The data that is on the smartphone would be used for the ongoing investigation, as the authorities look for any accomplices or ties to other organizations.

Apple's response came in the form of an open letter, penned by CEO Tim Cook. In it, Mr. Cook says that if Apple were to help out in this individual case, it would set a dangerous precedent, undermining decades of work that its engineers poured into the system's security. The issue here is that Apple, supposedly, has absolutely no way to override the security on a locked iPhone. In order for this to be done, a special iOS would have to be written, and the existence of such a software, Apple believes, would put millions of its users in danger of malicious attacks from anyone who can get their hands on it.

Today, Google's CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter to voice his opinion on the matter. In a series of 5 tweets, Mr. Pichai says that Google builds secure products that keep user information safe, but do give law enforcement specific data when legal orders are present. However, forcing companies to enable the hacking of a whole device is a dangerous game, Mr. Pichai continues.

It's obviously not a black and white situation here, as some are concerned that letting the data on that iPhone 5c remain locked could potentially be enabling further terror attacks down the road. Others, however, are obviously concerned that once a company introduces a backdoor into its own software, privacy and safety of information will slowly dwindle away in less than a decade. What's your take on this tough debate?

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49 Comments

1. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Totally support Cook's stance on this..

5. bambamboogy02

Posts: 841; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

So a pin or password is the best for locking a device? Since your fingerprint could still be used after you are deceased to unlock your device.

22. Good-Is-Better

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 12, 2015

That's bulls**t to me. On my own personal Opinion. The US government would have ordered the Tim Cook to open up the said terrorist phone. Not arguing with him. How many Americans died on that incident in California? I believe it's time that people should start sacrificing all these so called rights. The thing they should be figuring out is how to protect people's information while leaking out those of terrorist. If it continues this way, then is it time for us to looking at legalizing killing and terrorism since our so called rights and freedom will be hiding them. I don't believe Tim Cook do really care about hiding your information, he cares about protecting his business by proving that he really cares about you and your information. And so, his products will sell high. When the terrorist will be able to hide under the banner of that freedom and kill you, what information about you will be left for them to protect? To combat terrorism, there is a sacrifice to make and that sacrifice is the so call freedom, if not be sure that the next weapon the terrorist will use to finish you is your own freedom. No offense, just my opinion.

35. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

You want to know how to combat terrorism? Not diminish your society to match theirs.

41. Furbal unregistered

Education and opportunity. We can't fight anything, locals have to and if they don't have other things to turn too or are ignorant of the world they will go straight back to it since it is the only option. Of course that would take generations(similar to our inner city gang issues) and no one wants to do that

36. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

OK. Why don't you upload ALL your data, passwords and everything, online for us to see? How do we know YOU'RE not the terrorist? Why don't YOU sacrifice your own freedom for us to make sure you won't kill us?

39. Good-Is-Better

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 12, 2015

You are a fool, we are talking about how to fix this problem. A way that when this idiots are planing attacks, it should be known and stop before it's done. Instead you are asking me stupid question. When you leave your house and go out, you lock your door, knowing fully that it can't stop a thief from breaking in if he wants to, why do you not just keep your door open?

40. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

If the FBI were to get a warrant and court order to unlock this iPhone I would agree but this opens the door to illegal search and seizure which is unconstitutional.

49. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

Because not unlocking this iPhone will signifcantly improve the chances that, in your analogy, the thief can't break into your house.

28. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

But despite these nods to privacy-conscious consumers, Apple still strongly encourages all its users to sign up for and use iCloud, the internet syncing and storage service where Apple has the capability to unlock key data like backups, documents, contacts, and calendar information in response to a government demand. iCloud is also used to sync photos, as a slew of celebrities learned in recent weeks when hackers reaped nude photos from the Apple service. (Celebrity iCloud accounts were compromised when hackers answered security questions correctly or tricked victims into giving up their credentials via “phishing” links. Yea really supporting Apple. "Bs".

43. engineer-1701d unregistered

sundar is probably family to them

2. maherk

Posts: 6999; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

What the majority of Americans fail to realize, is that whenever the government tries to force a law that violates their freedom, there is always a terrorist attack that happens weeks or months prior to offering this X law. They play on your fear, but people are finally starting to realize this and are fighting back for their freedom

11. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

@Maherk Well, I don't know about it, mate... It sounds like yet another conspiracy theory to me... But what I do know is that this mass shooting should be considered as an individual act... And unless they've some solid proof or evidence of ISIS (or any other terrorist organisation) involvement, they should treat this matter as such... There's no need to involve a tech giant in this mess with solid reputation... And before you point your cannons toward me; I don't own an Apple Product... My Nexus & Windows Phone serves me more than enough... P.S It's about time for American Govt. to consider a strict prohibition of guns to civilian ownership... You've no idea how much paperwork you've to fill out to own even a bloody musket here!!! Let alone a .223 Semi-Automatic AR15!

