The Woz tells Conan why he sides with Apple on the impasse with the FBI

The Woz tells Conan why he sides with Apple on the impasse with the FBI
Has it really been more than two weeks since Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak weighed in on Apple's impasse with the government? At the time, Wozniak said that Steve Jobs would have agreed with current Apple CEO Tim Cook's decision not to comply with the court order demanding that Apple unlock Syed Farook's Apple iPhone 5c.

Today, Wozniak made an appearance on Conan. While as unassuming as ever, Wozniak remains a living legend. And when Conan asked him where he stood on the impasse, The Woz said that he sided with Apple. He first explained that if Apple gives in to the U.S. government, other countries will demand that Apple open the iPhone for them as well. And as he later pointed out, who wants the Chinese government looking at what is inside the iPhones of U.S. leaders.

Just as Tim Cook did, Wozniak explained that if Apple were to develop the unique "Govt.OS" version of iOS required to unlock the iPhone 5c in question, and the code fell into the wrong hands, every iPhone user on the planet would be in danger of having the personal information stored on their phone stolen. Wozniak passed along an interesting story about how he twice developed a virus type code that could have spread through Macs forever. Both times, he panicked and made sure that all scraps of paper with the codes were properly destroyed as he feared that they might get into the wrong hands.

You have to believe that Wozniak has given this issue some thought. He is not the type to agree with Apple just because he co-founded the company, and has disagreed with Cupertino before.

Thanks for the tip!

source: TeamCoco

Story timeline



1. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

So then make the OS, use it once then destroy all the it that hard? Is no one at least semi-trustworthy/competent? Hell have him oversee everything. All this talk of "if" the code falls into the wrong hands, if you don't want it to then don't let it happen.

2. alvinl

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 28, 2013

self-destructing code? think you might need to take a class on operating system and theory of computing before saying just do this or do that. also, how would the device recognize what to delete and what not to. also it can't destruct all the code without having a software right above the kernel recognizing it to be deleted. So if they recognize what is the software that is destroying the code, they can just reverse it. It's not as easy as we think of it to be. If it was, CS would be so much easier.

3. korean411

Posts: 92; Member since: May 04, 2009

My thoughts exactly

4. korean411

Posts: 92; Member since: May 04, 2009

My thoughts exactly

5. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

You misunderstand. Do what the Woz did as he stated in his story. If no one wants the OS to fall into the wrong hands, they can easily do this. Now let me see a counter argument that's not full of "if" or assumes the people involved can't properly do their jobs.

15. greyarea

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

I like how you lay out guidelines that say we basically aren't allowed to include hypotheticals, no matter the likeliness as to why it's a bad idea. But you're initial argument is as vague as, "It's easy, just don't let anything unexpected/wrong happen...". I have a feeling the legal argument means about as much to you? "Easy, just don't make any legal exceptions after this one time".

17. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

Since you can't read I said an argument that's not "FULL" of "if's" and reliant on hypotheticals. Thank you for admitting your upcoming argument will double as a fan-fic piece. You are truly a smart individual attempting to act as though you know anything about the legal system beyond the 5mins you spent on Wikipedia.

19. greyarea

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

Seeing as I can't PROVE any one particular thing could go wrong, I would have to rely on hypotheticals to express the RISK of what could happen. That's the way it works with precarious/sensitive matters like this. The risk is high enough you need think into the future to try to anticipate what might go wrong. You shouldn't need a security background to understand that. I didn't need to stop by wikipedia to learn about legal precedence. I did however read/listen to people versed in the matter, both legal and technical. Since you didn't offer a response to the legal precedence concern I have to assume you're either still on wikipedia or "Easy, just don't make any legal exceptions after this one time" is in fact your simplistic stance. For someone that needs to continuously insult my intelligence you still haven't bothered to go into any more detail other than, "It's easy, just don't let anything unexpected/wrong happen..."

12. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

I used to like Woz. I guess every Apple-er, past and present, are all scumbags. Can't wait for them to all join Jobs in the ground.

14. azimesmail

Posts: 264; Member since: Nov 23, 2014

So fighting to keep the right to privacy makes him a scumbag?

20. Xelief

Posts: 62; Member since: Aug 17, 2015

Straight from a amicus brief from iPhone Security and Applied Cryptography Experts: The high demand of such a code poses a serious risk that the Custom Code will leak outside of Apple’s facilities. Other governments, or ours, may eventually compel Apple to turn the Custom Code over so that law enforcement officials can unlock phones without delay or Apple oversight. Authoritarian governments will likely be the most enthusiastic customers for the Custom Code this Court is contemplating ordering Apple to create and sign. The software will be used in China, Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and other governments with poor human-rights records where iPhones are sold. Inadequate security practices by those governments increase the risk that attackers will acquire and use the Custom Code. Given the Custom Code’s value, unscrupulous government officials in corruption-plagued jurisdictions could foreseeably sell the Custom Code to third parties. For example, if the Russian government compelled Apple to hand over the Custom Code, it could end up being sold by a corrupt agent to a Russian identity-theft ring. Even without selling it, corrupt officials could also use the code for their own agendas, such as to target political or personal enemies who had broken no law. Journalists, human-rights advocates, religious and sexual minorities, and others in those countries are at much greater risk if software that can bypass passcode limitations exists. There is also a danger that the Custom Code will be lost or stolen. The more often Apple must use the forensic capability this Court is ordering it to create, the more people have to have access to it. The more people who have access to the Custom Code, the more likely it will leak. The software will be valuable to anyone eager to bypass security measures on one of the most secure smartphones on the market. The incentive to steal the Custom Code is huge. The Custom Code would be invaluable to identity thieves, blackmailers, and those engaged in corporate espionage and intellectual property theft, to name a few. Those technicians responsible for using the Custom Code to comply with access demands will likely be targeted by phishing attacks—emails carefully designed to seem legitimate but which contain malware—that seek to steal the Custom Code. The same technicians will be approached with offers to buy the software. The price offered could be irresistibly high, as the Custom Code will be worth a lot to foreign national security officials and organized crime syndicates, and can be sold to multiple customers. Or Apple technicians may be blackmailed to the same end. In short, the Custom Code will be exceedingly valuable and in danger of leaking or being stolen.

6. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

The great and powerful Woz was possibly the only good thing that ever came out of Apple.

7. VirginSeventyTwo

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 03, 2016

Love apple from the bottom of my heart, haters gonna hate!!!

13. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

It figures that a guy named "Virgin" loves Apple.

8. BobbyBaster

Posts: 28; Member since: Mar 07, 2016

When you are doing a great job, support comes from everywhere. Unlike Google, Android OEMs and Microsoft, Apple respects its users and their privacy. Gives them the best service and support.

16. willard12 unregistered

Sadly, the Supreme Court disagrees with you on that respecting its users and best service claim. In fact, I believe Apple did its best to screw its users and would have gotten away with it if it weren't for that pesky Amazon. GUILTY

9. Dingy_cellar_dweller

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Looks like apple wants a bigger share of the terrorist market. Just unlock the phone without giving away the code, easy.

18. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The code used to unlock the phone, would still be on the phone. don't you understand that?

11. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

Apple should just buy F.B.I and get this over and done with.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.