13. Zackd44

Posts: 35; Member since: Jun 29, 2015

The first step to complete government control is to make it so the people cannot protect themselves. Look at history and every country that has disarmed its people. I'd move..mate

24. maherk

Posts: 6999; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Go back the initial confessions from those who were in the building when the San Bernardino attacks happened. 3 muscular white men, dressed in military attire, walked in and started shooting. Those were the exact words of the majority of eye whitenesses the moment the shooting happened, I was watching it live on CNN news and BBC news. The government will do whatever it takes to plant fear into you, then play on it to achieve it's goals. Just like they did with the Iraq war, they couldn't get you to agree with them to go to an oil war, so they had to use the fear factor and they succeeded big time with the 9/11 attacks. http://anonhq.com/san-bernardino-shooting-witnesses-claim-3-white-men-not-muslim-terror-couple-carried-attacks/

48. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Precisely! Very well said. This is history repeating itself all over again, and it has been happening since the time of Hitler or even earlier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwKjw5RjPyQ

20. Busyboy

Posts: 735; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

Couldn't agree more. A prime example of this is with the Patriot Act, which was formed right after 9/11.

23. maherk

Posts: 6999; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Exactly, and also Boston bombings. While people was busy with the bombing, the US House of Representatives passed CISPA, an Internet Spy Bill that violates 4th Amendment Rights. There hasn't been any terrorist attack that happened in the US that wasn't followed by either a law that takes away more and more from the citizens rights, or a declaration of war. They need your fear, that's the only way they will get away with things a sane person would refuse to give.

21. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Well said mate.

3. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Android a secure product? Google talk about security when their scripts go through your emails and other personal data? Hahahahaha. Apple might be greedy scumbags, but at least their peoducts are safe.

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

Android is secure if you had working brain

44. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Lol how do you really know. You only know what apple tells you.

4. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

er... actually they should unlock this (the so called) terrorist guy.. they dont need to make backdoor for iOS, or any program to unlock any iPhone.. they just need to unlock this one phone, the terrorist phone, just to check if he had another terrorist friend, another attack plan, or any other possible future accident..

8. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

If they unlock this 1 iPhone that sets a legal precedent meaning obviously the government will force it to be used for much lesser reasons, and since America is basically run like a company the businesses will end up using this for financial gain.

18. JMartin22

Posts: 2379; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

Oh stop with that b******* lol that's not a good reason to unlock this particular phone at all.

9. JMartin22

Posts: 2379; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

This comment makes logical sense. People are otherwise derailing it with scares of hysteria.

12. Zackd44

Posts: 35; Member since: Jun 29, 2015

Your ignorance is quite evident. You can cure polio, you can cure typhoid, but you cant cure stupid

16. HonestRealist

Posts: 196; Member since: Jan 25, 2016

The software to unlock the terrorists phone does not exist. Apple can't do it without creating a back door. And that's the problem. The government is asking Apple to build them a backdoor.

27. Chuck007

Posts: 1412; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Maybe some can back me up on this but I can swear Apple willingly handed their code to China and fully agreed with their terms (which involves storing private information of their users in China) just so they can get on their good side. If you look around its easily evident nobody is the "hero".

29. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

In a much-publicized open letter last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged to protect user privacy with improved encryption on iPhones and iPads and a hard line toward government agents. It was a huge and welcome step toward thwarting the surveillance state, but it also seriously oversold Apple’s commitment to privacy. Yes, Apple launched a tough-talking new privacy site and detailed a big improvement to encryption in its mobile operating system iOS 8: Text messages, photos, contacts, and call history are now encrypted with the user’s passcode, whereas previously they were not. This follows encryption improvements by Apple’s competitors Google and Yahoo. This isn’t the first time that Apple has oversold the security of its products. But despite these nods to privacy-conscious consumers, Apple still strongly encourages all its users to sign up for and use iCloud, the internet syncing and storage service where Apple has the capability to unlock key data like backups, documents, contacts, and calendar information in response to a government demand. iCloud is also used to sync photos, as a slew of celebrities learned in recent weeks when hackers reaped nude photos from the Apple service. (Celebrity iCloud accounts were compromised when hackers answered security questions correctly or tricked victims into giving up their credentials via “phishing” links, Cook has said.) While Apple’s harder line on privacy is a welcome change, it’s important to put it in context. Yes, a leading maker of smartphones, tablets, and laptops is now giving users better tools to lock down some of their most sensitive data. But those users have to know what they’re doing to reap the benefits of the new software and hardware — and in particular it helps if they ignore Apple’s own entreaties to share their data more widely. How Apple locks down your data Although Apple was listed as an October 2012 addition to NSA’s PRISM program in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Cook denied that his company has ever worked with any government to provide special ways to circumvent its security systems. “I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services,” Cook wrote in his open letter. “We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.” The most prominent privacy improvement Apple made to its products last week is a new encryption feature built-in to iOS 8. Since the iPhone 3GS, all iOS devices have supported encrypting personal data such as text messages, photos, emails, contacts, and call history. If you set a passcode it would be used to encrypt some, but not all, of the data on your device. Apple was still able to decrypt some of the data without knowing your passcode.

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